I took a break from Facebook, and I am slowly getting the pieces of my life back.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Well, this hand has not been feeding me. It has been starving me, one negative comment and unfriend at a time. This hand slaps me when I am down. It’s not a lifeline, it’s bondage. I am bound by what I can and cannot say. I am bound by over-sensitivities, writing something relevant, and cautionary tales as to why we ought to not to push buttons.
As a writer, leaving Facebook caused anxiety (our following can come by way of Facebook), but honestly, Facebook has its challenges and limitations on sharing information. If I can’t share it there, where can I share it? Will followers still read it? Will anyone still like it?
Getting off of Facebook is allowing me to live life again. To live in the most beautiful of life’s moments, in the memories I’ve been missing out on, but have been posting all about.
Taking a break from Facebook is absolutely, unequivocally the best thing I’ve done in a long time.
I went from trying to be a people-pleaser into a place of freedom where I can simply be in the moment, in the room, and around a table with actual people.
The Last Straw…
I had already been thinking about taking a break from Facebook for quite a few months. I’d removed it from my phone and minimized engagement. However, those friendly little recent search reminders gave me easy access to the link, despite the fact that I didn’t have the application. And quite honestly, I lack the discipline to manage my time well, like the adult that I ought to be.
One day I was talking with a friend, (I use that term loosely because friends, in my humble opinion, should be someone you can talk to without risk of finding yourself in a later Facebook post. Although, truth be told many of us are guilty of this). This friend, while in front of me, nodded in agreement with me about the conversation we were having. However, the second she got home, she rattled off all the reasons my thinking was wrong to her Facebook friends …you know the ones with common ideologies, religious beliefs and political views.
She had every opportunity to disagree with me in person, while we shared a common space and trust, but she didn’t.
She didn’t put my name in her post because at that point I wasn’t a person. I was part of a broader conversation; a pawn to be used for political and societal purposes in who not to be. I was the point to be proven on faulty thinking and what is wrong with society.
What she did broke the trust in our relationship. And it broke me down. Her post did nothing but feed her ego. It affirmed her position through likes and agreeable comments. But it removed hope of two potential friends with the possibility of different viewpoints coming together in the common goal of unity.
THIS is why we can’t have healthy conversations.
THIS is why we can’t converse in productive ways.
THIS is why we are a polarized nation, devoid of unity.
It doesn’t need to be this way…
We can be united, despite our differences.
We can have different perspectives and still honor one another.
Unfortunately, our world doesn’t always see it that way.
We live in a world where if someone does not look, think or act like you, than most assuredly they are wrong. We then penalize one another on our perceptions, hunches and biases.
Truth be told, I am over it, and you should be too because this mask we wear on Facebook is not who we really are. This is our highlight reel, our very best moments broadcast for all the world to see. When the reel isn’t playing, it’s our political, societal and religious biases affirmed through the people we’ve allowed to be Facebook friends. And affirm they do, because anyone with an alternate viewpoint has been cast out of the inner-circle that is our bias, or at a minimum, we’ve chosen to quiet their voice by removing them from our feed.
Something has got to give in order to get us back to the table – the table where we share food, and memories, differences, and commonalities. There must be a shift back to community, to dining together, to agreeing to disagree. We should be able to sit and have a meal together, a healthy conversation, and actually enjoy it.
It’s time to lift our face from our phones and look in a person’s eyes, moving toward the hope of a better future.