Yes, I said it. I am starting life without Facebook. How long I will last, I do not know but it’s time. Facebook began to take away from my time with my girls. I started to notice that I was being consumed by that little blue icon on my phone and it was taking up too much of my precious time with my girls that I will never get back.
Apparently, I didn’t gracefully exit. The norm is to post a status update saying “hey y’all I’m leaving fb text me on this number…” No, I did what I ALWAYS do, and I emotionally deleted myself from the entire site with no warning.
What are my reasons for doing so? How will I live without Facebook? How will I communicate with my friends? Family abroad? All of these questions were circulating in my mind as I hit the deactivate button, but honestly the one thought in my mind was FREEDOM!
I truly felt liberated. I had about 10 text messages the following morning though with various friends concerned and worried about why I had “suddenly” deleted it. Truth is, I had seen one too many pictures that made me feel excluded and I just had enough. Facebook was intended to be an arena for social interaction digitally, however, it’s become many other not so positive things. Yes, Facebook is a fun place to communicate, is a place to post parties, praise great times, show off pictures of fun family gatherers and wish people good will, but it’s also become quite a contest too.
The dark side of Facebook…
When feeling down, Facebook wasn’t the place to go. When I was suffering from severe postpartum health issues after the birth of Isla logging on and seeing other moms go about their daily business with ease made me feel even worse. I would see a picture of a fellow new mother out at Disney or a party and I would think what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I bounce back like she has? When I was questioning friendships I would see a group of my core friends at an event with a person who’s made my social life miserable these past few years and it would break my heart. I don’t expect a friend to “choose sides” I guess I just thought they’d want to. When I was doubting my relationship with my husband I would see other couples out and about on date night, after date night and I would think what’s wrong with us. When trying to lose weight I would see pictures of other women and think, man I wish it were as easy for me as it is for them.
Of course none of these things could be meant in the way my brain perceived them but simply put Facebook can give someone a strong case of paranoia. As much as anyone wants to deny it, they’ve all 100% contemplated leaving it at one point. Think to yourself how many times you’ve wished that there was an “F you” button on a particular post and you hit “like” really think the opposite! Or try to tell yourself you haven’t seen a bunch of your circle out and there’s that one person who PURPOSELY takes pictures to upload to Facebook just to rub it in that others weren’t there? How about the “people you may know?” Ever thought it should say, “people you hate, and know are on Facebook that’s why they’re not already friends?” Come on we know we’ve all felt this way. Facebook has a dark side!
And, maybe not. Maybe you love Facebook and you see it as only positive. I had a very awesome mama hotline group that I confided in those women and trusted them with my mom secrets on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. I devastated to be without it, I am so concerned I won’t be able to support my friends nor them I. But, again that group was devalued when a mom in our “circle” made another Facebook group that was the exact same thing. Although it was smothered in oblivious intent, it was hurtful to me and I felt the same way I’ve always felt, misunderstood and under- appreciated.
Absolutely I know that we live in a world of technology and we rely heavily on the ability to text a friend, message them, email them, tweet, whatever your pleasure but how many of us actually CALL our friends? When did it become socially acceptable to stop calling a friend to ask a question? When did it become okay to text an rsvp or a cancellation? As much as I know I’m excluding myself further from the groups I relied heavily on by leaving Facebook, I’m challenging myself to find out who’s really interested in my family. Who thinks we are worth picking up a phone for, or rsvp’ing for something off Facebook. Naturally, I’m skeptical but at least I know I’m reachable even if calling someone now feels equatable to pigeon messaging.
I challenge you to 30 days off facebook. Get your life back! Spend the time normally on Facebook; writing, reading or interacting with your husband and family. See who really cares and wants you in their life and will go that extra inconvenient distance to include you or plan things with you and your family.