Facebook promotes shallow relationships.
Most of the friends I had on Facebook were acquaintances from Los Angeles or Portland or people I had lost touch with a long time ago from high school that I had no interest in reconnecting with (the feeling was obviously mutual as none of them cared to reach out to me aside from the acceptance of a friend request). I started to notice that while I would scroll through my feed (John got a new truck, Samantha's cousin is pregnant with her second baby, Alice and Greg got engaged) I know I did not really care about these life events because despite us being "Facebook friends", we had never developed any sort of relationship past a computer screen and the occasional "like" uptick. I didn't want this in my life. I want deep, genuine, relationships in my life with close friends and family. I started to really notice how shallow all my relationships were on Facebook. No one bothered to go any deeper or genuinely reach out and ask "Hey, how are you doing?" because a simple emoji or meme could say it all. But it shouldn't be that way. We are complex, emotional, and layered people with stories to tell.
I'm one of those people that will not ask you "How are you?" if I don't genuinely want to know and have an ear to listen. Similarly, I will not offer to wash your dishes or help clear the table if I didn't actually want to do it. I hate lip service, words without action are empty to me. I started to notice that Facebook was becoming this place of all talk, no action. No one actually wanted to talk about anything. My general guideline for posting anything, anywhere is "If you don't want to talk about it, don't post about it." Seems simple enough, no?
Facebook added no positive value to my life and started making me really anxious
This was the next biggest reason I deleted my Facebook. I'm not a naturally anxious person, I'm pretty level headed and I can be calm in most stressful situations. For years now my Facebook feed started to become this platform where friends would post measurements of morals and ethics and the JUDGEMENT explicitly or implicitly shown to those not in agreement became mind boggling. In the past year or so my Facebook went from babies and vacations to a tirade of hate, passive aggressive finger pointing, cancel culture, and directives on how you should be living your life, what you should believe, otherwise we can't be friends anymore! Jeeze Louise, I'm just here to see your funny cat videos!
Now when a friend says "Augh, did you see what So-n-So posted on Facebook? Like seriously?" I can just say "Nope, sorry, I don't have Facebook anymore" and thus ends the cycle of gossip and wasting time thinking about things that are none of my business.
Here are some of the POSITIVE things that have happened since leaving Facebook...
- Read 2 books so far (not being on Facebook decreased my screen time by at least an hour a day!)
- Wrote actual letters and sent actual cards in the mail and expecting responses in my mailbox soon
- Baked something new every other week
- Shared baked goods with friends and neighbors
- Made lumpia for our neighbors who just had a baby and they in turn wrote us the sweetest "Thank You" card and invited us for social distancing pie on the porch
- My patio garden is thriving!
- We cleaned the basement!
- Lots of home cooking and backyard BBQs
- Genuinely reconnected/connected with family (this was a big one for me)
- Regularly journaling every week
- Quality time with friends in real life and that's when we catch up and shoot the breeze
- Our home has been a lot cleaner, more organized
- Sleeping better
If social media has been making you more anxious lately, consider taking a break from it. Before I deleted my Facebook account, the baby step I took was to bury the app icon in my phone. The next step was to delete the app.
I made sure I had other forms of contact (email or phone number) of anyone I cared to keep in touch with (mostly family) so if you do want to delete your Facebook, do a quick run through all the people you are connected with on Facebook and get another form of contact from them.
Now you might ask yourself, why is there an Adored Vintage Facebook Community Group then that's been started up recently? Well, I have a "work" profile on Facebook still to stay connected to business related groups and I wanted to create SOMETHING positive on Facebook that promotes the thing I was sorely missing from my personal account, fostering genuine friendships with kindred spirits.