I used to be obsessed with Facebook. I was on it constantly, any free second I had I was scrolling through just absorbing the information in front of my face. Waiting at the doctor’s, at a stop light in my car, waiting for my hair to dry after a shower, waiting for my food at dinner. If I wasn’t having direct contact with another human being I was glued to my screen.
I used to think of a status to post and tell myself I had to remember it so I could post it later. I was the girl who’s say “tag me in that picture” or “send me that, I’ll post it”. I spent hours creeping on ex-boyfriends and their new girlfriends, analyzing what these people were doing and trying to figure out who they were from their pictures and posts. If I didn’t go on it every few hours I was tapping my fingers, wondering what I missed.
I was crazy about making my profile seem like it was adventurous and fun. I’d go hiking to take an artsy picture because my cover photo was getting old. I found the perfect song lyrics that matched how I felt in my profile picture. I posted pass aggressive statuses that let people discretely know how I felt. When we had to put my family dog down my first thought was “I have to find a good picture of us together and post an R.I.P post”. I’d wake up in the morning and Facebook would tell me whose birthday it was, then I’d scroll through my camera roll trying to find a picture of us together to post.
“Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! I am so blessed!”
“Happy birthday to this girl! I don’t know what I’d do without you in my life, I hope your day is filled with so much ______ and _______ because you deserve it! I love you!”
“Happy anniversary to the best guy around, you make me a better person and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us”.
“Happy Father’s day to the best dad I could ever ask for….”
These repetitive posts kept occurring year after year, nothing new about them and hardly any variation. Timehop showed me the thing I said about them the year before as if I could just copy and paste it. It reminded me of fun times I’d had and sharing them with the people tagged saying “omg could we relive this please?!”
What a waste of time.
I decided to deactivate my Facebook in July of 2016. I knew I was addicted and I could tell that it was becoming a serious problem. I began to resent technology and the fact that it was habitual to just open my phone and click on Facebook. I was annoyed with myself, so spontaneously I deactivated it. And suddenly I was no longer apart of the Facebook world and had appeared in the real world.
It’s been almost a year, and so much has changed. Aside from the normal things you’d expect like I don’t spend so much time scrolling through my phone and I am not up to date on anyone’s life events a lot more has changed too.
I have gained tremendous confidence. I didn’t realize how much looking at other people’s profiles affected me. I was looking for the things I wanted to be in other people’s Facebook profiles. After I could no longer look at all these people who I barely saw in real life I began to understand how fake the entire thing was.
I found out that someone was pregnant because I saw them at the store and they were showing, not because of some exaggerated pregnancy pictures. I found out people got married when I saw them out at their bachelorette party and they invited me for a drink. Break ups and family puppy additions and new houses, I found all these things out in person. Granted it was long after everyone else found out, but it was real. When I saw a girl I knew from high school out somewhere and she explained to me her grandfather had died I got to see the emotion in her face. Not some long sappy post that he never would’ve seen anyway. Reality came back to my life, I actually started seeing the world for the first time in a while.
People started asking me “did you see that thing on Facebook” and I would just say no, after a while I didn’t care that I was missing things. I was so focused on bettering my life and being the best I could be in the real world. After a while I could see clearly into my life, I decided on a career choice and am working towards that. I got a new job and I worked on my art more. I couldn’t believe how much more motivated I became simply from not seeing the things others were doing.
Now I go hiking to see the view for myself, my attention span is longer, I don’t care about anyone else’s life unless I see them weekly. I can’t believe how different my life is now without it. I logged on yesterday to get some old pictures for a birthday present I was working on and as I was scrolling through I couldn’t help but think “I used to care about all this bullshit?” I’m baffled at the things that used to take up my time, that I allowed to take up my time. I immediately deactivated it and haven’t had any desire to go on it again.
I haven’t missed it, I don’t care about it. Facebook was the route of all my self esteem problems. If this sounds like you maybe you need a break from it too.