Closing the Book on Facebook

Lauryn Tuchman
Jan 27, 2015 · 3 min read

My name is Lauryn Tuchman, I’m 38 years old, and I am a former Facebook addict.

I had been an active member of Facebook for almost seven years when I deactivated my account three weeks ago. I signed up in 2008 when my husband and I were expecting our first child. I enjoyed reconnecting with so-called blasts from the past — ex-boyfriends, high school “friends,” people from sleep-away camp. Five years later, I had 400-plus friends. I didn’t even realize that I knew that many people; I certainly didn’t have that many “friends.”

Browsing on Facebook had become a way to pass time — to read the newsfeed for updates on what was going on in my friends’ lives (and all those other 350-some people I “knew”). During both of my maternity leaves (I had my second child in 2011), it was a fun way to stay connected. However, once I was back into the routine of my job as a social worker and caregiver, I barely had any time to indulge in my hobbies of writing and reading — and instead of using that precious time to do so, I was on Facebook. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it had become addicting. I found myself distracted when spending time with my children or riding in the car with my husband.

What I neglected to realize at the time was that not only had Facebook become a pleasurable escape from the mundane, but it was also taking me away from simple moments I now appreciate and will never get back.

Truth be told, I also began to find Facebook a little anxiety provoking. I can be somewhat sensitive and have had my struggles with social anxiety in the past, so I found myself feeling slighted when close family or real friends appeared passive-aggressive with their postings, “liking,” or lack thereof. And I was finding out news — good or bad — on the site and felt obligated to respond.

Facebook started to reveal the lack of genuine intimacy in some of my relationships. It became a more superficial connection that I realized I prefer to live without.

My ambivalence about taking my “last look” on Facebook started to dissipate after my family and I moved to a new town about six months ago. I was excited about this move — joining the town pool, signing the boys up for sports and music lessons, filling our take-out book with lots of local restaurant menus and meeting new friends. I started sending and receiving “friend” requests and soon realized that I was learning more about the individuals and so-called “friends” in my new community without so much as a live two-minute conversation. I also felt like keeping up with new “friends” virtually and virtual new friends was more than I could handle. My social anxiety was ratcheting up. I was on social overload.

So I did it. I deactivated my account. I went through a little withdrawal—thinking about going back on and asking my husband if I was missing anything on Facebook. After a few days, I started to exhale and welcomed my down time again. I even finished reading (and thoroughly enjoying) a really good book in the confounds of my daily schedule—something I had not completed since our last vacation. And hey, for the first time in a long time, I’m writing again (while simultaneously fielding questions from family and friends inquiring as to why I have “gone off” and if anything had “happened”).

So no — I’m not opting out for a week or a day. I’m not leaving because I think I’m being hacked or get too many emails regarding my account.

I’m leaving you, Facebook, because since I have gone off I have enjoyed my newfound privacy with family and friends. I have also taken a more proactive role in staying connected with those that truly matter to me.

Recently I celebrated my first non-Facebook birthday. I received a dozen cards, a plant from a co-worker, several texts, and a few phone calls. While I didn’t get 100-plus messages on my Facebook page, I felt very loved. @ Medium

Worth your time.

Lauryn Tuchman

Written by

social worker, writer, photographer, mother-of-two @ Medium

Worth your time.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade