On June 11th, 2015, I decided to deactivate my Facebook, just temporarily though. I'm the kind of person who gets news, gossips and other information through Facebook. I signed up on this social media site way back 2004. Can you imagine that I have been using it for more than a decade? I couldn't until I did the math.
For the last 10 years, it's always been a part of my routine to log in and check my Facebook account. There are days when I would wake up and my fingers would automatically browse through the 'Home' page. It's been my habit to check out on what people are up to or if they are still alive. My day would literally be incomplete without seeing that blue-themed media site and without seeing who's on line and who's not. I have to know who has seen my messages and replied and who completely ignored them. I also make sure I have replied to anyone who has sent me a message. If I fail to reply, I always try to think why I didn't.
I update my status on a regular basis. I usually post where I am at, what I am doing, what I am eating and who I am with. I get super cranky when I can't get connected to a strong Wifi signal. It feels like everything would fall apart if I can't log in even just for one day. I let it control my life for 10 years.
Well, here's what happened when I deactivated my Facebook:
- I found time to call my grandparents, the people who raised me and truly care about me. The ones who know when my birthday is without FB notifications.
- People who actually care found other ways to contact me.
- I was able to sleep a little earlier than usual.
- I found more time to hang out with friends (instead of catching more zzz's all day).
- I didn't feel the need to 'like' whatever awesome post people have.
- My eyes were not strained like shit for the first time in a long time, that meant less headache too!
- I was able to avoid unnecessary small talks and I was able to focus on what I have to do.
- It saved my phone battery. Seriously!
- I didn't get that nagging feeling of wanting to check up on someone who doesn't even care about me.
- I didn't have to ask myself "What the hell am I doing with my life?" while everyone is out there doing 'something'.
- No self-loathe, bitterness, self doubt and other negativity that didn't actually exist before I signed up on FB.
- I finally found time to unsubscribe to all the junk mail that I don't need and that are not personally written for me. I can't even remember how and when I signed up for those daily and weekly mails that annoys the hell outta me every time I check my inbox.
- I didn't hear much bad news.
- I had time to travel and really live in the moment. I broke my pose-capture-post habit that distorts the beauty of traveling.
- I realized privacy still exists! No one can track you, stalk you or judge you for what you are doing.
- I was able to get back to drowning myself with country music and it's just SO GOOD!
I deactivated my Facebook account because...
- I realized there are still people who still keep an eye on me even if they are not my friends on Facebook anymore. I'm not hiding from these people but I would appreciate it if they would just leave me the f*ck alone.
- I hate being disturbed in the middle of my sleep by some stupid, silly, shallow notifications. (e.g. game f*cking invites, friend requests from aliens and photo tag requests)
- It's just way too easy for people to push you around and judge you since you are very visible, open and unarmed.
- I just realized it's weird to know so much about someone you don't even talk to or see face to face.
- Anyone can stalk you and you sometimes accidentally stalk someone too...either way it's pathetic!
- Without even meaning it, you end up being...someone else.
- Other people's issues add up to my stress. I get overwhelmed by 20 new stories in one minute, occasional rants and unsolicited comments.
- The world became too much to handle, there's just too much distraction.
It was kinda hard especially during the first 3 days. I actually found myself staring at my phone and at that application with white letter 'f' inside a blue square. It's like something was missing. There's something I must be doing.
The truth is the world did not end when I deactivated my Facebook account for 10 days. Not much has changed...people were still the same but I have realized that it really won't matter that much if I choose not to join in this hype.
Life was easier and much simpler.
I had no idea that what was supposed to be 'leisure time' could turn out to be such a draining work. I don't know why I have gotten used to scrolling the homepage up and down before I shut my eyes at night (or first thing in the morning). It was just so unhealthy and now it has more bad effects on me than good. Yes, Facebook makes communication so much easier, almost everyone has an account and all you really have to do is send them a message if you need anything. But it also turned out to be a virtual place where people usually hang out. But it's not real. It only gives us the illusion of being close to someone though we are actually not.
Yes, it is nice to find old friends or classmates on FB. Without talking to each other, we can already have an idea of how they are doing these days, where they have been, how many kids they have now and what kind of car they are driving. But they are not the same people that we knew years ago and we don't have anything in common anymore. So, what's the point of adding them on our friend list?
I have read from a book before that if you place some old stuff in a box and put them away somewhere (attic or garage) and you didn't have to use them or think about them for two years, you can actually let them go. You don't need those stuff. I am somehow applying that same rule on my Facebook friend list.
I'm not saying that our Facebook friends are all phony. But maybe half of them are. Some are just hiding behind the perfect filters and posing in perfect angles so people would think they have their shit together.
I understand that the purpose of Facebook is to broaden our connections. That is a good thing if you are trying to promote something or if you have some sort of a business. Facebook could be like a free advertisement. But if adding more people means getting more depressing and annoying news, then what the hell are we doing with our lives? Don't we have enough problems of our own? Are we really proving that misery does love company?
I'm back on Facebook by the way. But, I just want to make sure that this time, I would not let it consume most of my precious time. I'm planning on using it just to communicate with people and not as a depression trigger. I will try not to get sucked into every catchy link at the homepage and I will try not to give stalkers an easy way to track me down.
Now, just for fun, do you think you can ever deactivate you Facebook account or maybe quit for good?