A friend of mine had gotten rid of Facebook and Instagram from her life and was telling me how much happier she was since she got rid of them.
Since I can be quite the crank-o-potomaus I decided that I would give it a shot.
I de-activated my facebook account a long time ago, and I deleted and signed out of my Instagram app.
As an amateur photographer a lot of my “advertising” was through my Facebook page. When you don’t have a personal account you can’t have a “page” account. I signed my husband up as administrator and used his account to post on my photography page.
Although I got rid of my accounts I want to be clear that I didn’t completely stop using facebook.
I had my husbands log in info so I would randomly go on there for my photography page and just to catch up on events going on in my area.
By the way his fb account was filled with dodge ram stuff, and remote control car posts so it was not very exhilarating
There were some things that I eventually started to notice after getting rid of these platforms.
I was “oblivious” to things going on in people’s lives
Sometimes this kinda sucked. Mainly when you were in a conversation and people would say “oh I saw your trip post!! it looked so amazing, when did you climb “blank”, ahhhh that beach was so beautiful” etc. etc.
In these moments, I felt like I was actually missing out on something because I had no idea what they were talking about. I felt like I couldn’t really contribute a whole lot to the conversation.
The pro to this is simply the fact that I had no idea what was going on in people’s lives. I actually had to talk to people in person and ask what they have been up to. I really enjoyed this! Also the fact that no one knew what I was up to unless they cared to actually ask me.
I stopped comparing my “mom” skills to other moms , or my life to other people in general.
It’s pretty hard to be a parent in this time. With all of the social media, and the dreaded google info out there, it’s easy to think that you’re doing something wrong. And it only takes a few minutes of being on the internet to feel this way.
Not having social media made it so I could sit in my disaster of a house and feel like it was ok.
I wasn’t scrolling through Instagram as my kids were fighting with each other for the millionth time before 9 am. Only to come across the picture perfect sweet face of a group of toddler siblings lovingly embracing each other with perfect smiles, hair, and clothes.
I wasn’t sitting on the couch at 9pm on a Saturday, surrounded by laundry and in my pjs. Only to go and see so and so on a 3 month vacation on the other side of the world with a bottle of that special wine that’s been aged that special amount of time, in that amazing looking dress that looks like dry clean only.
I stopped worrying that I was missing out on something.
After a few weeks of not having these platforms, I began to not even really think about what other people were doing. I just focused on what I was doing. The first week or two was probably the hardest. Just like kicking any habit, it get’s easier with time.
I stopped taking pictures of everything.
How many times have you been doing something and thought to yourself, “this would be a good post.” You take a photo or two to get the perfect one then either post it right away, or think about posting it when you get home.
You are either sitting there, writing out the perfect caption to go with the perfect photos, and getting all those perfect tags in. Or you put your phone away and start thinking about what you will post when you get home. Either way, you immediately take yourself out of that moment.
Because I had “no where” to share my photos, I found I took less, and just enjoyed what I was doing in the moment. I was either not taking photos, or I would pull my phone out, take one, and put it away and continue what I was doing.
I sent more of my friends personal texts or messages to see how they were actually doing, or just to have a small chat.
And when someone texted me, I was even more excited and present to talk to them. I should note, that I hate talking on the phone and have for years. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but it was a change of pace for me.
I also spent way less time on my phone and more time in the moment.
I absolutely love apples new screen time tracking. There was a point were I was at 30-45 minutes of screen time by supper! For a stay at home mom I think that’s pretty amazing.
So, What happened when I re-activated my Facebook and Instagram?
As soon as I logged in, BAM, notifications up my butt! Why did I even have so many notifications when I had actually deactivated my account?? I clicked and started to read all the posts it said I missed, been tagged in, etc.
A gross feeling in the pit of my stomach immediately took over.
“Oh god, I don’t like this already.”
I decided to not even go down the worm hole of posts and birthdays and info that I had missed. Instead, I decided to do a quick little scroll and do a “mini” catch up.
What did I see? People on trips, smiling babies, family get togethers, people engaged, people pregnant, people who had moved, people who had done something amazing recently.
Back came all the comparisons, just like that.
Then I felt a bitterness come over me thinking that no one even noticed I was gone. I don’t have real friends and because the world revolves around me right?
I started spending more time on my phone, again.
It’s so easy to get caught up in that scroll!! Especially when you have months of stuff to catch up on. I had set a 30 min cap on social networking on my phone and what used to be enough for me all day, was now gone after an hour or being awake.
I went from just caring about what I was doing, to caring about what other people were doing.
Suddenly my day-to-day life seemed super boring. I realize its not that exciting to begin with, but in reality, no ones is.
There were a few things I saw that instantly hurt my feelings, and I was just better off not knowing.
I take things pretty personally and I’m sure there are other people who do as well.
Maybe your friends were sharing photos from a fun night you guys had and you’re not in any of the photos. You immediately start thinking the negative… “why wasn’t the photo with me shared? was it not good enough? was I not fun enough? did they even want me there?”
Can you remember back to a time when you were maybe not invited to a birthday party? or when a group of friends got together without you?
This forces me to remember the good ol’ days once again. If I wasn’t invited to something, I had no idea until the next day at school when people would talk about it.
These platforms are basically a live view of all things you were left out of, or things you were a part of that weren’t shared.
Now if you miss out on something, you go on your pages are bombarded with the fun times that you weren’t a part of.
I have read that loneliness and depression are more common now than years ago, before these platforms were created. Now I can completely understand why that is.
This is another one of those times that I don’t want my kids to grow up. I want them to stay in their safe little bubble with me and not be susceptible to the hurt that can come from social media. Feeling left out is just the tip of the iceberg on this topic.
After a few days of having both accounts active, I caught up on enough stuff to make me feel like crap about myself again so I de-activated them again. I think it’s emotionally better for me to not pay attention to everyone elses lives and just focus on whats right in front of me.
I’m not going to lie, everything that comes from these platforms are not bad! I just think that I personally can’t handle how it makes me feel.
I feel better reaching out to individuals and having real conversations based on asking questions. Rather than just being a fly on the wall for everyone’s life.
At the least, I think everyone should take a break and see how they feel during or after. If you have ever suffered from any kind of depression, maybe this is the “magic pill” you’ve been looking for.