Leaving Facebook? Inconceivable! Or Maybe Not?

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?

leaving facebook for peace of mindIt’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?

At PeaceQuite 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+

Find Charles Payet 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.  

  • steve schwam

    Enjoy your time away, I miss the conversations but totally understand the entrapment that can happen along with the desire to punch the monitor on some people. Hug your kids and wife. have a great Christmas (even though it should probably be in Oct) and happy new year. don’t get drunk on my birthday but raise a glass of good wine and say happy new year and happy BD to Steve:-)

    • Charles Payet

      Steve, thank you for the kind words – I miss our conversations, too, but we’ll find a way. And yes, hopefully 2014 we’ll get to meet and shoot some epic landscapes together! We’re thinking of a week-long family vacation to Vancouver/Seattle/Portland around July 4th next year – maybe then? Happy New Year to you and your family, and great success to you with your practice in the New Year!

      • Hey, Happy new year late! was poking around and somehow fell back on your blog. How are U doing, family, etc. That trip in July might be a little too extensive from vancouver to Portland in 7 days (unless it is Vancouver Washington) I Booked my trip to Yosemite for Feb , The Weather outlook is grimm for snow. now a drop yet, guess all the snow for the year dumped on you guys in the east. I decided to cancel that trip and go up to Canon Beach , Oregon, then ecola park, maybe down to this place that mark said I should go to ( https://www.google.com/search?q=Thor%27s+Well+pictures&sa=X&rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS488US488&espv=210&es_sm=93&biw=1280&bih=932&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=7FzQUrDPHtDZoASxzIBI&ved=0CC4QsAQ )

        might hire mark, sorta can not afford 400 dollars a day at this time. trying to trade my classical guitar for his expertise . Anyway, keep in touch. I”m finding it hard to have a conversation via Gplus , the threads are all over the place , maybe I am missing how to hook up with a small group (U/me) type. so we could converse without the rest of the circle being involved??
        have you ever been to Atlantis? I have a dental meet there in July, expensive place to stay no matter what they say about the discounts.

        • Charles Payet

          Happy New Year to you, too, Steve!
          Not sure we’re going to do that trip in July after all – just got hit with some really expensive car repairs that sucked up a fair amount of our discretionary income for the year, and it’s only January 11th. ugh.
          Sounds like you’re going to have some fun out there shooting, though!
          As for Google+, what we can do is create a Circle with just the of us, then start a conversation and only share the posts to that Circle. Want to try that?

          • steve schwam

            yup let try it, not in a rush, but will keep us talking and thinking. I just got Marks two tutorials and am working on one of them, you would think only be 14 miles from each other we would have got together, he is a pretty busy guy:-)
            hey. is there a way I can get notified that you answer a quesiton of mine or a post back to you on your blog. I have not seen an email come thru . I did not know U had even posted anything new on blog from Dec.
            take care. sorry about your car

  • It isn’t inconceivable to me, Chip. Maybe at one time.. but no more. In fact, as we head into 2014, I have chosen to walk away from all social media and am trying to construct a new framework for online interaction going forward. One that is based on building a solid foundation beneath a friendship, one based on face to face interaction with people who truly know me and what I am about and does not wash away with the tide if my presence on social media is gone. I can tell you this… it is the quickest way to separate what is real from what is false. We have come to believe that we need social media to succeed in this day and age. In business. In personal interaction. In life. Really? Do we really believe that? I’m stepping off that train, my friend. I need people I can touch, cry with, laugh and play with, talk to with my voice and not my fingers on a touch pad… people I know and with whom I am known. Even if I can only count them on one hand or less. Those are the things I choose to nurture as I step into a new year.

    You shared an image of serenity and a voice that resounds. I hear you. Truly I do. I read Mark’s Daily Apple (if you don’t know it, you might enjoy it) and recently in one of the comments a book called iDisorder, by Dr. Larry Rosen was mentioned briefly. I have a feeling there is some wisdom there.. but it isn’t popular wisdom and I’ll spare you the argument here since I have yet to read more than the reviews. I am a seeker like you though, one who analyzes, asks questions, wonders.

    iWonder… *

    • Charles Payet

      Roni, it’s been 9 days now, and while I’ve checked in a couple times, I haven’t made a single post or comment or anything. And you know what? It does feel good! I’m less stressed, checking my phone less, enjoying the photography community on G+ more, and enjoying the time with my family over the holidays more.

      The main challenge, I find, is that it’s the easiest way to communicate with a number of my dental colleagues through some FB groups and messages, but knowing myself, if I go back, it will be difficult to keep it to a minimum. The other challenge is the office FB Page, which needs regular updating to be kept current. So……I’m leaning more and more to deactivating my account, but have to find a couple workarounds there.

      Now, you and I just need to find a time and place for us and our families to meet, so we can be those real flesh’n’blood friends, not just online. 🙂

      Happy New Year to you, Jim, and the whole family!