Why I walked away from Facebook after 9 years.
If, after all these years, Facebook still gives you the warm fuzzies, stop reading. This post is not for you.
However. If a love/hate relationship with Facebook has slowly creeped into your life, right under your nose, keep reading. You are not alone.
After announcing (back in January) that I was deleting my account, a not-so-insignificant-number of people reached out to share that:
- They’re heading that way themselves, they’re just not ready yet.
- They wished they could leave, but felt bound by their business commitments.
- Said it was unhealthy for them too, but felt powerless to log off permanently.
Each of those thoughts looped through my mind, too. Many, many, MANY times — for years — before I finally hit the ultimate delete button. #byebye #goodriddance
I’m offering you what I told myself: these are only stories. You can choose a new story at any time. Easy? No. Necessary? Perhaps. Worth it? Totally. Wanna know that it’ll be alright if you kick it, too? Need some reassurance that life (and business) does exist after Facebook, without Facebook?
You will be more than alright. You’ll be free. #crossmyheart
Here’s how it unraveled for me. As an intuitive lady and a highly sensitive person (HSP), I had to first admit what I’d been resisting for a while — Facebook was interfering with my quality of life. Time on Facebook stirred up my anger, anxiety, insecurity, and fed directly into my depression. And of course, sucked my timebank dry.
The non-stop drama oozing from my timeline was like The 24/7 Ego Parade. The passive-aggressive doubletalk was like death (of a society) by a thousand cuts. Reading through my feed was like romping through the other people’s psyches. #nothanks
When the FB energy smacked up against my energy, it was like a very un-delicious version of “hey, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate!”
I’ve been making a conscious effort to declutter my life, but here I was, giving a whole lot of precious attention to Facebook, and I didn’t even enjoy it. But something was keeping me there. Maybe the relentless FOMO itch that got scratched? Only to by itchy again within hours. Or the yummy hits of dopamine from being “liked” along the way? Like a lab rat in a maze.
Even at 47 years old, peer pressure is still a bitch.
Once I caught my breath, I realized that not only did I need to quit — but that it was one of the most subversive actions I could take. Why? It required me to:
- Examine assumptions that, culturally, are seen as The Way It Is.
- Detach from the story that Facebook determined my financial success.
- Face a fear that by standing apart from others, I’d be forgotten or dismissed.
- Reimagine a new way forward, alone, with no map or guidance.
- Acknowledge that my intuition was a lot smarter than my brain #Dammit #NotAgain
Deleting my Facebook account was not a scary act of lonerism or professional suicide, it was a defiant act of self-care.
Those first 14 days were tough — knowing I could log back on and my world would be the same. But that was also the exact problem. I didn’t want my world to be the same. I wanted to make it better. Less frantic, less neurotic, less compulsive.
It’s been almost 10 weeks now. Once I accepted what I needed for myself and committed to giving it to myself, the breakup has been even more liberating than I imagined.
The business-comparison monkey on my back has quieted way down.
Not knowing every little detail of everyone else’s business means I have a lot more bandwidth to actually create and trust in what I’m creating. My new site was created after zapping my FB account. And I know it’s my best work to date. I didn’t second guess what needed to be said, instead I focused on the best way to say it. And I actually enjoyed myself! Good work. Good times. #winwin
My productivity and concentration are up, up, up.
I can go much longer stretches of time without looking around for a distraction. Not just sometimes, but most days. Because I’m not missing anything! When I need to connect to the world, I jump on Twitter and get caught up, minus the personal drama — both mine and other people’s.
Instagram is my main-social-media-squeeze now.
IG has always been a great fit for my skill set, but I’ve been super half-assed about my commitment to it. My intention is to explore and push the boundaries of what the platform can offer — both to me as a creator and to my audience as their experience. I’d love to connect with you there.
Quitting Facebook was a lot like quitting smoking. It sucks in the short term, but after only a few weeks, you begin to feel like a new person.
If you’re not yet convinced, I’m happy to be the guinea pig and report back, on the regular, about how it’s all going with my sanity, quality of life, creative energy, and business development. I know it’s possible to thrive without Facebook, so now I’m gonna prove it the only way I can. By doing it.
We live in an endless stream of information with a strong current. Be careful where you spend your attention. It’s one of the most valuable resources you have. Don’t give it away.