I did something today that many have preached about, but few actually follow through with. I’ve wanted to join this group of wild renegades for a while now, but had always been met with tremendous internal resistance and justification. I don’t even recall the events that originally motivated me to sign up for the site in the first place. When you are young, the power of unadulterated peer pressure can dominate the best of us.
In hindsight, it almost brings me to tears to think about how many hours of my life have been leeched away from me while using this life-suck. This numbing tool we use to fight against the pain of living, is sold as a way to make us feel more connected. What I learned from my years of feed scrolling and chasing after likes, was that it made me unstable when it came to self-worth. Adolescence isn’t typically a stage in life stands out when it comes to knowing oneself. What better thing to do then seek a foundation for worth through an online profile to determine your valuation in life. One day I could feel on top of the world with 50 likes to the picture I had uploaded, and the next feeling lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut if I couldn’t keep that degree of social validation up. I may not have been able to articulate and recognize that until I was older, but there was a very sick part of me that tied my mood to my social ranking and interaction online.
Facebook stimulated my generation on a whole different dimension compared to our previous online addictions like ICQ and MSN chat. Facebook took me from a talking box, to allowing me to showcase my life to my friends in a much more charming manner. It allowed me to be that keyboard thespian I really wanted to be. The true colors of my life were often terribly mundane. My days could be related to the boring beiges, and not the bright neons that my profile was painted with. Who I was, and what literally took place in my day was substituted for the 10% of my life that was actually exciting. I guess we all want to feel special from time to time, and with Facebook, I could upload a version of myself that was special more often than not. This proved to be an exhausting chore that I grew extremely resentful towards. After years of self-delusion I finally smartened up to my own fallacious ways and eventually stopped updating my feed. But I still couldn’t help but want to be constantly updated in the lives of others. There was a part of me that wanted to log in and analyze the fictitious lives of others on my feed. I would play the objective detective, and casually play the judge and juror on whether what others uploaded to Facebook was a premeditated plan of action, or something spontaneous and real. I’m clearly highly twisted and neurotic, I know. I couldn’t detach from the drama, and I surely couldn’t close the door on a failed part of my life that I continually invested my time into.
Over the course of the last year I had taken some half measured steps to distance myself from the app. I deleted it off my phone, but and yet convinced myself I needed to keep the messenger part. I just couldn’t get myself to fully unplug from their matrix. Every single time I sat down at my desk throughout the day there would be this almost uncontrollable impulse for me to want to log in. It was an insidious feeling that I despised.
This internal frustration is no longer something I have to internally debate over any more, because my friends, I have officially broke up with Facebook. Although I feel like a liberated man, a few days have past since operation #deletefacebook took place and the habituated impulse is still lingers. As I sit down to write this post and open up the Chrome browser, I’m still caught fighting the urge to pull up the site that I am no longer a member of.
This anecdote serves as an indicator of increased self-care and worth for me. It is just one less form of self-harm that I will participate in. It appears that the value in which I place my time and life has increased. This act of self-sabotage, will be no more.