The sky was dreary, but not my face. My coffee and greek yogurt had never tasted better while I perused inspirational blog posts about beautiful things. My phone buzzed with a text from a friend that I hadn’t heard from in a month. I looked at the name slightly perplexed because the last time we had spoken, I was not in her good graces. When I opened the text, I saw a ring bigger than my eyeball and a message that said, “He proposed!” My face shadowed over like the sky outside, and my fingers immediately typed, (Wait for it. Wait for it.) “facebook.com”.
This was a natural, instant reaction other than my response to her, “GIRL! I AM SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!”
Now, cut to me scrolling through my mini feed, clicking on profiles, crying a little, and pouring delicious Kahlua into my coffee. (I swear it was just for taste.) Five other random friends had accepted a marriage proposal, a huge ring, or a fabulous job. This was when I decided to end my relationship with Facebook for a while.
Our relationship was a one sided relationship. I could post fun pictures, share original stories, and promote my favorite brand, but Facebook would never give me a A+ for effort. It would just give me infinitely better stories and pictures from other people. (Damn, I thought my idea was good, but hers… Wow.) After wrestling with the temptation to just reenter my username and password, I came up with 3 reasons why my decision to break up with Facebook was brilliant.
1. Facebook added to my dangerous desire to compare. I read an article in Relevant Magazine where the author called comparison disorder the new “OCD” (over comparison disorder). I clapped my hands and said out loud, “You better preach it, Paul!” I did an inner look at my soul and realized that every morning, I would look at Facebook before I even thought about my breakfast. I would see someone who just received an amazing promotion or started a brilliant non-profit. I found myself saying, “Ugh. My life sucks. Why didn’t I think of that? What am I doing with my life? Their life is so much better.” I would also see a slew of engagement pictures and say, “I can’t.” Instead of appreciating the beauty in my life, I was appreciating the beauty in the life of others. It was blinding me to what was amazing about my life. I needed to open my eyes to the successes in my life and smile.
2. Facebook took away my “smarts.” Oh, the days when I used to scour the news, browse the shelves of Barnes and Noble, debate over hot topics, research something important and enjoy being me. And then, I got too involved in my relationship with Facebook. I became so consumed with the lives of others that my brain became mush. For example, someone was talking about a news story they read on CNN. I had no clue what they were talking about. I was embarrassed because I graduated from journalism school. Actually, I graduated from one of the top journalism schools in the country. I can’t believe I am actually admitting that. Now that I am free from my relationship for a while, I read more blogs than I can count. I check CNN and USA Today on the regular. I also purchased a GRE and GMAT book.
3. Facebook gives you a false sense of worth. I have never in my life seen so many people concern themselves with how many likes or comments their pictures or statuses receive. I had a friend say one time, “Only a handful of people liked my picture.” It’s funny to me how we can define ourselves and our worth by a social networking site. I was walking out of work yesterday and walked by two girls kicking a cigarette and discussing Facebook. “She put ‘in a relationship’? God, it must be serious then.” “She de-friended you? What a bitch.” If I could go a day without hearing how Facebook effects the emotions of others it would be a good day. If we all could remember what defines our worth and value and relationships we would all feel so much better. Our value is not determined by someone’s post, all this is fleeting. Our value is determined by who we are deep within our soul, how we treat others and the positive influences we share around us. On that note, I would love to receive some hand written snail mail from someone saying they like.
I know I am railing on Facebook. It has done some great things and come very far. It’s a great place to find old and new friends, to network, and to promote. I also love Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sherl Sandberg. She is a very powerful female leader. For now, my life will move on without Facebook. I will flourish and work on my “OCD.” Until I decide to log on again, Facebook, I want to say “Adieu”.