Stepping back from Facebook
I quit Facebook 84 hours ago.
It’s not really been as dramatic as that sentence suggests; actually, not even close. I’ve had a few moments of weakness (e.g. clicking on the application on my phone, typing the words into the search bar), but for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing.
I have decided to quit one of my biggest social media habits in an attempt to determine its influence on my mood and spirit. I’ve felt like myself and everyone around me is on the brink of complete overload, but I haven’t been able to clearly ascertain why. For me, work has been busy, but a normal pace. Friends and family are relatively stable. Wedding planning is just fine. And yet, the feeling of stress has remained a constant. It is somewhat partly attributed to my nature; however, I know there is something else, other than my personality, influencing my mood. Hence, my reason for turning my attention to Facebook.
To me, Facebook is a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. It provides users with a sense of connection without any of the benefits. Human beings are hardwired for social (i.e. in-person) interaction. Even the most introverted enjoy and crave connection with others, they just want it with fewer people at one time (I’m marrying one, so I’ve begun to understand the way of the introvert). When we use Facebook to look at people’s most recent accomplishment, travel adventures, purchases (house, dog, baby stuff…you get the picture), we get the benefit of understanding what’s going on in someone’s life without the benefit of hearing from them in-person.The interaction leaves us feeling unsatisfied, but without an explanation of why. As many of you will agree, we always prefer the book to the movie, so why then do we continue to watch the movie of our loved ones while rarely picking up the book and truly getting to know the characters.
So that’s why I’m quitting Facebook (don’t worry, I’ve only deactivated my account in the event I start to develop withdrawal symptoms). I don’t want to be a part of a false community anymore. I want to be a part of a living, breathing and loving community. I intend to use my recently acquired spare time to call my friends more, write them letters, engage in more in-person activities, read the books I’ve been putting off, and learn (maybe I’ll even blog more). I know there will be no issue staying in touch with the people I really want to stay in touch with.
While this is my journey and mine alone, I encourage you to think about the benefits of Facebook and social media. Ask yourself if they are truly enriching your life and making you a happier human.