Why I Gave Up Facebook

Posted on Posted in Self-Study

Why I Gave Up Facebook | EJL Blog

For many years, Facebook was a part of my everyday life. It was invaluable when my husband was in Afghanistan. It became valuable in other ways when I started teaching yoga as an independent contractor. Over time, as life changed, the way I used Facebook and the feelings it brought about changed significantly. I was never one of those people that posted every. single. thing. I was doing in my day. I also never posted things like, “My hubby is being such an a**hole today!”. Facebook was just a fun way to share photos and keep up with people I was no longer able to see in person.

With that being said, somewhere along the line, Facebook became something that made me feel anxious. That anxiety quickly turned into dread. I’d click on the bookmark and I would be filled with dread every time I saw that little red notification bubble. I’m not sure exactly when it started (sometime between 2-4 weeks before I actually deactivated), but I can tell you I didn’t like it. I deactivated on January 1, 2014. I didn’t do this as part of a New Years Resolution (which I happen to think are BS, but that’s for another post), the day I chose to do this just happened to fall on January 1. It started initially as just a way for me to reclaim a bit of time. Do some craft projects I’d started and never finished, have more time to read, etc., but as more time passed I felt more and more at peace with my decision.

When I told people about deactivating I got different reactions: “Good for you!” or “Wow, that’s a big step” or “Why?” with an underlying tone of rudeness that never made sense to me. At the time I didn’t think it was a big step or a big deal. It has certainly come up over the past few months. Sometimes I have 3 or 4 people in a week asking me when I’m coming back to Facebook. I simply say I don’t know and that I’m quite happy without it, which is true. As more time passes without status updates, likes, and judgments from family and friends, the happier I become. What started as a simple experiment, to see how much more I could accomplish without Facebook as a distraction, has turned into an amazing journey.

The journey has been one deep into my Self that has opened up many internal doors and allowed me to feel more peace and acceptance. Of course, this journey has been facilitated by my asana and meditation practice, but I truly believe I would not be at the same point I am now had I continued on Facebook, stuffing the feelings it was producing and going on as before. I would never have been able to explain what Facebook made me feel like unless I’d had this time away from it.

I now know it was making me feel scattered, strained, dis-integrated. We are exposed to so many different types of energy via Facebook and normally we’d never think of it that way. It was scattering my thoughts, making them and my emotions turbulent and disconnected. Not only that, but I found myself being so misunderstood. I would make comments that I meant as uplifting and encouraging, trying to get people to wake up and see their potential, not having to wait on some arbitrary time, date, or anything else for that matter, and I was rudely judged. There is such a difference between having a meaningful and kind discussion of differing views and just straight up being rude or inconsiderate.

On Tuesday (May 6th) I logged back on. I only did this to make some connections for an upcoming YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) that will be in Vancouver, BC, and I am planning to deactivate again as soon as possible. I had people posting, “Yay, your back” or “Look who’s back”, etc. to which I kindly (I felt at least) replied that life is more full without Facebook and I can be reached via phone, text, email, or Instagram. And honestly, after I posted that comment, I didn’t go back to read what has been written back. If you are one of those people that commented, I don’t mean to be rude, truly I don’t. I have no plans to go back and read those comments either. If you have something to say or to share, please contact me personally. Even an email is more personal than Facebook since you have to sit down with an intention to contact that specific person and will hopefully have prepared something to say with some substance instead of just a snide one-liner.

Lastly, I wanted to share one more thing….as soon as I logged on I went through my friends list and deleted many of them. I did feel some guilt about it at the time, but at the same time I doubt any one of them will notice. Facebook has become so personally impersonal. Everyone is sharing all these details of their lives, but there’s no substance to it. Rarely do we share the real, meaningful, deep things about our lives or ourselves that really make life worth living. I find that to be such a shame. Following my feelings on that matter, I will be sharing my deep and transformative experiences here instead of on Facebook. I would love it if you would continue on this journey with me and I’ve love to read about what you are experiencing too. And not just the good stuff. We fool others and we try to fool ourselves by posting the highlight reel, but when you are going through the shit is when the real growth happens.

“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower grow. There cannot be a lotus flower without the mud.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

12 thoughts on “Why I Gave Up Facebook

  1. Oh how i resonate with this post!! I got rid of the fb app on my phone sometime last year (i really cannot remember when & that feels so great to say!) and life has been so much more productive and happier ever since! people seem to use it to be negative and trollish (which is why i never bother with my twitter account) and IG is just so much more uplifting and positive.
    i have a business page so i feel i cant withdraw from FB completely but as my page reach is so low thanks to the new algorithms i really don’t feel any real urge to try hard to go on, the whole set up makes me feel that i will be better off without it.i need to spend time making not worrying about statistics and if i cant make sales i cant afford to advertise so they’re shooting themselves in the foot with that one.
    I’m playing with the thought of having another IG page for purely business stuff and make my Tournelignum account private and just for yoga and life stuff; as i don’t think a lot of people can see I’m actually a small business.
    your blog is so choc full of amazing ideas and positivity! thank you so much for the #selflovefeb challenge, and connecting on pinterest too!
    Nikki xoxoxo

    1. Thanks Nikki! I’m so glad we’ve connected! I also have a private IG…I’ll log in and follow you there too 🙂 The acct I’m running the challenge from is my “business” account. And thank you for mentioning the new algorithm on FB. I’ve been thinking of making a totally new FB acct just so I can have one that’s business based. My original (and only) FB is still deactivated and I have no desire to reactivate. But since you mentioned the new algorithms I don’t think I’ll bother!

      1. it can work well for some businesses but the new faceache algorithms make no sense to me at all, i worked so hard to get followers and likes and was doing well, then i paid for an advert and a load of people liked the page, great thought i: but when i looked into the individuals they had accounts that had no other activity except many liked pages (i recently found out fb pay these people to ‘ghost like’ pages to make ad campaigns look effective) they were all from countries where English is not the first language (it seemed odd that they would be interested in my makes when at the time i didn’t offer international shipping which is why i started investigating) and have never made any interactions with the page. the new rules mean i cannot delete fans from the page unless they interact too, so they’re all still there. they diluted my reach to the point where my core of loyal fans don’t see my posts anymore. all that work and a £9 ad campaign was all it took to undo it all 🙁 i did get really upset and tried again working 18-20 hrs a day to get likes back up and people engaging but giving things away for free was the only way i got seen, so its just not worth the energy. this is all before i started yoga and learnt to meditate, i cannot tell you how much that learning how to just sit and breathe has helped me see this as just a vague annoyance rather then a life changing mess up. still got a long way to go, i only started yoga last September.
        on the other hand private groups seem to work well, (but without a personal or biz page you cant set one up) it can be a fab way to create a community like Yoga with Adrienne’s Kula. i love her videos, its how i started doing yoga, she was the first teacher that made it all make sense to me.
        im going to have to work out how to create a second IG account, need to define biz presence better and then i can post yoga stuff more often ;P
        right, gonna check out your new post in a moment, its time to start shutting down for the evening, take care xoxox

      2. Wow. Ghost likers. I believe it. A real bummer and kind of shady if you ask me Such is life unfortunately. So glad you’ve found yoga and meditation. They both really helped me with anxiety and general unhappiness as well 🙂 Have a great evening!

  2. First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas
    out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like
    the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!

  3. I’ve also use facebook to keep in touch with my realtives that live in different places, other than that I’ve come to realize theres no reason for anyone to know what I’m doing or where I’m going and so on. We as people have lost so much “human contact ” with each other that now it’s just become the”new normal” I’m glad to know you took a stand and are doing well.

    1. Thanks Norma 🙂 I’ve definitely thought about you while I’ve been away. I did keep in touch with family via FB, but I’ve found it’s more personal to send an email or a letter! I try hard to send snail mail for holidays along with printed pics. I agree about loosing human contact. Even smiling at strangers has become unusual. I find it quite sad so I smile at people even if they don’t smile back!

  4. I also gave up Facebook recently, which started as what I gave up for Lent, but things were simpler without it. I spent so much time there and it wasn’t making my life better in anyway. I stayed in contact with those I wanted to (or wanted to with me), as my friends and family are scattered all over. I thought as soon as Lent was over I would want to go straight back, but I was slow to. When I reactivated, I also went through my friends and deleted about half of them. Instead of going on multiple times a day, I may go on once a week and usually because a friend sent me something. I will likely deactivate again, as Facebook usually just causes me stress. I was similarly asked the why questions and many others as my other half also doesn’t have Facebook. An anomaly in this day and age for a twentysomething couple. I am glad I am not the only one with these feelings on Facebook. I am looking forward to more of your self-exploration! And I always look forward to your inspiration on Instagram!

  5. I agree with you about FB. Most of my friends are old school friends or relatives. What people post is astounding. I would never share all the details of my life. I mostly go on to see my relatives, special people, i.e., you, your sister, and mom, and pictures. I don’t go on every day. Glad you have found a new happiness in life. Love ya, Linda

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