Two weeks ago, I deactivated my Facebook. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision, but also not. For years I have been saying "I just wish I didn't have to have a Facebook profile. I hate Facebook." Of course, that statement isn't totally true. I don't actually hate Facebook. I love being able to connect with long distance friends and family, see photos of my cousins and my friends' families, and read funny snippets from my funniest friends. Mostly, I hate what Facebook does to me. I hate that I spend minutes that turn into hours scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. And at the end of those minutes and hours, what do I have to show for it? Usually, my Facebook scrolling quickly spirals into the comparison game, in which I compare my actual, real, messy life to the pretty, perfect-y, internet life I see others posting. "Why doesn't Matt bring me pretty flowers on a random Tuesday like so-and-so's husband?"
"Wow, look at the gourmet paleo meal she's making tonight. Dang it. I was thinking about Panda Express again. I suck. I suck at eating right. I suck at working out. I suck at everything."
"Oh my gosh, SHE's getting to work on THAT project? That's so unfair. Why don't I ever get the cool projects? Why doesn't anyone think I'm good?"
And on, and on, and on. The steady stream-of-conciousness of "you're not good enough." And it's not my friends or acquaintances that do this to me. It's me, and the voice inside my head, and my own constant battles with shame, and negativity, and jealousy and comparison. So, I took myself out of the game. I said enough is enough. Facebook isn't adding anything to my life, and it's time to let it go.
I love what Jess Connolly shared in a recent blog post about how she's breaking up with texting:
"The bummer part is - I LOVE TEXTING. I love quickly communicating and I love the women I get to connect with. I don't think it's inherently wrong and I don't think people shouldn't do it. But for ME, for my particular life and the way that my brain works, it tends to be really overwhelming and I don't know how to find a happy medium."
I feel exactly like she does. I think Facebook can be an incredible tool. Hello, #icebucketchallenge. There are some things I miss, for sure. But for the life of me, I cannot find a balance of using it that works for me and my life. Deleted the app of my phone--check. Block it during the day on my computer--check. I still open it in a browser tab on Safari on my phone, which I can't delete. I even tried putting on the parental code thing, where in order to visit the site on Safari, I have to type in a code, theoretically saying to myself "look how many hoops you're jumping through just to get on Facebook." And it didn't work. I am really, truly, addicted to Facebook, and for no good reason. And that feels dumb to admit--who actually admits they are addicted to Facebook? But I am. Or I was. So I quit.
I was so scared for so long that deleting my personal profile would result in immediate failure of my business. After all, I do have a business page, and Facebook requires a personal profile in order to keep a business page. Plus, without sharing the posts from my business page to my personal page, how would anyone see it?! Thankfully, I figured out an easy workaround, and instead of tanking, my shop sales are soaring. Maybe because I'm spending all that Facebook time designing new products, investing in actual, real, meaningful relationships and collaborations--or maybe it's just God telling me, "see? It's all going to work out."
I haven't decided if this is a Lent thing, or a permanent thing--but it definitely feels more on the permanent side. Until I can really and truly find a way to utilize Facebook in a healthy way, I can't have it in my life. And that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
Do you have a Facebook? Love it, hate it, wish you'd just delete it already? Am I the only one inhabiting Facebooklessland, population: 1?! I certainly hope not...