Is quitting Facebook the new “Going off the Grid”? I finally decided to walk away but as I clicked button after button, I was asked if I want to deactivate or delete my account. Deleting my account would delete all the images and videos I’ve uploaded over the last 10+ years so I deactivated it instead, as I didn’t have time to save all my information at the time. I decided I’d go back in later to retrieve my stored memories. I hit the “deactivate” button, deleted the app from my phone, and took a deep breath.
It was like a break up or giving up a sugar addiction. I went through the contemplation process of what I’d miss, who I’d lose contact with, and I momentarily worried how this disconnect would effect me. I mean, everyone is on social media and those who aren’t are basically living off the grid, right? If it’s not posted on social media then it didn’t happen.
Although Facebook, and social media in general, have such great intent and purpose, I found myself mindlessly scrolling, posting images of someone or something I love to a network where barely any of those people connected with me on a personal level, and reposting silly memes all of which yielded no profit, no real connection, and no genuine satisfaction.
Social media feels like a limb, a part of me. Just like my cell phone. If you want to sell something, you go to your neighborhood Facebook page, if you want to be part of a paid group, you go to Facebook, and if you want to be seen or heard, you go to Facebook. I haven’t left Instagram yet but I am convinced that all forms of social media can be a time thief and a barrier to real, effective communication. Yes, I know that I’m in control of my time and managing it and that’s one reason why I may stay off for good.
Going off the grid is a term used to live without power in a very rural area but leaving social media feels a lot like it. It feels like you are losing connection to everyone but in reality it stoked a desire to reconnect to people again. Genuinely.
Do you want to know why I left Facebook and what happened since? 1) Three people text me to find out how I was and if my granddaughter was born 2) One friend text me and asked if I blocked her because they didn’t see me on Facebook anymore (of course I didn’t) and 3) I have gained back my precious time.
Last stream of consciousness that I’d like to share is this; the other day I wondered how I raised Madi as a single mom, active duty military member, part-time college student, and found time to commit to my health and fitness. The answer was; I didn’t have any distractions. I was not glued to my phone and social media wasn’t a thing. When I was with her, I was with her, not millions of other people through an app on my phone. I want to get that back-being in the present moment.
What are your thoughts on social media, Facebook specifically? Does it give you joy? Does it cause you to reconsider your health, wardrobe, family, and home? Lastly, would you be okay if you didn’t have it at all?