For the past few months, I’ve contemplated deleting (or deactivating) my Facebook account. I felt like I was spending all my time scrolling through other people’s lives, rather than living my own. Facebook can be notorious for the famous saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” because it’s easy to imagine that everyone else is having more fun, doing more interesting things, and are happier based on their Facebook pictures and statuses.
So after a lot of thinking, I finally did it. Did I feel liberated? Not really. It feels like I had an addiction and I’m just craving for one last minute with it. It is also surprising me how much I used Facebook – not just during my spare time, but to find out about events around town, talk to a long-lost friend halfway around the world, or grab a contact’s email or phone number to catch up.
But besides that inconvenience, it’s also allowing me to focus on my friends that are nearby, who I can see regularly, instead of living vicariously through a friend’s photos. Facebook makes you believe that happy, posed pictures are real life – but they’re not. And so instead of just scrolling through pictures of my friends getting engaged, married, or having kids – while I’m not – and feeling a tad jealous, I can focus my energy on something a bit more positive.
I know that I won’t leave Facebook forever – I’m not even sure if you can permanently delete your Facebook account. As of now, it’s deactivated – and boy does Facebook make it hard to do that! Once you click the button to deactivate your account, Facebook pulls up pictures of you and your friends and tells you how much they will miss you. Then you have to re-enter your password, and enter another code before you can officially deactivate, after you are sent an email that if you ever want to return, all your information will still be there.
I know I’ll probably be back, but in the meantime, it’s nice to focus on the tangible things in my life, rather than focusing on what I don’t have – which so many of my Facebook friends supposedly do have. I’m hoping to gain a little perspective, and maybe some happiness too – knowing that my real friends and family will still be there for me, even if contacting me just got a bit harder.