A little over one week ago, I made the decision to stop spending ANY time on Facebook, and it’s been both a challenging and a rewarding decision. Admittedly, I haven’t actually deleted my account yet, nor even inactivated it; for the moment, I’ve simply deleted the account and all apps (including Messenger) from my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, as well as removed the link from my Favorites Bar in all my browsers, and of course logged out.
So Why Did I Choose To Leave Facebook?
It’s kind of interesting to me, being a very introspective person, that why I left Facebook (whether temporarily or permanently) has both EVERYTHING and NOTHING to do with why I resisted joining in the first place. And yes, I did resist joining! In fact, the only real reason I started getting on Facebook was because of my Charlotte dental office, as all the dental marketing consultants were talking about how Facebook ads and Pages were going to be the new amazing wave of the future of dental marketing. Over time, of course, I started getting sucked into the day-to-day posts, updates, pictures, and even arguments on FB, and it reached the point that I was CONSTANTLY checking FB on my phone, iPad, and computers. That was one reason I resisted joining – I didn’t want to be part of the mindless masses that became addicted; in the end, it became obvious that I had become just that.
The other reason I had to take a break, though, was the sheer amount of CRAP on Facebook, and I use that term especially in reference to the junk science and politics that goes on there. Anti-vaccines, climate change deniers, and others who love spreading ant-science junk – quite frankly, it pissed me off, especially since it often came from people who should know better, but who’ve let politics or religion get in the way. As much as I enjoyed regular updates from some really good science sites, whenever I Shared them, the anti-science people just had to make their comments, and it always boggled my mind the nonsense that came out. Eventually, it just got to be too much, and it was stressing me out big-time!
I do believe (in general) in the Law of Allowing, as taught by the IMO somewhat corny “Abraham” in the Law of Attraction books by Jerry and Esther Hicks. Simply, put, the Law of Allowing states this:
“I am that which I am. While I am that which I am, I allow others to be that which they are.”
Personally, I believe this is a powerful and truthful law, which we should all strive to live. It is really a very Zen comment on living, just in much more Western words, if that makes sense. There is one little difficulty with it, however, especially when it comes to things like vaccines, the climate and other areas of science, and I’ll put it like this (my own words):
When it comes to things like the climate and vaccination, it is impossible to separate the individual impact from the community-wide, city-wide, state-wide, or even country-wide/global impact. Now matter how much I personally allow others to be that which they are, it is impossible to escape that which they want to allow to be. Therefore, the only way to avoid being personally hurt by their allowing, is for me to do what I can to not allow their beliefs to be.
The thing is…….while I want to help in the struggle to overcome ignorance and help those who fail to understand the impact of their beliefs, it simply stressed me out too much, and I was becoming a much unhappier person, which is not what I want. Therefore, at least for now, I had to leave Facebook, as it was the source of that stress, however much I created my own stress.
So How Does a Week Without Facebook Feel?
Quite frankly, I’ve felt a lot more like this photo (taken at the Waikaloa Hilton pool, Hawaii, spring 2013)) – SERENE!
Not that it hasn’t been difficult, and I confess, I’ve logged in a couple times. It’s not easy leaving FB, is it? So many friends and family are there, who won’t come over to my preferred social network, Google+, in addition to being part of a couple private dental groups that don’t have a G+ counterpart, and even the 2 Pages that I’ve set up fro my dental office and my dental photography blog (which has been seriously neglected the last 6-8 months). While FB Pages certainly have some potential to attract new patients, it’s nothing like what was promised, but still…… So I’m trying to figure out how to manage those pages, and stay in touch with the groups, and even with the family there. I really don’t know how that’s going to work.
Has anyone ever restricted their “Friends” list exclusively to close friends and family? That’s one way that I’m considering managing it. Basically, I would unfriend everyone except those who are closest to me, and basically avoid anyone and everything that would cause me undue stress. It wouldn’t be easy, but might be a possibility.
You Can Still Find Me on Google+
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t like social media. Heck, there are a lot of people on Facebook, which whom I can stay in touch in no other easy way, simply because that is their primary (or even exclusive) social media outlet. It may not be feasible for me to leave Facebook forever. In addition, I’d already worked fairly hard to keep my Google+ Circles and FB Friends distinct from each other. On G+, I’ve circled primarily photographers and scientists, and I like it that way. With Circles, I find it easier to manage posts and my Stream than with Facebook’s Lists, although maybe I could learn to use FB’s Lists feature better to manage what I see there. Regardless, if you really want to contact me, please use email, phone, or Google+. 🙂
I’ll update the blog whenever I make a decision on whether or not to return to FB, and if I do, how I’ll (try to) manage it.