Social Media is dead, long live Social Media

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Yesterday I deleted my personal and author Facebook accounts. Permanently.

This has nothing much to do with the current customer data scandal, though the timing makes it a specious notion. Actually, this is the culmination of years of frustration with the platform and a long on-again-off-again relationship that, for me, was ultimately toxic. I have put so much mental and emotional energy into Facebook over the years and, yes, there have been some good things born of that energy; friendships, collaborations, networks that may otherwise not have been possible.

But the cost is too high.

I don’t know what it is about Facebook, but no matter how I try to cultivate my experience into something that I want and can be happy with, it quickly becomes an overwhelming and negative space for me. All the cute memes, words of support, constructive feedback, and glimpses into people’s lives end up drowning in bitterness, cynicism, negativity, and anger. And I can’t stay away from it. The worse I feel, the more I want to jump in and immerse myself in it all. Misery loves company, I guess. But I realized that Facebook has become a catalyst for depression and anxiety for me.

Well, no more. I’ve tried limiting my hours per day, my days per week, and temporarily deactivating my account. Those brief unplugged interludes have been wonderful. I get more done, I feel better about myself, I feel more in control of my life. But I always get drawn back into the thick of it, and the cycle starts again.

So I went for the permanent delete. I know to some people this seems like an extreme step in the name of productivity. But I need it, and I feel like I’m ready for the next stage. Facebook is dead. It has been dead for a long time. I was stubbornly trying to breathe life into it at the expense of my own.

I know I’m not alone, either. I’ve talked to a lot of people with similar feelings, but for some reason admitting that it’s time to cut those ties is a really hard thing to do. I tried to plant enough breadcrumbs that friends and acquaintances can find me. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to everyone. While planning my Facebook exit did feel a bit like planning my own funeral, I’m still here. Please don’t be afraid to reach out if I missed you.

Already I feel a weight has lifted! I actually find myself baffled by the amount of suddenly free time I have without The Book. Maybe others will join me in stepping away, too, whether because of privacy concerns or because of similar emotional discontent. Facebook has had a good run, but isn’t it time for something new?

This is my plan:

I’d like to spend more time in the WordPress community, networking with other writers and artists. I still plan to keep my Instagram account active and stick to writing-related posts. And, of course, I’ll be writing more, whether that is book reviews, interviews, and blog articles, or my own fiction.

Mostly, I want to explore. I want to find things on my own, and form my own opinions on them without reading a hundred other people opinions first. I want to sort out my own world and where I fit into it, without that being filtered through a screen and the voices of everyone I know.

Wish me luck! And don’t be a stranger.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Social Media is dead, long live Social Media

  1. You’re so right, the cost is so high. I’ve been off (for the first time) since March 1. Very freeing. I’ll be logging on again on April 1, but I’m nit sure I’ll stay…

    1. I did a permanent delete years ago, when I was writing my first novel. I never regretted it! But after my twins were born and I was stuck at home all the time I made a new account. It was the only social interaction I got for a long time, and connected me to a lot of great support groups. And I’ve belonged to lots of support/interest groups since then. I am recognizing my pattern of excitement at finding likeminded people, investment into the community, getting too invested and overwhelmed, letting the negative overshadow the positive. I don’t know why I’m like that with Facebook when I’m not in real life. But I definitely needed to admit it’s not a good platform for me.

      Congrats on making it a month off! I’m curious to see how you feel when you reactivate your account. Best of luck, whatever you decide 🙂

  2. This is timely and I’m toying with the idea of doing the same myself but… Something holds me back. Is it the old school friends that I know are there but never talk to me or what is it?
    Maybe I should just take the plunge…

  3. Hey stranger. Your an awesome person and I appreciate the support and encouragment you offered.
    Hope I’ll hear from you again.

    1. Hi! Thank you 😊 I will miss some of the writing groups. I’m still available to beta read or critique for my WF and SP friends, don’t be shy about staying in touch! Send me an email and we can maybe reconnect on another messaging app. I have a few now 😂

      1. Hi, sounds good, though can’t find your email address, I’ve included mine in the form 🙂

  4. This sounds like a great move. I find I use it less and less. There are a few sites a like to read and mostly keep it for that reason. Rventually it will become extinct in my world too.

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