Why I Left Facebook
…Thinking about a New Years Resolution to spend less time on social media? Here is one millennials take on why she ditched Facebook and never looked back.
Its been a full three years since I deleted my Facebook account. Not just suspended it temporarily, but deleted the whole thing.
Ive heard people say they love Facebook. I do believe that it can be a positive experience or tool for staying in touch. We all have different personalities, and different life experiences that we bring to the table. For me, Facebook amplified my personal insecurities.
When I used to be on Facebook, I found that signing in and checking my news feed or looking up certain people to read their status or view their pictures became an addiction.
I used to sign in and view Facebook as an escape from something I didnt want to be doing or feeling in the moment.
I used to sign in and view Facebook as an escape from something I didnt want to be doing or feeling in the moment. Viewing all of the pictures and updates on Facebook felt like a momentary sugar rush, and inevitably, was followed by a sort of crash after Id sign off and resume whatever else I was doing.
I found that there were certain people mostly women friends of mine, but occasionally ex-boyfriends, too whose lives I became increasingly interested in, and who I more or less tracked by looking them up to see what was new with them.
The problem for me was that I was always comparing myself to these people, and in many cases they were people who didnt even play a significant role in my daily or personal life anymore.
And yet I would become emotional inside, reading about their latest joy, triumph, or romantic relationship, and I would either feel bad about myself and my position in comparison to their own – or I would feel satisfied that I wasnt in their shoes. I observed my thoughts during these times and realized I was jealous and judgmental of others.
Now, to a certain degree, comparing ourselves to people in the world around us is human nature.
Even as I started to realize that my behavior wasnt healthy and that I didnt feel good, I told myself that ‘everyone is on Facebook, everyone does this.’
But when it became an intense, daily (usually multiple times a day) experience for me on Facebook, I understood that it wasnt healthy. Even as I started to realize that my behavior wasnt healthy and that I didnt feel good, I told myself that everyone is on Facebook, everyone does this, (not true there are plenty of people who are not on Facebook, as I have found in the three years since deleting my account).
Occasionally, I would find myself gleaning something positive from Facebook, such as inspiration from another person, or a tid-bit of information that I found useful.
But on the whole,I would sign off and feelinadequate.
I remember having several poignant conversations with friends, mentors, and family about my desire to leave Facebook. I thought hard about what it would mean to erase my 1000+ contacts or friends I had on Facebook. I also didnt want to let go of the thrill of posting my own pictures online, hoping that people were impressed with me, and checking how many likes I had gotten.
In the end, I decided it was healthy for me to delete my account. And I wasright.
After I deleted my account, I still had a strong desire to sign in and check up on people for about 2 months, since it had become a daily habit. So I replaced Facebook urges with visits to POPSUGAR and US Weekly online websites as a sort of interim drug as I weaned myself off of Facebook. Celebrity gossip provided a similar, substitute sugar rush. I joined Twitter, which allowed me to post occasional photos, but where my focus was largely on reading news articles, rather than looking people up.
Slowly, I also learned how to do mindful activities when those old urges to sign into Facebook arose.
Releasing Facebook allowed me to let go of all the superfluous attachments to people and concepts that I had been holding on to.
For example, getting up from my desk for a drink of water, or even taking a walk around the block. Calling a friend. Reading an inspirational page from the book I carried around in my purse. Or staring out the window and taking deep breaths for 2-3 minutes,placing my hands on my thighs and my feet on the ground.
Not being on Facebook has had a profound effect on my daily life, and how I see myself.
I feel more confident and mature.
Releasing Facebookallowed me to let go of all the superfluous attachments to people and concepts that I had been holding on to. It allowed me to connect to myself, and ultimately, to God, in a more meaningful, slow, and grounded way. And I felt happier in other areas of my life, too. I wasnt comparing myself to other people and feeling inadequate on a daily basis. I felt blessed and grateful for what I did have, instead.
Shortly thereafter, I met my future husband and also started practicing yoga on a regular basis.
Some wonderful life changes were thus able to manifest in my life once I cut out the excess rubbish.
To read Kristens personal blog visit: A Sparkly Bit of Everything
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