It’s been nearly two months since I gave up Facebook, and I don’t have any plans for a return as of yet, but here are a few things I’ve observed so far.
1. I don’t know anyone’s Birthdays. Without Facebook I don’t generally keep track of 500 random people’s Birthdays and I’m not about to start now. Sorry not sorry.
2. I no longer have the play-by-play on what Susan is going to cook for dinner every night. (And I no longer have to care!) Yay.
3. My anxiety is 200000000% better. I’m not sure how many “scare tactic articles” I’ve avoided, but I’m definitely not worried that I have cancer or a rare terminal illness quite as often as I used to, which is a bonus. I haven’t been click baited into reading any stories about children or animals being harmed or killed, and that has legitimately improved my mental health.
Side note, who wants to read these heartbreaking stories anyways? Ugh. Apparently me, because I always get drawn into clicking on them, like a kid who’s been warned not to touch the stove and does it anyways. And then does it again because they didn’t learn the first time. And then they are burnt and crying and scarred for life, and that’s how I feel after reading that stuff. 😞😞
4. NO MORE GAME INVITES. EFF YOU CANDY CRUSH!!
5. Sales spam, be gone! Look, I respect the hustle, times are tough and it’s expensive to live. I GET IT. I am a small business owner myself with 3 kids at home, and we barely scrape by most months. I really do my best to support and encourage those who run small businesses.
But I feel a bit disappointed when I think I’ve made a new Facebook friend, only to
receive an invite be added against my own will to their sales group within 3 seconds of accepting their friend request. Then I get a message another 3 seconds after that and they’re soliciting me to buy or sell something. And here I truly thought Brenda and were going to be new Facebook friends, I feel so betrayed rn. *cue ugly cry*
6. People are throwing shade at me for leaving Facebook. I probably made this one up in my head but I seriously feel like some people are judging me for it. I’m sorry if you feel like I’ve committed a social sin by leaving Facebook, but it’s not you, it’s me. I’m breaking up with Facebook for my own sanity, and I still love you boo. I just don’t really need to know how much laundry you did today because it makes me feel super shitty about the growing pile of dirty laundry that I haven’t touched in a week. Text me pics of your cute kids tho, k? (Just not every 5 seconds, save some for the family scrapbook. Muah, love you!)
7. My anxiety is 200000000% better. Did I mention that already? Well I’m mentioning it again, and this time I’m crediting it to avoiding 5 million notifications a day. Kudos to anyone who can keep on top of all these Facebook groups, and run several business pages, and keep their kids alive, and shower every day, and respond quickly to every message from every human in their business and their life, and cook Pinterest worthy dinners, and kill their workouts, and get to places on time and not want to smash their phone with a sledge hammer. I am not one of those people. (Clearly.) 😳
8. I get into way less imaginary arguments with people in the comments sections. Listen Susan, just go back to posting about your meatloaf, because at least it’s slightly less offensive than your rants about breastfeeding in public. (Looks kinda gross though, tbh)
9. I don’t receive any more chain letters. Woo hoo, I am no longer at a risk of death if I don’t share your post in 6 minutes, stand on my head, tag 14 friends and do the chicken dance.🙃
10. I don’t have 500 “friends.” I have maybe 20, and half of them are family. Yup, I haven’t had any interaction with majority of my Facebook friends and I’m pretty sure most of them haven’t noticed my absence. Which I’m not mad about, I’m just making a point about the loose term “friends” on Facebook. Facebook is the new Days Of Our Lives, and a lot of people are there for the show.
I realize that most of these issues are my own issues, which brings me back to #6 -it’s not you, it’s me. And I swear I’m not bitter, I’m just kind of in a disagreement with Facebook right now and the two of us aren’t tight at the moment but I still got mad love for social media. *First bump to the chest*
I love that we are connected more than ever to the world through technology and I realize that there are SO many amazing benefits to social media, but at the same time, it can be completely overwhelming and have negative side effects too.
We can feel alienated by subconsciously comparing our lives to other people, comparing our followers, our bodies, our hair, our dinners, and our relationships. And most of the time we are only seeing the highlight reel, or the staged version of people’s lives, not the bigger picture.
We fire passive aggressive missiles at each other through inspirational quotes and vague status updates instead of actually communicating. And we lose sight of what is real.
Nobody’s life looks like a perfectly color-coordinated Instagram feed. People don’t live in a black and white reality with occasional pops of the colors blush and champagne. Because that would be weird.
I crave a simpler time, like the 80’s and 90’s, where you could eat poptarts with reckless abandon and no one judged you. Your parents sent you outside to play with the neighbourhood kids until it got dark and you always came home (mostly) in one piece.
You would occasionally talk to people on a phone that was attached to your wall, but you didn’t live inside your phone, you lived in reality. You didn’t do everything for a perfectly staged picture for social media, you did it just to live it.
So no, I’m not missing Facebook yet, and disconnecting has enabled me to simplify my life and manage my own anxieties.
If you need me I’ll be over here with my Walkman and fanny pack on, sending handwritten letters to my penpals, like the good ol’ days, not ever knowing what Susan cooked for dinner and somehow still surviving.