It all started back during the AIM days. I’d log on, just to put up an away message(one that I took way too much time to come up with). All the trouble just to see how many away messages I would get. Then entered Expages. Does anyone remember this, or was it just my hometown that got swept away in the “make your own website” craze? We’d basically create a boring web page and give shout outs to our friends. The next new outlet was MySpace. The original Facebook. Essentially the same thing as Facebook- and of course, who could forget their first real friend, Tom? MySpace was fairly popular when I was an underclassman in high school.
And then I remember learning about Facebook. I vividly remember a conversation I was having with one of my best friends walking into high school one morning about how “Facebook is going to be the next big thing. I’m telling you- it will ruin MySpace.” I can remember feeling extremely cutting edge, telling my friends about Facebook- something they had never heard of. And here we are, over a decade later, and Facebook is still going strong. Plus there are dozens more social media outlets that have come onto the scene.
You can’t go into a restaurant anymore without seeing people pulling out their phones to check Facebook, put a new picture up on Instagram, tweet about the restaurant, or take a filtered picture using Snapchat. I never really jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, I have an Instagram account, but I update it maybe once every two-three weeks. And I use Snapchat to mainly send stupid pictures to my husband and best friend. However, Facebook was my addiction.
I’d wake up in the morning and check Facebook. I’d be driving down the road and want to check it. I’d be at work and want to check it. I’d be at a family dinner and instead of talking to my loved ones, I’d be on that phone. You guessed it; checking Facebook. I’d put pictures up, not because I wanted to share the picture, but because I wanted to get likes. I’d read people’s posts and get annoyed and/or jealous of what was going on in their lives. It was a crazy cycle that I was allowing myself to become swept up in.
For the past 3 years, I have given up Facebook for Lent. The first week off was truly hard. (Ridiculous sounding, I know.) But by the time the second week came around, I felt a sense of freedom. I wasn’t sulking, I wasn’t missing moments because I was too busy trying to “capture” them to get likes. Instead I was able to focus on the present. I was able to engage in better conversations and not feel a need to check my phone. Once Easter rolled around, I would hop back on and the addiction would kick in again.
This past December I made a decision to delete my Facebook once and for all.
It. Is. The. Best. Decision. I. Have. Made. I find that I’m not wasting time like I used to. I’m really enjoying moments in life. I’m not focused on coming up with the “best caption” for the picture. I’m enjoy the picture; the scene that is in front of me. It’s helped me to feel better about my life. I’m not comparing myself to others, where as before, when I was on Facebook, I was constantly comparing myself to others that I knew. Not to mention that I rarely interacted with my actual friends on there. I felt like I was trying to impress people that I don’t even really care about. What is the point in that?!
I feel like Facebook is creating a narcissistic generation and I needed out. Yes; there are plenty of good things that come from social media, but overall, I feel like the negatives outweigh the positives. I’m calmer, happier, and more in-the-moment than I’ve ever been.
What are your thoughts on social media? Comment below.