Monday Notes: 3 Reasons I Left Facebook

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was around eight in the morning. My groggy eyes were glued to my cell phone. I was watching the weight-loss journey of a tan golden retriever. The background music was sad. Although I knew the ending, I had to see how he did it. How did this fat golden retriever lose weight? Turns out it was through diet and exercise. Hmmmph. It was a heartwarming story, but I couldn’t get those five minutes back. I knew then I needed to leave Facebook for good, but here are a few other reasons why:

It seems like a never-ending reunion. Have you ever been to a family reunion? You show up. You introduce your family to long, lost cousins and great aunts. You find your favorite family member and hang out with them the whole day, vow to keep in touch, and go about your business. From what I understand, class reunions seem to be similar. You catch up, share about your mate, kids, and occupation. Facebook seems to be that but on steroids. It’s cool to catch up, but I’m pretty sure you are not supposed to be connected to all of these people for a lifetime. But because they are now your “forever friends,” you find out a lot more about them than you may have bargained for, like who your boss voted for, if your brother believes COVID is a hoax or not, and if your best friend thinks all lives matter or Black lives matter. It can be #teamtoomuch We were never meant to know all of the things about everyone we’ve ever encountered.

It’s an unnatural interaction. I’m the type of person who’s okay with having a party with all the people I know. As my goddaughter says she never knows who will show up to my events. It could be someone’s 85-year-old grandmother or someone’s 6-year-old son, because that’s the kind of life I live. I’m free and open to all relationships. But Facebook puts all of these people in the same place at the same time…all the time. Like other FB users, my friends’ list included a hodgepodge of people: a former and current director, my current provost, a former program coordinator, a couple principals, friends from undergrad, all types of family members, former high school students, people I went to elementary, high school, and grad school with, and on and on and on. Because we’ve been taught to interact a certain way with each of these people, Facebook creates a weird, alternate reality. Although I’m always me, I found myself functioning as a middle-of-the-road me, because what I might say to my sister may not be the same as what I’d say to the provost of a college. In short, it was too much self-censorship for me.

Everyone’s social media is curated. My FB was comprised of people I actually knew in some way. So, when I saw someone’s close-up shot, I knew she was actually hiding a hoarding problem because I was just over her house. I knew when my friend posted some wonderful quote about relationships that he was on the struggle bus with his own marriage because we’d just hung up the phone. I knew that someone’s perfect selfie was shrouded in depression and anxiety because we’d talked that morning about how it may be a good idea for her to take a shower that day. And this bothered me. FB, in particular seems to be like the Disneyland of socials. Everyone’s happy. Everyone’s excited. Everyone’s passionate. Even when they’re not. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve pushed weeks of mail out of view for my perfectly angled hot cocoa shot. I took a family photo at breakfast the morning after Dwight and I had discussed getting a divorce. But I’ve also posted about not wanting to return to work after the holidays, feeling angry when I realized my bike’s brakes didn’t work, and being disappointed after getting a PhD. I don’t think this is odd. It’s called balance and authenticity. Scrolling through curation after curation is exhausting. I mean even a museum shows the true human condition, which includes pain and sadness sometimes.

Although these are the main reasons I permanently deactivated, I have to mention a few more reasons: I hate that people think they really know you because they read the highlights of your life. I dislike the pettiness and self-centered nature of the platform. The fact that people don’t read the whole article that they post or reply to is quite annoying. Thirst trapping for likes and its evil twin, lurking with no interaction feel a bit creepy. And this idea we’ve created that we can’t live without FB is a bit strange.

If you’re still on FB, I hope you don’t take this as a personal dig. It’s not. I just woke up one day knowing that Facebook is not aligned with how I want to interact with people.

213 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 3 Reasons I Left Facebook

  1. Girl, I wrote a whole post on the fact that fb is the DEVIL! LOL!! I’ve never had a fb page and never will.
    I think it can keep up a lot of mess and I’m STILL mad at them for the Cambridge Analytical thing where they targeted certain groups with misinformation in order to depress the vote.
    And your point about curation is spot on. You can create the illusion of a perfect life. Some people end up believing that and wonder why they “pale” in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LMAO It’s definitely a distraction, and I can’t remember it, but I know there’s some phrase/scripture about being idle and the devil, so maybe you’re right…cause FB creates idle people for sure.

      The curation is the most horrible part for me. It’s supposed to bring people together, but ummm, nope. It’ll have you only putting your best foot forward and sustaining an illusion or perfection.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Three more affirmations for why I never joined Facebook. It always felt so overwhelming. Every single time I tried to sign up… I was assaulted (dare I say) by old friends names long buried in my grade 8 yearbook. .. ME: I love to leave the past behind… and carry the lessons forward.. onto my psychology blog. NOPE to facebook. YES to freedom. Another life affirming post! Thank you Dr. G! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Your intuition was ABSOLUTELY right…you (probably) don’t need to be communicating with grade 8 friends lol

      You, especially, don’t need to be finding out what they ate yesterday lol

      I don’t know why this has made me laugh so, but yes Doc twin. You were right about this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love FB now. I left it for a good ten years because all I could see was negative messages. But now I love it, I think you have to be strict with people you follow and if they start spouting negativity, then u follow. Also I love the FB groups, there’s a lot of support there for pretty.much anything (DIY, excel, technology and local kids groups being some examples). And FB markets is amazing I’ve sold way more stuff there than on gumtree and shpok (local UK online ads places). I’ve recentky bought the Facebook Portal so that my parents can easier see their grandkid. Sure FB isn’t great and a lot of data stuff they do is dubious but the other tech firms which we rely on, cough cough Google, are no better and I think are worse. FB for me.personally has replaced Instagram, tiktok, gumtree and Reddit

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that boundaries have to be enforced (whether you state them or just know them for yourself) on FB. I was a part of a few useful groups, too, writing, education, etc. I guess I’m just starting to believe that we’ve put too much of EVERYTHING (not just info), but everything we do relies on logging onto FB, and you’ve shown this. For example, I can just FaceTime my family, as opposed to using Portal or Messenger.

      I definitely see your point though, and I’m glad you added it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Important topic this is..Virtual connections on days during Covid are helpful. But on platforms like FB, where we have all these “friends” from way back when, it seems like we are living two lives- one where we only interact personally with the people we are close to, and another where we are not alone in this world at all coz we have 500+ “friends”. But I bet more than half the people in your friend list don’t remember how they got there in the first place 😅 so bizarre that despite knowing so many people, there are very few in that friend list who we can actually reach out to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! No FB is not ideal but for me it is connection that I long for. I did not take offense of your blog post! I’m a mom of two special needs kids. My friend list is a little over 200 but that because I don’t collect friends. Yes some are who I grew up with since I was 3, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, d jobs, well you get the picture….but I have relationships with moms and dads of children with special needs. It’s so isolating. Sometimes I find myself refreshing to see if there’s an update. I update/post probably too often. I am me. I share what’s going on with my kids, our struggles and our triumphs. I get that many don’t get my life but if it reaches 1 of those “friends” & they learn something once in a while…I’m stuck. I need the conversation especially right now. 😘 thanks for this post! I did enjoy reading it & hearing in my head at a very rapid pace. lol just how I imagined it being said. 🤷🏻‍♀️ maybe it was laid back but I had a Gilmore speed in my head. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “collect friends” I think that’s what I was doing for a minute, and I think FB does promote that sort of thing…if I were on my phone, I’d insert that sick looking emoji lol

      I appreciate your perspective and I really do understand it. Someone else mentioned being in a few groups and I can see how useful that would be, especially nowadays when we’re encouraged to not meet in groups due to COVID.

      Thanks for adding your opinion here! …and you can read it as fast or slow as you want 😉 lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Soooo yes! This was one of my fav parts of FB! This year, I deactivated during my bday to see if I’d miss it. Turns out, it was one my deciding factors lol I was happy with the handful of people who remembered 😉

      Like

      1. Guess earlier there was an interest in knowing what’s happening in others’ lives….now this carefully curated pics of vacations, marriage, kids are really a putoff…bit I like watching memes and funny videos and beautiful pictures of exotic places that I can only hope to travel to someday…that’s all

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with your post! I deleted my Facebook, Instagram & Twitter; only to welcome a life of peace, being in & fully in each moment. It’s truly an honor & treasure to have a handful of friends, & family members. Enjoy your FB free life. You’ll be amazed at how much more time you have on your hands, the clarity of your thoughts & how talented & amazing you really are!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Partly why I’m no longer on FB; being almost a year and don’t miss it.
    Howabout the FB Social Police that makes it its job to connect folks to you because you aren’t doing it fast enough?!

    Liked by 1 person

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