In 2019, I was a semi-regular Facebook user. But in October, I was over it! So I threw the towel in and haven’t looked back since.
Peoples’ reactions were interesting. They asked me flakey, indirect questions like ‘We haven’t seen you post anything on Facebook lately, is everything ok?’ and ‘We didn’t see any of your holiday photos on Facebook, is something wrong?’. There was so much peer pressure to be a Facebook follower!
The answers are yes, everything is ok and no, nothing is wrong. I ditched Facey for several reasons, which I’ll share with you here.
- Firstly, I stumbled across Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. This is a great book that gets behind the scenes of social media addiction. I was particularly fascinated by Facebook’s methods of drawing us in and learning gritty alternatives to mindless scrolling. 9/10.
- I don’t need to know what people had for dinner, memes, or their political views. Seriously, I just don’t.
- Facebook ‘friends’ aren’t all necessarily my friends. In fact, many are acquaintances that I’d rather cull from my friends list. But if I did that, it would cause all kinds of drama and hyper-inflated offense that I can’t be bothered dealing with.
- I think some people post things in a quest for attention and pretend to try and be something they are not. Sure, it’s lovely to see true friends’ happy moments. But authenticity on Facebook in my view is fleeting.
- I’d rather spend x hours/ week doing real stuff rather than mindless scrolling, sending pointless ‘likes’ and meaningless comments on people’s posts like ‘Congratulations!’. As a result, I meditate and do a lot more exercise which is in part due to Covid-19 lockdown here in New Zealand.
You might think I sound bitter and twisted about Facebook and maybe you’re right. But since quitting, life has been even better than it was with Facebook. You see, I make a conscious effort to connect with friends and family now. Rather than half-assed comments via Facebook, we speak on the phone and catch up human to human. I LOVE hearing from them, first hand, about what they have been up to. We share ideas, laugh and drink coffee together. Even if our catch ups these days are virtual. I love seeing their joy, supporting them through their worries, celebrating their passions and seeing come alive in human to human dialogue. Sure, they might have posted their life events on Facebook. But I haven’t seen any of it – this enables people to become animated and full of expression when they can share their experiences first-hand.
Another great thing about being Facey-free is that I’m free of THOSE people. You know, the small few that are a Facebook ‘friend’ but aren’t actually your friend? I’m also free of a toxic stalker (sadly, she has a severe drug and alcohol problem). But that’s another story.
In closing, freeing myself of Facebook has had nothing but positive effects on my productivity, my mental well-being and relationships. I used to care about how many ‘likes’ my photos got which caused angst – just read Digital Minimalism and you’ll see it’s a real thing. I was also able to let go of the people were were not real friends in a dignified way. My garden and house plant propagation projects are getting the dedicated focus to enable them to thrive. So are my relationships with my friends, my family, my hobbies, meditation practice, F45 and most importantly, my mental wellbeing.
Amidst Covid, being off Facebook has helped me to improve my connection with people I love in an authentic way.
In closing, if you’re thinking about the value Facebook genuinely brings to your life, consider reading Digital Minimalism as a start. You don’t have to go ‘all or nothing’ like I did with Facey, but something small like deleting the app from your phone is a great start.
Whatever you decide to do, only YOU will know if your social media use is adding positivity or negativity to your health and well-being.
Wishing you and yours all the very best – stay safe and well.
Speak soon 😘