I don’t really know how else to sugar coat that subject line but the simple fact is, I quit Facebook and the world didn’t end.
My social life didn’t come to a screeching halt.
My friends didn’t forget I existed.
People still took photos of, and with, me even though I am kind of embarrassing to be around and they can’t tag me in them!!!!
For real though….
I deleted my profile for much the same reason I changed domain names and moved my blog – I needed to separate from the 2014 version of myself and start afresh. In fact, I’d been craving to leave that particular social network for months and finally, the day after my Daddy’s funeral, I just did it.
I’m writing this one-month Facebook-free and here’s some things I’ve learned:
- My relationship with Facebook had become obsessive and compulsive. Seriously, and this is embarrassing to say, but I was checking Facebook first thing in the morning, while at traffic lights, in the middle of the work day, when I got home, and all throughout the evening. It was ridiculous and really unhealthy.
- Looking at everyone’s happy life updates made my sad life updates feel even worse. Trust me, no one knew better than me how completely depressing and unattractive my Facebook status updates had become in 2014. But adding, or even just thinking about sharing, those sad updates into a feed full of birth and wedding announcements, party pics, concert and live music invitations, and general good times made me feel like a leper. It SUCKS to realize you’re the unintentional Debbie Downer in the room.
- I felt like I had to censor my happy updates from Daddy and Mia’s friends. I made a LOT of friends with my parents’ friends due to circumstances last year and that was good! But they’re all from a different generation and on the rare occasion that I wanted to post something silly or ridiculous or not-sad, I felt guilty for doing so. It was a hard balance to strike – being a sad, Daddyless daughter pulling her family through hard times while also being trying to remember the silly, music-loving, friend-hugging, drink-drinking 30 year old I was before everything happened.
- I’m friends with way too many people who I do not really know or care about IRL. This sounds harsh but it’s true. I don’t need to be friends with people I met once at a party, are friends of friends, or people who talked shit about me in high school and I never saw since. I feel really bad about this because some of them posted supportive comments when Daddy died, but at the end of the day I haven’t seen these people IRL in over a decade, if not longer. Yet I find myself censoring my words and my life because of what they’ll see and/or think.
- Catching people in lies via Facebook SUCKS. Period. When someone told me they couldn’t afford the tank of gas it would take to come to my Dad’s funeral and then they checked in at a restaurant in South Beach getting Tapas later that night on Swam/Facebook, it pretty much crushed my heart. Or when my dumbass stepbrother posts photos of himself partying in a limo on his way back down to the Keys after telling us how broke and sad he is from the last visit to his mom. Ignorance is bliss, and I did NOT need that shit.
- People I work with started friend requesting me. And there is just no part of being Facebook-friends with work-friends that is going to work out for me.
But with all of that said, I do miss some things on Facebook. Like being able to look back at the photos and interaction I had with my Dad, or posting inspirational and funny messages on Mia’s wall, or seeing what my real friends are really up to lately.
So will I reactivate my profile? Yes. I know I will. I might even do it after writing this post.
But much like my new blog, I will whittle down friends, contacts, photos and groups until it’s a fresh start and *means* something to me again.
Because quitting Facebook might not have made the world end, but I have a feeling that reactivating it in a new and meaningful way might make MY world a better, more emotionally healthy place.