I have had my heart filled with beautiful feedback from people who have read my “Why I left Facebook” post. It is inspiring, to see how the use of words can fill me up so adequately with connection. One of the many reasons Facebook has been useful for me in the past.
I have also received feedback from people, about why they feel Facebook is beneficial to them, which I understand and concur. Those reasons of staying in contact, being connected across oceans, maintaining a social life when the bombardment of work, children, societies busyness allow no time to get out there in person.
I understand all these reasons… and have used Facebook for the past 5 or 6 years for these reasons.
I suppose I am writing this now to clarify that the reasons I choose to share my thoughts around Facebook and my association with it, have not been to discourage others, or bag it out. But to share, for me, why I am no longer using it.
Today marks 2 weeks with a deactivated account. And it has been a beautiful experience. I felt a weight lift from my shoulders the morning I awoke and remembered that I didn’t need to check and see how many notifications I had, I didn’t need to stalk my current crush. I had a moment of “oh, but what happens when I feel lonely?”, and reminded myself that loneliness is ok. That it would be temporary and that I could, rather than reach out for a ‘like’ on Facebook, I could walk down to the corner store and buy myself some chocolate and have a conversation with the old man behind the counter, or countless other interactions where I could look into some ones eyes and see them.
Facebook serves so many purposes, for so many people. Its a great tool. But I, personally became so caught up in it’s psychological web, that I forgot my psyche. I became lost in it’s ability to allow my desire for ‘likes’ to overcome my desire for self-acceptance and self-love.
Rather than read a book, or have a conversation, or write my uni assignment, I would automatically open Facebook, and find myself yearning engagement.
A friend, mentioned that the Machine Stops could really make us reflect upon all social media and electronic forms of communication. And I agree. And it has. I have thought about how maybe I am being a little hypocritical, I am still sending SMS, I use email frequently, I share photos on Instagram, have a twitter account, and share my thoughts on WordPress… but for me personally it has been Facebook that has sucked me into it’s vortex that goes beyond communication and connection and into a world of needing to be ‘liked’, the desire of acceptance from all 900+ ‘friends’, a constant stream of people engaging with ME. Me, me, me.
Have I had more face to face moments of human connectedness since leaving Facebook? Maybe no more than before my account was deactivated, but I have appreciated those moments more. I have allowed my senses to soak up all the stimuli. I have looked into eyes, caressed hair, listened to words lull me, hypnotic. And I have come back to me. Come back to understanding the importance of me, in my physical form, and how I respond and watch others respond to our human connection.
And that is a beautiful thing.