I did it. I actually shut down my personal Facebook page.
And OH. MY. GAWD. It was not easy. I'm still recovering.
So, here's what happened...
On January 6th, 2021, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I began to have a physiological response to what I was seeing. No joke. My heart started pounding and it was a struggle to take a deep breath. As many of you know, I've had an anxiety disorder for 20+ years now, so my first thought was Holy shit, Facebook is giving me an anxiety attack.
Then I remembered that I'm 48 years old and thought Holy F*ck! Am I having a God damned heart attack from mother f*cking Facebook!!!
Let me tell you, when you put all of those words together and consider that they could be a real possibility, you decide real quick that it's time to go. Sayonara. Hasta la vista. Later taters. I'm packing my toys and gettin' the eff outta here!
But let's not fool ourselves here. Once my pulse returned to its normal resting rate, and I had a sugar-loaded snack to soothe my inner drama queen, I logged right the hell back on.
I mean, it's so easy to just press that little blue Facebook icon floating on the home screen of your phone, especially when you've been doing it for 12 years. There are neuropathways established by this point! I could not help myself.
And I'm fully aware that I'm a glutton for punishment, but don't you try to tell me that you haven't done the same damn thing! You've tried to go off The Facebook and failed, too! Fess up!
Anywho....you know what happened next?
I came to a full and final realization that I hate Facebook. I hate it for so many reasons. Here are just three of the skatey-eight quadrazillion reasons:
- I hate seeing photos of thin people and thinking 'I'm such a failure. I'm still fat and they aren't.'
- I hate reading my "friends" feelings and thinking 'How was I friends with someone who thinks that this is okay??? Are they serious?'
- I hated seeing all of the insecurities and pontification and thinking 'Why do they feel the need to brag about this stuff? Don't they see that they are special without pointing out every freaking win?'
My mom told me that my Grandma Louise used to say that 'we don't need to know so much about other people's lives. There are parts of people's lives that we don't need to be aware of - for our sake and theirs.' Grandma Louise was waaaaay ahead of her time.
My friend Arron said to me the other day, "Facebook. Toxic place for everyone to attack each other. The playground full of bullies that never closes." And Sweet Jesus, it seemed like such a perfect description!
What sent me over the edge was seeing people who I care about and who I thought I knew so well posting the most racist and misogynist things. Memes mocking people who looked, behaved, and/or believed in things that were different from them. Photos with comments underneath, outing themselves for being something other than who I thought they were. People with no political background spewing hate and ignorance, while miseducating others. People who claimed to be part of a peace and love lifestyle screaming out disruption and hate!!!
And I cried.
Let me say this as exactly as I felt it at that exact moment. WHAT. THE FUCK. IS WRONG. WITH. PEOPLE???? What was wrong with me???? How could I love people who felt so strongly in a way so oppositional to the core of who I am????
A whole group of people who bashed women and people of color... and **I** call them friends and/or family????
I was so ashamed. How could I not know? How could I be affiliated with them? How could I love and adore them?
Grandma Lousie was right. I don't need to know so much about other people's lives. So, I'm done. I'm done knowing and I'm done loving them.
NOW, on the flip side of this, I have to tell you that leaving was not all easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. My main struggle was where in the hell to go to get advice. I had no idea how often I went to Facebook groups to ask for guidance on stuff.
Where can I find a good local gastroenterologist?
Which cordless Dyson stick vac is the best?
Anyone know what that email about snow days is all about?
How are the roads in town during the snowstorm?
Do these riding pants make me look fat?
Does anyone have a defibrillator I can borrow so I can maintain my social media connection and not DIE?
At least once a day I think of something I would normally dash on over to a Facebook group and ask questions about. It's been over a month. Google can't answer these kinda questions for me. The struggle is real.
But the rewards outweigh the losses. I have so much more time. I'm a lot less angry. I am not subjected to personal views that make me have chest pains. And I also don't have to stay in touch with people who I now know I don't vibe with.
I talk to my husband a lot more too! Mind you, he may not see this as a reward.
I also don't have "drama queen snack time" to soothe my sensitivities and boost my serotonin. Extra bonus right there. I lost four pounds just by eliminating my personal Facebook page. True story.
Wishing you all love and many blessings,