Last night I deleted my Facebook account permanently. It’s not a decision I made lightly as I keep in contact with a lot of my long distance friends on Facebook. It’s also a way to keep up with friends and family who live just down the road. It’s been a way for me to share photos of what we’ve been up to with our friends and family and it’s a really convenient instant messenger.
So why did I decide to leave? Well, there are four main reasons. First of all, and probably the biggest reason was time. I was wasting a lot of time, particularly at the beginning and end of the day, scrolling through the news feed. I could spend an hour, sometimes more, following other people’s lives instead of living mine.
Secondly, we all know that Facebook is a place where people share the best bits of their lives. I know it sounds like that would be a good thing, but when you suffer with depression and doubt your ability to be a good mother and feel guilty for not doing all the things other families seem to be doing, it’s painful.
Another reason is the amount of vulgar content. All the people on my friend list are decent people but even so, the occasional pornographic, profane or otherwise inappropriate content pops up. I don’t mean to come across as holier than thou, believe me I am very far away from perfect. It’s just nice to be able to shelter myself and my kids from a little bit of this stuff. I’m not going to apologise for that.
My final reason was realised a few months ago. We were out for the day at a museum and at the end of the visit, we were travelling home in the car and I realised we hadn’t had a photo of us as a family outside the museum. My immediate thought was, oh great, now I don’t have a photo to put up (on Facebook). It almost ruined my day that I had no ‘proof’. As soon as this entered my head I realised I had started living for Facebook.
I know there are elements of Facebook that I will miss, so I’ve tried to make it possible for my friends and family to contact me in other ways. Despite the fact that Facebook is a social network, I have the suspicion that my interactions with others may be more social without it.
I have to admit, I have felt a strange gap in my day so far. I miss seeing what other people are up to. Does that make me pathetic? (Er, yep!) I guess going cold turkey will be harder than I thought. I know, well actually I hope, it will be good for me in the long term. Won’t it?