So a few days ago, on my personal Facebook, I let friends know that I was taking a break and if they needed me to text or call. I’ve been struggling with the decision to quit Facebook for a few months now, and I’ve come to the decision that it’s right for me.
Nowadays it seems as though if you don’t have a Facebook account, you’re some kind of social pariah. People don’t really understand, and they wonder why you wouldn’t want to be connected to family and friends 24/7. I have suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, and lately it has been consistently getting worse. I have taken medication for it in the past, but when it comes to any kind of drug, my body reacts very badly. About six months ago I was put on medication that made my heart rate go up to 150BPM and I was sent to the hospital. That is why I turn to natural remedies as often as I can, use essential oils, yoga, and look deeper within.
I started to notice that Facebook was a factor in my depression and anxiety for a number of reasons. Since I like lists, here are my top 5 reasons for ditching Facebook.
- Online relationships, don’t equal real life relationships.
I had made a ton of online friends over the years, and I loved talking to them online, but nothing beats having a friend that you can actually hang out with, and do things with. I noticed I valued these online relationships way more then I should. I decided to do a little test of sorts. I was invited to a child’s party by a good “Facebook friend” and I figured I would go out, and meet this friend in person finally and try to build something more meaningful, perhaps a friend to have some future play dates with my son. It was one of the most awkward events I have ever attended. I tried to strike up conversation multiple times, and this person just refused to talk to anyone (at their own event). I didn’t know if this person perhaps suffered from social anxiety, so their only way to really make friends was through online interactions, but something became very clear to me that day- my online friends do not equal my real life friends. And of course this was just one situation, but it showed me that the person that you know online, they might not be the same person in real life.
- Online shopping.
I admit, I’m a sucker for online shopping, and when it comes to Facebook, it makes it so much worse. I would see what others were buying and I would want it. I believe I would also link this to my depression as well. I seem to think that items themselves will somehow make me happier, but in the end, the exact opposite happens. No object can bring me happiness, and I think as a culture we are so consumed by consumerism and the latest trends and we don’t really realize that less equals more.
I feel like Facebook is SO consumed with negativity now. I would scroll through my newsfeed and see violence, horrible news stories, people complaining about their day, arguments about politics, etc. As an empath, I couldn’t handle it. I hated seeing so much negativity and I would think about these negative posts long after I would read them. If there was a story about a child missing, or someone found murdered, thoughts about it would consume me. I couldn’t escape it. Facebook started to turn into a source of anxiety from me, just by reading these updates.
- Private life Is Not Private
I never really looked that deep into others Facebook pages, so I figured most people I was friends with online didn’t really take the time to look at mine. I thought that my posts were probably reaching the people who liked and commented the most and my circle was fairly small. I remember going out and I ran into a girl that I knew from High School and I hadn’t seen or talked to her in years. I knew I was Facebook friends with her, but we never interacted on Facebook (no likes, or comments, or any conversations). She saw my son, new him by name, mentioned things that I was signing him up for… all through my Facebook posts. Here was someone I honestly couldn’t tell you a THING about them besides their name and yet they knew so many details of my life through social media.
- Brain Fog
I’ve seen many people do posts about this, especially as I have been doing more research on simple living, but a HUGE thing that made me decide to leave Facebook was Brain Fog. I have always valued how in tune with the world I am, and I’m connected with nature, my body, my feelings. And lately I have felt so disconnected with the world. I constantly feel like I’m not a part of anything, and just going through the motions. I didn’t even notice half the time that I would bring up Facebook and just scroll through my newsfeed with no purpose. I became so disconnected from everything, even though I had the world at my fingertips.
It was a huge struggle to finally decide to break free from Facebook, and mostly because my business pages are on there and I get a lot of business updates through Facebook as well, but in the end, I need to take back my life, and I believe this was the first step. I’m going to concentrate on simple living, which I’ll go into more in other posts, but backing away from Social Media was a big step for me. I’m very excited about the future now, and everything I will be able to accomplish through simple living and I’ll be sharing so much of it on this blog.