I gave up my personal Facebook activities last week. Note: You can still find me on Write into the Light’s Facebook Page, but, I have pushed my personal profile account to the side. Deleted the app from my phone. Haven’t checked status updates in five days which means…
I have no clue whose kid just made the honor roll, who is having a bad day at work, what everyone is having for dinner tonight, or how everyone’s nieces and nephews are doing in sports. I haven’t seen one photo-quote, inspirational or humorous. Not one recipe or emoticon from friends of friends whom I would probably not even recognize if I ran into them at the grocery store.
Top 3 Reasons to Give Up Facebook
1. The People in My House are More Important to Me than Those I Hardly Ever See
It is hard enough to filter through the minute details of my own life, let alone those of acquaintances. And that is what the majority of those on my friends list are: acquaintances. Knowing of their daily happenings makes no difference in the quality of my life. On the contrary, it wastes time and energy that would be better spent on the people with whom I actually live and on my own mental health.
2. I am a Highly Sensitive Person
Since I am a highly sensitive person who picks up on and internalizes the emotions of other people, I was finding myself being negatively effected by the sad events being shared on Facebook, from political cries to save the abused animals posts to the depressing events in people’s personal lives.
I am not saying that I don’t want to hear about the death of a dear friend’s father or the house fire of another. What I am saying is that I would rather hear about it through a phone call than on Facebook. As far as the political and social movement stuff – I don’t watch the news so as to avoid those things, so I definitely don’t want to see them in my Facebook feed.
And if you are that old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen in twenty years who has lost your job or been in an accident or gotten a divorce…I feel bad for you, but if it wasn’t for Facebook I wouldn’t even know what you look like now, let alone about the happenings in your life. No offense.
3. My Mental Health is More Important than Knowing Things About People I Haven’t Spoke to in Decades
My decision to cut Facebook out of my life came shortly after a high school classmate committed suicide, which triggered many negative emotions in me due to losing a very close friend to suicide two years ago.
After hearing about my classmate on Facebook, I grieved for a week, barely able to get out of bed some days. Grieved not really for my old classmate since I haven’t seen him in 15 years, but for my close friend all over again. It was very difficult to go through, and it could have spiraled my depression out of control.
(Thankfully, I did some mindfulness practice, talked to several people about my feelings, prayed, and wrote about it here, knowing that as long as I didn’t ignore or cover up my feelings, they would eventually pass and I’d feel better. And they did.)
However, I realized that if it wasn’t for Facebook, I never would have heard about my classmate’s suicide, and therefore, would have avoided a week of suffering because of it. No one called me, no one even directly told me about his suicide. I merely happened upon it by accident…on Facebook.
So, no more Facebook for me. How does Facebook affect your mental health? Have you ever even thought about its effects on you?