Back at the end of 2018 I came to a rather abrupt decision, not just to leave Facebook, but to walk out and never go back. Facebook and I are over, we broke up and I never want to see it again (*disclaimer*…at least for the forseeable future…).
So, on the 5th January, after leaving a message up on my Facebook for a week prior saying I was leaving and should anyone want to stay in contact to inbox me their mobile, and after downloading all the information that I wanted to save from my account, I hit the delete account button. Facebook does, kindly, let you know that it puts your account into de-activation mode for a month incase you want to come back within that 30 day period…helpful, but no.
And this wasn’t a decision I had truly thought about and mulled over, I just decided that I was fed up of the social media platform, just like that, there was no decision to be made, I’d had enough and I wanted out there and then. A few friends were pretty surprised as I’d spent half my degree years working on projects about social media and proclaimed my love for Facebook pretty much daily for the past few years.
And here I am now, just over a month into not having a Facebook…do I miss it? Not particularly, though in the beginning I would pick up my phone and not really know why. That habit was quite a worrying one as I had not really noticed how much I used to pick it up to check Facebook and it was a pretty hard one to break too.
So, why did I leave? That’s what you have all been waiting for me to answer right? Well, it was a mixture of things, one being the endless amount of hours I spent scrolling through my feed (and we are talking around 2 hrs a day) and not really getting anything out of it aside from frustration borne from seeing the same things posted over and over again, whether it be videos, memes or articles. No longer was I connecting with friends, I had no idea what any of them were up to in real life as no one seems to share any snippets of their life anymore, and surely that is the one thing that Facebook is supposed to do, after all, their tag line is “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”. And when people did share something personal it always seemed to be a smug photo of them on holiday/at a fancy restaurant/showing off a new purchase/whatever and to me it sort of felt like people were gloating and bragging and, honestly, I really hate that (not to say I’ve never been guilty of that).
Facebook breeds meanness, I used to be in a lot of groups for one thing and another and, while people were encouraged to share things, like, for example, something they had made, the amount of mean comments that were posted underneath made me feel a bit insecure and not wanting to share. I was always taught that if you have nothing nice to say then not to say anything and that is a transferable skill…it works on-line too.
Then there is the whole censoring what you say, not for any political reasons or anything else, but because half the people you work with are on your Facebook friends list and you don’t want them to know certain things, or that you can’t say something because it might upset someone else and it all just becomes a headache.
And don’t get me started on algorithms and that Facebook controls what you see from which friends…
I think what it all boils down to is that I just became really irritated with Facebook and it left me feeling not too good about myself, wasn’t giving me anything in return of any sort of value, it wasn’t enhancing or enriching my life and when that happens, whether it is a real relationship or a relationship with a social media platform I think its time to call it a day.
Since I have left Facebook I have been reading more blogs and articles online that I’m interested in, writing and working on my blog more, creating more and just enjoying time where I have noting to do for what it is – simple, quiet downtime. And its been brilliant.
Will I ever return to Facebook? At the moment I can’t see that happening any time soon, I’m still getting to grips with Twitter and I’m pretty happy with Instagram, but it’s not something I would rule out entirely.