Is there life after quitting Facebook?
That’s the question I kept asking myself whenever I thought about deleting FB.
I’ve started thinking about it for some time before I actually clicked “I’m sure” when the pop-up message asked me if I really wanted to delete my account. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes I do.
Some people asked me why, some people were even angry at me because of that, a lot of people didn’t care either or just didn’t notice I opted out. Deep down, even though I felt anxious about doing that, I knew I was doing the right thing.
I’ve always had a love and hate relationship with Facebook. I signed up in 2007 – holy cow, almost 10 years ago, I’m just realizing. In the early days I didn’t spend much time browsing through my timeline because 1) I had a shitty phone, and 2) FB wasn’t so interesting back then (or it was and I didn’t know). At that time, we still had lives outside our little screens, I guess.
The last two years that I was on FB were really intense. Brazil was going through a hard time politically & I was constantly seeing horrible news on my timeline. I used to feel so frustrated because I’m so far away, not able to help or join the protests. Our president was impeached, we were going through a coup-d’état, and I was here, obsessively swiping through my feed and crying because people were just too stupid to understand the real situation.
And that’s a big problem with Facebook: we are exposed to a trillion of information and news; good, bad and horrible stuff, altogether.
Another big issue is that we judge people there. A LOT. I used to judge what people posted all the time, and I’m sure they used to do the same to me. That’s human behavior and that’s completely normal, but I just don’t want to that person anymore.
I really didn’t like the ‘Facebook me’. I was judgmental, I posted so much useless stuff; just thinking about it makes me cringe a little. And that’s another thing: the guilt after a FB post. I shouldn’t have posted that. People must think I’m so stupid. Why do I keep exposing myself? It was a constant battle & it made me feel so anxious. Life is already so complicated, why add another layer of stress to it?
Also, my concentration level was really weak and inconsistent. Social media does that to us: we are constantly checking our phones, refreshing our feed, even though we’re in the middle of an important task – driving, working, writing. We just want a little high to go through the day; that like, that comment, that funny video a friend just posted. We are in a constant need of that little compensation to fill a void we don’t really know we have.
My only fear about my decision to quit was becoming isolated from the world. But a funny thing that happened after I left Facebook: I started meeting up more with friends and colleagues! FB gives us the illusion of knowing what’s happening in our friend’s lives, and we end up not catching up in real life as often. That’s a huge problem. Social media is not connecting us, it’s quite the contrary: things like judgment, comparison and the feeling of already know what’s going on with people & with the world end up separating us even more.
Why then give these corporations my energy, my power of concentration, my brain capacity, my time, my relationships? They’re getting more rich and powerful and I’m getting dumber.
I won’t allow that to happen to me anymore. I want to be free, I want to be able to do stuff without the need of letting the world know about it, I want to love people instead of judging them by their FB posts, I want to meet up with my friends, I want to live in the real world.
The time I used to spend of FB I’m now using to read the books I want to read, to go outside and sit on the grass, to lay in bed and simply listen to music, to talk in person with interesting people. To just live, really.
So, is there life after quitting Facebook?
Yes, there is. And it’s beautiful.
(if you want to quit as well but isn't sure yet, I really recommend watching this TEDx Talk)