I know I’m not the only one. Facebook was often the last thing I saw at night, the first thing I saw in the morning. I’d walk around with my phone attached to my hand, as if I were going to die if I didn’t know what my Facebook friends were eating for lunch, or what the latest quiz could tell me about my dead soul mate.
I’ve been on Facebook for almost nine years. I have enjoyed using Facebook to catch up with old friends, reconnect with distance relatives, stay up to date with my favorite celebrities. I’ve loved watching as my childhood friends have graduated college, gotten married and had children of their own.
Facebook is great when it comes to help us keep up with the people we care about. But sometimes being on Facebook can leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
When it comes to Facebook, everyone puts their best face forward. They brag about their new car, but neglect to talk about the payment that is throwing them further into debt. They profess their undying love for their significant other, without mentioning that they rarely spend time together. They show off a bowl of soup they made from scratch, but don’t write about all the time it took to prepare the vegetables while a toddler was whining and tugging at their legs.
As a bystander, looking at Facebook can sometimes make you feel like you are doing something wrong. When you glance out the window and catch a glimpse of your old car while sitting at the table eating canned soup with your kids while your husband is working late… again. And even though I knew that what I was seeing on Facebook wasn’t ‘real’, I couldn’t help but feel a bit down.
So when I disconnected from Facebook, I found myself in a better place than ever. I began appreciating the life that I had, instead of comparing it to the life I saw on the Internet. I stopped scanning the photos of my friends to see how messy their homes were. I stopped checking back for updates on petty gossip that had nothing to do with me. I stopped feeding into the vague posts of friends who were looking for attention.
Without Facebook, I didn’t have to read about political opinions, gun control debates or the latest de-fund Planned Parenthood argument. I didn’t have to read inspirational sayings posted by people whom I know don’t practice what they preach. I didn’t have to see any pictures of sick children holding up signs reading “If I get 100 shares Bill Gates will give me a million dollars”. I didn’t have to read any conspiracy theories regarding aliens, the moon landing, or whether climate change is a real.
What I did was find joy. Joy in spending time with my family, going to Halloween parties with The Goose and not feeling the need to take to perfect picture to share with friends. I found peace, knowing that I was happy and that when all is said and done, my life is pretty great. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful home, food in the cupboards, money in the bank and a husband who makes life fun.
Though I’ve removed Facebook from my phone, I haven’t left for good. After all, I still enjoy seeing pictures of the kids on Halloween, catching up on what is going on in my hometown, and posting the occasional picture of my kid doing something goofy. I’ve just decided that, for me, less is more. And the less access I have to Facebook, the more I appreciate my life and what I have. And that is a good thing.