What I’ve gained losing Facebook

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Two months ago today two major events happened in my life. I had my last ever post graduate exam, and I deactivated my facebook account.

I’m not going to lie, back in the day I was a bit of a lot of facebook junkie. I got on it during my university days and it was the thing to have big nights out and post pictures of all the drunken mess the day after. Without even realising it became part of my everyday life, and especially with the advance of smart phones since leaving university in 2008, It means i could stay connected anytime, anyplace, with anyone… It was awesome.

However, in the last year or so I’ve had a gradual “dislike” of facebook. Although convenient, I realised that people (me included) were using it at times as a way of artificially keeping in touch with people i didn’t really count as friends. It hit me once when I was on the tube (subway), and there was a girl in my carriage that I knew from school but didn’t say hi nor did she say hi to me, even though we are friends on facebook.

Now none of the sharing on facbeook is bad per say… I think it was really more about the point in my life that I had reached where I was craving more meaningful connections and existence. It also made me a pretty bitter comparison fiend. I was going through a pretty rough transition period this year constantly studying, and Facebook would just be the drug to my “comparison website” addiction. Especially in times of low self esteem, I would find myself getting upset (unknowingly) that I was not “keeping up” with my peers – popping out babies/buying my forever home/going on exotic holiday/*insert object of envy here*

Anyways I’m rambling but you get the gist. I realised that I was 28 years old and my adult life had always had the blue screen in the background, and that maybe I had a bit of a problem with it. I was so overwhlemed with the constant overshare that felt that it was time that I step back to figure out what works for me and who I am, and not who I depict on facebook. Like when you check into a spa to just have “me-time” – it was that same kind of feeling.

So that day I Deactivated my account. My husband laughed, swearing I would not be able to last 24 hours without it. I’ve managed two months and I have to say it is amazing.

Deactivating has actually made me so much more active in “real” life! I’ve joined a running group and now can jog 4k!!! you can find my journey here on http://www.goodsweat.wordpress.com (when 2 months ago I couldnt jog for more then 20seconds!) I’ve also had so much more time to actually focus on my weight loss journey and have lost 7lb as a result, which is great considering I had been gaining weight all year (unintentionally!) I’ve had time to create healthy meals, exercise and just be healthier all round. Its amazing how all my “but I don’t have time to exercise” excuses when I didn’t have facebook anymore!

I’ve also been able to nurture my relationships and spend quality time with my husband, friends and family – and its been so refreshing to actually NOT know all the online gossip! I’ve learned that true friends will talk/tell me things in person the important things, and those that just like to be superficial “Facebook” friends have fallen by the way side. There is no substitute for real connections with people, as humans are so much more then a like on their status!

Time offline has also given me time to just have the headspace i need to get in touch with myself. I no longer suffer with low self esteem/comparison monster as I did once upon a time. I’ve broken the habit of the need to “Refresh my feed” at any spare moment. You are much more likely to find me reading an interesting article, listening to neo-soul, lifting weights in the gym or knitting a snood! I’m working on being the best me I can be physically, spiritually and emotionally! Rather then wasting time watching everyone else live their lives, I now I’m living the life I have always wanted to live! Goal is a real aim for me not just an abstract wish!

Now I know I cannot turn back the hands of time. We live in a digitally connected world and I’m not bashing technology (hell, I’m writing this blog!) i just think that i’m not alone in feeling this “facebook dependence” and if any of the above strikes a chord then please let me know or try a little “cleanse” yourself! We spend a lot of time focussing on what feed our stomach, why not focus on what we feed our our mind aswell!

I have lots to catch with you guys on including a Day at Liberty and the Farmers Market all coming to the blog soon – so watch this space!

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5 thoughts on “What I’ve gained losing Facebook

  1. vicki_may56@hotmail.com says:

    It is so nice to know that I am not alone in leaving the world of Facebook. Deactivating was the best thing I did. Now when I see my friends I can actually catch up on their news and vise versa. There are now 3 of us who deactivated in my group of friends! I have been 6 months clean. (I feel there should be a support group; Hi My Name is Vicky and I left Facebook.) 🙂

  2. sonja@vesenmork says:

    So so recognizable! Two years ago, before I started blogging, I deactivated my facebook account as well. I couldn’t bear to see everyone project such a happy succesfull image of themselves while I myself was feeling so very very low. I went months without it, and although I still felt low, I didn’t miss it. Gradually things became better for me, got into blogging, and when on an amazing trip and just to share pîcs and stay in touch with the people of that trip I reactivated my account. But I defriended most of my “friends” using just the criteria you described: if I would see this person walking on the other side of the street, would I go out of my way to say hi to them, or would I just ignore them? If I would ignore them = defriend. Come to think of it, there might be some new friends on there by now, who wouldn’t meet my criteria, so probably should have another “clean-up” soon. I know that this sounds like I find myself all that, but I don’t mean it like that. I just want my contacts even though on fb to be somewhat real.

  3. Mary says:

    I had a similar incident happen over the Summer. I went to school with the waitress that served me at my Dad’s birthday meal. We were friends on Facebook yet she did nothing to acknowledge that we knew each other and read off her waitress spiel at the table. That night I befriended several people on my account and felt so much better for doing so.

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