I quit Facebook about a year and a half ago.
I’d been on it for years, and most of my friends and family used it to keep in touch with each other. I had a large group of extended circles of friends, and with many of them this was my only means of contact. I had family I was very close to, who at that point lived very far away, and who posted so constantly that it was almost like living with them again.
I had a lot of reasons to stay.
But I was also in a relationship that had long-since stopped giving back as much as I put into it. And I had a full-time job which required a very time-consuming commute to and from, and didn’t have any potential reward or advancement.
I was unhappy, and focused on not letting anyone — including myself — know just how desperately miserable I was quietly becoming. I had almost no free time thanks to the commute, was not making much money thanks to my living arrangement, and my relationship was steadily growing more strained as I grew more desperate to hold on to it, despite how unhappy and unhealthy the dynamics of it had become.
My only positive moments were the few times I dragged myself to spend time away in the company of a few closer friends.
Because I refused to acknowledging to myself just how bad things had gotten in my personal life, I wasn’t asking for help or spending enough time with the few positives. I was solely focused on the failing relationship and the peculiar circumstances in which it existed and which slowly drove me mad.
Add to this mix Facebook: with all the inherently out-of-context information snippets of other people’s lives, the drama and angst on display for the world, the false sense of intimate knowledge… Everything about it heightened my insecurities and fears and doubts. Everything would make the feeling of isolation grow worse. I would spend precious hours before and after my commute reading everything I’d missed since the last time I was on Facebook. And after every time, I would feel worse than when I’d logged on.
Something had to change — many somethings — before I could fight my way out of the depression I had been living in. So I did the easiest thing first: I made the announcement to all my contacts that I was leaving Facebook, set the date, and did nothing else on it until I deactivated my account.People’s reactions when I tell them I’m not on Facebook anymore:
- They make all the arguments why I should be.
- I counter with sensible and logical points, none of which are overly personal as to the real reasons.
- They admit my counterargument sound, and proceed to congratulate me and tell me that they could never do it.
Once I got over the initial adjustment, I felt only relief about my decision. I have not regretted it in the least. Nor do I regret my eventual decision to leave the relationship, the job, and the living situation, but that’s a story for another day…