I have had an issue pressing on my heart for some time now.
When I joined Facebook 7 years ago (gasp!) I was in a very different place in my life. Both geographically and figuratively. I was a new mom living on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I did not have any local friends and my husband worked five 12 hour shifts a week. When he was home he was exhausted and did not want to hear all about my day. The poor man just wanted to sleep. I really can't blame him......I don't do well without my down time either.
So there I was figuratively alone in the world. I could, and did, call my friends and family on the phone but people were busy and did not have time to talk with me every day.
I was so lonely.
I had previously refused to sign up for a Facebook account out of sheer orneriness. I was not going to do something just because the masses were doing it. I am still that way to this day. If everyone in the world is obsessed with a book, tv series, or app I purposely refuse to take part. Of course I will then "discover" this amazing thing several years after it has gone out of vogue. I am just ornery like that.
Anyways I had held strong and refused to sign up for Facebook. That is until the one person I knew on the island, my husband, got sent on a deployment. Now here I am totally and completely alone with our two very young children.
I was bored out of my mind. This is coincidentally when this blog was started as well. Boredom will apparently lead me to all sorts of new things. On a whim I signed up for Facebook and it soon because an obsessive situation.
You know what I am talking about. You have to check the site 50 times a day because you MIGHT miss some fascinating piece of information. Of course everyone will want to see those 50 pictures you took at the park while you are at it. While we are at it might as well post what we are having for dinner. This was all before we even owned a smartphone. In my true lone wolf fashion I refused to own a smartphone until years after they had become popular. I did not get my first smartphone until 2014. That of course blew the Facebook obsession out of the water.
I can now check Facebook anywhere? Anytime? I can upload pictures immediately? I know there are many many people out there who have a Facebook account and never use it. Those that can limit their time to just a few times a week. I was not one of those people.
A few months ago I came to the realization that it had been months since I had actually seen anything interesting on Facebook. Anything life altering that happened in my life was relayed via phone calls from friends and loved ones. I no longer needed Facebook to fill some void in my life. We had moved to New Jersey and I had found an amazing homeschool community to become involved in. We had added four more children to our lives and we were crazy busy with school work, sports, and classes. I was no longer lonely and alone on a rock in the middle of the Pacific.
So why did I keep checking that stupid app 5 times a day?
Why if I am not seeing anything important or life altering on the site did I keep using it?
I turned all of my notifications off in an attempt to stop my interest in the site. After all no little red numbers calling my name then no need to check in right? Wrong. I still felt I might "miss something" so I would still check the app religiously and then spend countless time scrolling through what was for the most part adds and random stuff that did not interest me.
I made the decision to cut the cord and delete my Facebook account. The problem was that I did need to still be able to stay connected to our homeschool group. They only communicate via Facebook. I reached a standstill. I made the difficult decision to "unfriend" all of my friends and just leave the account open to the one group.
There is something about "unfriending" people that can hit a nerve. I really wish they would call it something else. These people are still my friends and I still want to hear from all of them. I just can not have Facebook in my life anymore. I did leave my blog Facebook page open so that I could share pictures of what we are up to as a family. Not having any friend's on Facebook makes it a lot easier to step away from the app once I have checked the group messages and made note of any upcoming classes or homework.
The first week without Facebook was so freeing to me. I just felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. The second week was just as relaxing. I no longer worry that I am missing something vital. You would think that would bother me more now that I have no access to friends pages. Just the opposite happened however. Leaving Facebook was the right decision for me at this point in my life. Will it continue to be the right decision for me? That will depend on how life changes over time. I may find myself lonely and in need of human companionship again in the future. I have definitely learned never to say never.