Facebook was the very first social media platform that caught my attention in 2009; so naturally, it slowly became my go-to playground where I spent my days reconnecting with old friends. Eventually, I begin enjoying the validation of people liking my status updates, my views and opinions and photos of happenings in my life. I’m not too proud to admit—that, at the time— it secretly made me feel good inside.
I became so addicted, that at one point, I was closing in on almost one-thousand friends and acquaintances; a number so unrealistic, it was laughable.
One morning, in January, I sat staring at my computer screen. I kept seeing the number two-hundred and sixteen. Yup, 216 electronic friends, of which (a great majority) I knew at one point, but I really didn't know anymore.
As I sat there in somewhat of a trance, I kept thinking how Facebook had become a very nasty habit. Log on, "like", get back to work, log back on, post a pic or two, laugh at funny videos, share my thoughts, vent my opinions, log off and log back on again… a vicious and somewhat robotic cycle— I was doing several times a day, every... single... day, and getting nothing in return other than validation from people who really could care less about my life.
Even though I was familiar with the Facebook game— you know the one where we only get to see carefully edited highlights of people’s lives— IT STILL SUCKERED ME IN. Everyone seemed to always be having a fabulous time. Happily married or in an awesome relationship, taking trips and exotic vacations, hell— even people's nightly "happy hour" seemed to be filled with the most perfect friends— well, according to pictures anyway— but I digress.
As I compulsively watched people live their exciting lives, I did wonder (at times) why my life seemed so boring, in comparison to others. "What am I doing so wrong?" I'd ask myself... and slowly it dawned on me— it wasn't me. Facebook was impacting me in such a negative way that even I— a strong-willed woman— was being subconsciously affected. And yet, I couldn’t bring myself to logging off and leaving it for good.
Then one simple thing happened that changed my view on Facebook forever. It also made me realize that sometimes, in life... accidents aren’t really accidents—life's intentional mishaps, maybe, but nonetheless— things always play out just the way they’re suppose to.
That night, I received an accidental— and by accidental I mean it wasn’t meant for me— text message from a very close family member. She was eagerly expressing her thoughts— to put it nicely— on how and what she felt about me— and it was not pretty!
As I sat on my bed, reading this dreadful text message sent by a first-cousin—who I grew up with and love, by the way—talking so bad about me to someone else. Well, let’s just say it hurt.
Here I was spending a great majority of my days, on an electronic platform, seeking validation in “likes” and comments from people who loved me to my face but negatively trashed me behind my back.
So, with that, In January of 2016, I deleted my Facebook account!
I don't want to read about someone's life, I want them to tell me about it. Maybe I'm being traditional, or old school but I'd rather react in person than over a computer screen. And I'd definitely rather hug you on good news, than to type it over a keyboard.
Fast forward 10 months later and it's November. I've been away for 10 months and actually don't miss it.
Facebook now owns Instagram—which I use a lot for business. In order to convert my IG account into a business account, Facebook required me to have a log-in through them.
Mark Zuckerberg managed to sucker me back in but I learned a lot during my 1o month hiatus.
I'm doing things different.
Now when I tell people my circle is small— it literally is.