“De-activating your Facebook account is like running away from home.
Sooner or later, you will return.”
So far, it has been four days and no, not yet. I haven’t returned.
I used to faithfully update my Facebook, maybe 2-3 times a day. I’m online all the time. I scroll down the newsfeed when I have idle moments. It keeps me company in my long commute, and it’s so easy to chat up with friends who are also online 24/7. It’s part of my ever day life.
With Facebook, I was able to rekindle old friendships. I even help organized a school reunion. I have different groups for my different interests… fashion, parenting, travel, self-improvement even the stock market. I get quick information on breaking news. I even watch soap operas from my home country. (I recently move here in Singapore). Before I used to wait for readers to chance upon my blog. But when Facebook came, I just click and share, and I get more than 700hits from my friends.
A few days ago, I noticed that I’ve gotten so bored looking at updates from my friends. It feels like same-old, same-old. Like my husband would say, “Nothing interesting around here in FB, except my wife.” I wonder, do my friends, feel the same way with my posts?
“Oh, there she goes again, with her new shoes and new bag.” “Hmm… what’s her kid done again? Walk 3 steps. Impressive, I raised 4.” “Wow, she just went to Turkey? I wonder if it’s a company sponsored trip or she maxed out her credit card.” “10 close-up photos of the same outfit, just different angles! Yeah, we know you look good in your new sunglasses, one photo would have driven the message.”
When I found myself thinking along these lines as I scroll down, I felt so bad. This is not the ME that I want to cultivate. This is bad! I’m becoming negative and arrogant. :( That’s why I decided to quit Facebook for awhile and take a breather.
Here are few of my realizations:
- There’s very few meaningful exchanges in Facebook. I created groups, I posted questions but people just want to scroll, like and say one pleasant platitude or two. I want to have insightful exchanges but let’s face it, some friends are lazy.
- I shouldn’t have take Facebook seriously but unconsciously, I do. I tend to frame events, food, even my children, in terms of how I can make a status out of it.
- Some people will take advantage of networks/ groups, “friend” your friends and sell them insurance or talk them into networking. It’s a fact.
- You either feel superior of what you have or inferior of what you don’t have, looking at the updates and photos of your friends. Although, most of the times, I try to be sincerely happy for them.
- Idle chatter keeps us entertained. But then again, be mindful of the chatter, as sometimes it degenerates into Bashing 101 of a mutual friend. “Did you see what she posted?!”
- Negative energy is contagious. I have friends who posts tirades against their boss or colleagues. How can they posts to 1000 of their friends and affect other people’s day? But don’t have the courage to tell it to his/her friends’/ boss’ face.
- Validation of friends can be addicting. “Oh, you look fabulous here!” Sure thing, here’s 10 more change outfits.
Three days ago, I finally said, “Enough.” This is no longer healthy. I need to focus more on what’s happening around me, rather than, my virtual community.
Now, without Facebook –
- I listen instead to audio books, or say the Holy Rosary in my long commute. I feel more enriched and relaxed.
- I am more aware of my surroundings especially my children’s needs. Whereas, I used to be very distracted before when I have a red notification. Now, I can focus more on reviewing my children and spending my idle moments playing with them, instead of my smartphone.
- I am less distracted on things that does not concern me. Less Negativity.
- I have more time in my hands to do other things like meaningful writings, trying on a new recipe, reading a good book.
I really don’t know how long I will last but I am not saying final good-bye to Facebook.
Just letting go for awhile and putting things intro perspective.