Fourteen days ago I requested that Facebook delete my account. The confirmation email said my account will be deleted within fourteen days (because of course they don’t want me to leave)…today is that day.
I’d thought about deleting my account for months but feared missing out on family and friend connections. I deactivated my account several times but would always log back on and pick up where I left off…posting more than I wanted to, getting frustrated with my “friends” for their toxic (to me) political and religious views (and their willingness to trust and share posts that were obviously false), and feeling a growing sense of guilt and depression over interactions that made me dislike people.
I understand my reaction is my own issue and not the experience of many people. I know people who use Facebook to good effect and to enhance their real-life connections. I’m happy for those who can do so without losing their soul. I will miss some of the positive interactions and the fear of missing out on those connections kept me from permanently deleting the account. But I finally reached the point where keeping the account was negatively impacting my view of people and causing me more stress than enjoyment. That’s not a particularly healthy or joyful way to live.
So the account’s gone now. And it feels okay. I’ve recently increased my non-social-media connection with a few close people and that already feels more genuine than the Facebook interactions. I remain on Instagram where I don’t feel the same pressure or stressors as Facebook and will see how that goes.
Looking back I realize I allowed my Facebook experience to feel a bit like fencing oneself in. I gave too much time and energy to the pursuit that by definition takes place within the box created by Facebook. Now that I’ve walked away, I’m already seeing the beauty of the world outside Facebook as I’m reading and finishing books, reducing feelings of guilt and anger, and becoming a happier person.
It’s a freedom of sorts. And it feels good.