On Deciding to Leave Facebook

So, yesterday I realized how pathetic I am.

I decided to deactivate my Facebook, and it was, like, way more difficult than it should have been.

Cory deleted his Facebook a few weeks ago, and I’ve been teetering on the fence ever since; wanting to follow suit, but not ballsy enough to actually do it.

I mean, I have gotten to the point where I spend time looking through other people’s Facebook pictures and profiles and knowing things about people I shouldn’t know.

People who I used to know intimately are now just pictures and status updates that show up on my computer screen. If we have let go of each other in real life, why are we still disconnectedly connected?

I need to be more about the real connections.

cory

I got to the point where, if something fun or cool or exciting was happening, I felt the compulsion to tell the Facebook world about it.

Like, why am I subconsciously looking for validation from people who aren’t really people in my life?

And why am I not having real conversations with people who are real people in my life?! For example, I adore my cousins, and I like the shit out of their Facebook statues and pictures, but when is the last time I called any of them?

The answer is too embarrassing to admit, and I refuse to live in a world where everyone is “too busy” for a short phone call.

But! All of that still wasn’t enough for me to be like Hey, crazy, step away from the Facebook. 

I realized that scrolling through Facebook wasn’t some mindless activity when it had gotten to the point where I found myself comparing other people’s joy and excitement to my own joy and excitement.

My life is pretty fucking awesome, but I let other people’s adventures and experiences subtract value from my own.

penny

That’s just sad, and that’s not the kind of person I like being.

So, do I think Facebook is terrible? Not at all. I just think it makes feeling happy and confident a little harder than it should be. Am I giving up Facebook forever? Probably not. I just feel the need to step away, and I sure as hell don’t have enough self control to just not look at Facebook.

I’ll be honest, getting rid of Facebook kinda sorta definitely felt like getting rid of a body part. Maybe not a body part that you’d totally need to function, but more like a pinky finger.

Everyone can get by without a pinky finger, right?

 

Comments

  1. says

    I’m not ready to dump Facebook just yet, but I can relate to your reasons a lot more than I’d like to admit. I keep in touch more with friends who are on it, though I agree that I also know too much about folks I don’t actually consider “friends” in real life.

  2. says

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. (I literally have to have a Facebook account to manage Facebook pages for work, but I have though about trying to “go off the grid.”)

    Facebook also makes reunions a little less cool, because you already know what’s going on, and even though you don’t know the whole story or background, it’s like the cliff notes that spoil the interesting story.

    I’m curious to see how you feel about it in a few weeks! Hope the detox goes well ;)

    • Colleen says

      I agree! I created a fake Facebook page so I could continue to have a page for the blog. I think Facebook is really helpful and awesome in so many ways, but it’s taking the personal touch out of things, and I hate that! I agree, if I ever run into some I haven’t seen in a long time, it’s not really exciting. Like, down to the point where, I haven’t seen you in years, but I know what your kid had for breakfast. That creeps me out!

      • Calie says

        “if I ever run into some I haven’t seen in a long time, it’s not really exciting. Like, down to the point where, I haven’t seen you in years, but I know what your kid had for breakfast. That creeps me out!”

        that statement was perfect and pretty much sums up Facebook relationships. I deactivated mine a while ago but I’m embarrassed to say I only lasted 2 weeks. I just use the excuse that I live 8 hours from family and it’s a great way to keep up with all of them :P

        My 10 year high school reunion is coming up in September and I have no desire to go. Back in the day before FB, I feel like there was more thrill in seeing everyone, but now, you see them impersonally every single day and even reunions have lost their appeal

  3. Sarah B. says

    I deactivated my FB account in October and honestly, haven’t really had the urge to bring it back to life. When I come across people and they start telling me about someone & they say, ‘yeah so I saw on Facebook…’ Blah! I jokingly say I’ll get Facebook back once my life starts being cool enough to make other people jealous with my status updates & pictures……the sad thing is, for a lot of people, that’s what Facebook is. A big one-upper. Those people on FB who are constantly SO HaPpY & everything in their life is rainbows & butterflies….I call bullshit. High five to them for being so ‘optimistic’ but my cynical ass can’t help but think they are faking it. Then there are those people who constantly post how bad their life is and maybe it really is, but quit the pitty party & start making some changes then instead of updating your status with sad faces & depressing quotes. FOR REAL. ((apparently I’m really passionate about this topic)). I could go on and onnnnnnn. I think you’ll survive just fine without FB! Keep us posted.

    • Colleen says

      We are on the ssaaaaammmee page, girlfriend! I call bullshit on everyone’s “SO HAPPY AND PERFECT” lives, as well as the eternal complainers. That is great if that is what you want to use Facebook for, but I just don’t care enough to see it.

  4. Samantha says

    I deactivated my account 1 year ago. At first it was SO hard not to be on it anymore but just the fact that I was struggling not having access was a real wakeup call. I deactivated for all the reasons you listed. It is so wonderful to just focus on my life and those who I actually care about and am in touch with. For good measure my husband changed the password so I really have no way of getting back on Facebook. I don’t even miss it anymore!

    • Colleen says

      YEP!! I agree – the fact that it’s hard not having Facebook (for a mere 24 hours) is a huge wakeup call.

  5. says

    I think it’s so hard with social media in general. Our world basically survives on social media these days…I’ve deactivated my facebook before and maybe one day I’ll do it again. I try and keep my friends list to people I know in real life and are good friends with. I think it’s a good line between blogging and real life.

    • Colleen says

      I totally agree! My best friend was saying that she really only has access to see about 20 people’s profiles and info, and I think that’s a good idea! I know I won’t be off of it forever, but it was worth stepping away from for a bit :)

  6. Patricia Crute says

    I’ll miss you! Life in your 20s is more about achievement and natural urge to be competitive and comparative. That may explain some of those feelings. I’m not sure it would have been a good thing to have FB in my younger years- I was too sensitive. However, now it is a wonderful way to connect to my friends all over the states who I don’t get to see or talk to often as we all have such busy lives. I think the busy-ness is more problematic than anything. I know my AGD sisters post about prayer requests and it’s how we organize our reunions via message. But, I get what you are saying and I’ll look for doggy pix via Twitter, I hope. :)

    • Colleen says

      I won’t be gone forever, Mrs. Crute! :) I agree, I think Facebook is wonderful for the social aspect of keeping in touch with friends all over the states – it has made me lazy, though. If I see a picture that my friend posted of her cool vacation, I don’t feel the need to CALL her and TALK to her about her cool vacation. Isn’t that weird? I think I just need to change my habits a bit, realign some stuff, and then I’ll be back! :)

      • Patricia Crute says

        I take off every Lent season (40 days or so) and it is hard at first. It’s addictive, I think. I have never been a good telephone person (hated it as a child) so FB is fun for me to “talk” to people and at the end of a school day it’s about as much as I can muster. This is a fascinating topic- so many diverse feelings about it. There is a generational study that begs to be done. Love and hugs!

    • Colleen says

      I don’t think you’re naive at all! I think social media is wonderful! I really think it’s a “me not you” think with Facebook. I agree, it’s a cool way to stay in touch and meet people! I kept the Facebook page for this blog for that reason!

  7. says

    Lately I’ve been on the fence about dumping Facebook too. I spend too much time caring about what other people are doing than connecting with the people I care about!

  8. Chelsea Fry says

    Have you seen the video that has recently come out about Facebook?

    Here’s a link to it: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-take-peoples-lives-in-facebook-1595563358?utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    I’m not saying that’s what you were doing! But I think a lot of the time people get caught up with the, “HEY look at how cool my life is! Look at all these things I’m doing!” Rather than putting their phone down and being in the moment with those that are present.

  9. says

    Yess. Completely agree with everything you said here. I deactivated Facebook recently for a month and it was the best thing for me. I’m back now for various reasons (mainly because I have a business page I need to keep running), but I’m barely on it anymore and don’t feel like I need it at all : )

  10. Claire says

    I don’t have facebook and I love it, but sometimes it really bites me in the ass. Last Saturday one of my friends had a going away party, which she texted me about since I don’t have the book. Well, the time changed because of the World Cup and I showed up to the bar at 3pm when the party wasn’t until 7! With no Facebook, confirm any and all group plans!

  11. says

    You totally have me thinking about deactivating mine now too ;) The only thing I really use it for is when I’m bored at work or to promote blog stuff… so in other words, it is probably time-consuming for unnecessary reasons!

  12. says

    “My life is pretty fucking awesome, but I let other people’s adventures and experiences subtract value from my own.” <—- this is the reason why I would delete Facebook, I'm definitely not there yet though!

  13. says

    I’ve toyed with this idea a bit myself lately! Facebook is not the same as when it was first created, and I just am more annoyed with it the more I stay on it. I actually avoid it because I hate looking at mindless shit that doesn’t even interest me anyways. I actually feel sad for the people on my Facebook that feel the need to post 394387 status updates daily. Whyyyyyyy?

    I’m happy for you. You might be the push I needed to get off the train. And PS- your new blog design is kickass!

  14. says

    Congrats on making the change! =)
    I am in a place of really wanting to minimize my friend list and delete the app off my phone… for my dad’s family, it is a great place for us to talk about family events since there are so many of us! I think you just inspired me to put this on my to-do list soon! PS, LOVE the new look – LOVE. I’m going to work on getting my blog to a look I really want in the next couple of weeks.

  15. Kelly says

    I go back and forth about Facebook for those same reasons. People just get online, scroll through there news feed and are caught up on people’s lives. What gets me is how fake peoples’ lives are on Facebook. Facebook also doesn’t help me in seeing value in my own life and my own accomplishments. I should not compare myself to anyone else’s life or milestones, because I am me. I say go for it!

  16. Jenny says

    I deleted FB 3 years ago and it was the best decision ever. I am one of those people who gets really down on my life when I see how awesome other people’s lives look online. II’m all I wish I looked like that, did that, had that many friends, blah blah blah – even though my life is great! Of course, people only really post the good things but still I am influenced! So now outta sight, outta mind. And I am one happy girl!

    PS. Love the new layout :)

  17. says

    WOOO! I deleted Facebook about a year and a half ago for many of the same reasons. I thought about it for a longgg time before I actually did it and had anticipated I would reactivate it soon after, but I haven’t been back. I was surprised at how much I really don’t need/want it anymore. It is liberating to feel so detached from that world, so, good for you for deactivating it . I think you’ll love it. And if not? Whatever – you do you :)

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