You wouldn't think that just deciding to stay off an internet social media site would be such a big deal. For a long time I've felt God nudging me to spent my time in more quality ways. But still I stewed around about it for awhile before I finally held my breath and pulled the Facebook plug.
People have asked me why I left. There are a myriad of reasons, and it's not easy to explain. It was a decision I struggled with and in the end it was just the right choice for me at this time in my life. Everyone needs to do what they believe is best for them, and I needed a life reset without the drama of Facebook. I lived for 50+ years just fine without Facebook, some of the folks in my life that I admire most are not Facebookers. I need to rediscover a simpler, quieter life.
For several years I truly enjoyed Facebook. Well, most of it...there have always been things I didn't love about it, but in the beginning of my Facebook life the good heavily outweighed the bad. I loved reconnecting with people from my past that I had lost track of over the years. I loved seeing photos of everyone's families and pets and vacations and sharing the ups and downs of their lives via Facebook. I loved the fun discussions and recommendations and exchanging thoughts and new ideas.
But then politics ruined all of that for me. Before the 2016 election, Facebook became a nasty forum dominated by vitriolic posts from both liberals and conservatives. Sure, there were still wonderful pictures and fun posts, but intermingled with them were so many hateful posts from people I thought I knew that shocked me with their venomous lashing out.
After the 2016 election, I thought it would calm down again and go back to photos of adorable babies and fluffy kittens. Not so. The next 3 years got increasingly worse and then, when Covid hit, Facebook took an even worse nose-dive for me. Now not only were we gearing up for a nasty 2020 election, pandemic posts divided us as well into the "maskers" and the "non-maskers" with malicious shaming and self-righteous judgment. Add to that a very contentious election that had some of my Facebook "friends" endlessly gloating and putting other "friends" on the defensive.
I know...people say "just keep scrolling," and 99% of the time I do. But every once in awhile I just HAVE to comment and wow, I am always stunned at the hatefulness shot back my way, often by "friends of friends" that don't even know me! Those incidents would never happen in a face-to-face situation, but people seem to lose all inhibitions on Facebook and say things they would never say in person. Mean, hateful, name-calling things. And those internet encounters always left me upset and fretful.
And left me judgmental myself. I am so disillusioned by the hypocrisy that this pandemic and election have exposed in people I thought I really liked and admired. I can be plenty cynical on my own...I don't need Facebook to give me extra ammunition.
But for me the last straw was the censorship. All political leanings aside, when any organization starts censoring/blocking the free speech of the President of the United States, WHOEVER that might be, I am DONE.
So I deactivated my Facebook account, keeping (for now) Messenger so people can contact me and I them if need be.
Do I miss Facebook? YES I DO!!! My morning and evening routines have changed tremendously, as I always spent wasted way too much time with my morning coffee and before bedtime scrolling through Facebook. I feel like I'm somewhat in the dark socially and have lost my connection to the "outside world" (probably a very good thing).
But I'm getting a lot more accomplished, feeling a lot less stressed, and I'm finding I like people a whole lot more if I don't know their Facebook business.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had "friends" on Facebook that I wouldn't even know who they were if they walked in my front door. What kind of "friend" is that?!
From now on I'm keeping my "friends" to REAL, in-person, meaningful relationships with REAL people that I truly know and love.
Yes, I miss many things about Facebook. But I don't miss the drama and hatefulness. So I think I'll just stay in my cabin and isolate myself from most of the world for awhile and spend the time I wasted on Facebook to focus on things that truly matter to me.
Parting ways is hard, but sometimes necessary.