Dear Facebook – It’s Not Me, It’s You.

facebook_breakupThis article was originally posted on LinkedIn.  See the original here.

Yesterday, I broke up with Facebook, with intention and with purpose.  As they say, “not every relationship has to last forever to be meaningful,” and this relationship has come to its end. It’s time to close this chapter of my life.  I’m moving on.  I’m disconnecting and plugging back into my daily life.

Facebook, for me, has presented a combination of easy connection with my geographically dispersed friends and family and pointless, heated internet arguments over politics, religion, and current events.  Yesterday, I realized that the balance between these two had finally tipped dramatically.  Using Facebook was no longer bringing me joy.  It was not serving my life’s purpose anymore.

Leaving likely means losing relationships with friends whose photos from their recent vacation/wedding/baby shower/retirement party I enjoy, but would likely never pick up the phone and call just to catch up.  But I came to the realization yesterday, that Facebook feeds my anxiety and it is not a net positive in my life.  Time to break out the proverbial scissors and cut the cord.

We’ve probably all read the articles about how social media is destroying our social skills  and how constantly being tapped into other people’s lives creates greater dissatisfaction with our own lives, but I always felt like I was somehow immune.  “I know my limits,” I thought.  “I know when to draw the line between being online and being present.”  One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to be more present, namely with my family, and to take more time for self-reflection and self-care.  I realized yesterday just how much time and energy and stress I invest into what to post, what not to post

has anyone updated their feed recently?

what am I missing out on?

this person is totally wrong, I have a moral obligation to correct them…

It’s time and energy and emotions I could (should) be spending more fruitfully.  I am re-committing to being present when my kids ask to play.  I will be present when they tell me about their day, or a story they just came up with, or their latest knock-knock joke.  I will be present when I am with my partner.  I will be present for myself.  I will check things off my list around the house, I will blog more, I will commit to be better and do better and be quieter in my mind.  Because when we seek to immortalize every moment and every thought in words, online, forever – they all begin to lose their significance.

Sorry Facebook, it’s not me, it’s you.

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