It’s been a long time coming. And it comes not without some serious mixed feelings.
But mixed feelings or not, it’s time for me to get rid of my Facebook.
I know many of you have also been debating a “Facebook purge” of sorts….so this post is for you!(Just to clarify, for those of you who are interested, I am deleting my personal page only. I have set up an alternate Facebook account for the sole purpose of managing my two business pages, Good Instincts, and the page for this blog, Love Is Not A Reward. The time I spend on the content for those pages is minimal, and the benefit of connection between parents and clients and those interested in the focus there is still beneficial enough to merit continuing them. For now. )
Why I Deleted My Facebook
I know there are a lot of mixed opinions out there on the value of social media in our lives. I respect that people have different needs and desires for their lives and time. I know that Facebook is an incredibly valuable tool for some. But after at least a couple of months of repeatedly coming face to face with the problem of Facebook in my life- For me, it is time to say goodbye.
The reasons for that fall into a couple of categories.
It’s no secret that Facebook’s privacy settings have changed and changed and changed again–each time making it more difficult to manage and maintain our personal privacy, and crossing (in my opinion) some serious lines in policy that have left me feeling unnecessarily exposed and unwilling to continue trying to manage it and still enjoy facebook.
For more specifics on the privacy changes- check out these great posts detailing some of the major issues:
Facebook’s draw is addictive, clearly! Most of us would admit we spend more time pasted to our newsfeeds than we would like. As my usage of Facebook has progressed, I’ve turned to it more and more as a news source, in a way, following many pages to keep me in the loop on current events- particularly those relevant to my specific interests. It’s a very convenient and amazing feature of social media, actually- that we can tailor our news intake to our preferred areas of interest!
But that has started to mean that each time I mindlessly click over to my newsfeed for a “few minutes of downtime,” I am bombarded with worst-case scenarios of kidnapping, childhood illness, massive health-related government cover-ups, etc. All of which are framed in “click-worthy” sensationalism. So even just a brief scan of the titles has my blood pressure rising.
It’s not that I don’t want to know about important current events. It’s important to be aware. But I think we, as a media-swamped culture, are way over exposed to drama, fear, and bad news. And I have noticed a significant and ugly increase in my overall anxiety and worry.
Mamas will worry no matter what. But it seems that Facebook has become a way to fuel my worry, giving me a constant supply of new things to worry about- many of which are severely out of perspective.
I don’t want to fuel anxiety. I want to fuel peace, wisdom, joy, and focus.
My consumption matters- what I think about matters. And I am the only gatekeeper to my mind.
So I am also getting rid of Facebook to be more intentional about what I allow to flood my mind– about what things in my life I will fuel.
(Check out this great post for more on intentional mental consumption)
This is the final and probably most significant factor in my decision to ditch the FB.
We, as a family, have been steadily working toward a more minimalist, simplified life. Fewer possessions, fewer time commitments…. Less clutter, more room for what matters.
We’ve purged our “stuff,” and then purged again. We are preparing to move into our first house (!!!!), and we are purging again- perhaps the biggest one yet. We are working toward this beautiful quote:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
We regularly discuss and examine the ways we spend our time and the deep goals we have, and address where the two are not lining up.
But through all of this, one thing has been quietly but ferociously sabotaging my goals, dizzying my focus, and taking away precious hours of my time.
I check it in the morning, and lazily scroll through it before bed. And then throughout the day, there are the countless moments I quickly scan my feed and send a couple comments or likes. I’ve never actually clocked the time I spend in a day, but I know this: It’s too much.
And it’s a deceiver- because it feels like a little “break.” A quick, stolen minute of “Mommy time.”
I tell myself it will be refreshing. Just a little second to relax from all the cleaning, cooking, mom-ing and wife-ing.
Sometimes I even tell myself it’s going to HELP- Maybe I’ll read a quick blog post on parenting! That’ll count as positive time spent, right?
But it isn’t true.
The truth is ugly.
For me, Facebook is a thief.
It steals my time, and perhaps more importantly, it steals my focus.
It doesn’t refresh. It drains.
It doesn’t fuel peace, wisdom joy, or focus.
It fuels distraction, wastefulness, and the unstoppable march of vanishing days I want to spend treasuring my family.
So it’s time for me to say goodbye.
Or, maybe, it’s time for me to say hello.
Hello to more of real, live, breathing LIFE.
Will I miss it? Yes, I think so. I will miss the entertainment.
But I don’t really think I will miss the friends….Scrolling through the lives of my friends’ Facebook updates is just another lie- another sneaky thief that ultimately keeps me spending time observing a screen rather than spending time knowing people.
And I don’t really think I will miss the constant flow of new information. There are other places for information. Places that allow me to be a better gatekeeper– to monitor what anxieties are allowed into my mind and into my home.
And although I know I will miss the lazy distraction– I don’t really think I will miss the chance to mindlessly spend any more moments of my life. Once the moments are gone, they are gone forever. And I know many people find that Facebook is now a vital and worthwhile way to spend some of those moments. They may have more discipline, or more pressing needs for online connections.
But for me- Facebook is neither vital nor worthwhile….
It’s neither useful nor beautiful.
And therefore, it no longer belongs in my home.