is life better without facebook?

Life feels much simpler since I went off Facebook a few months ago.

I didn’t plan it; one minute I was scrolling through my feed, the next I was searching for the ‘deactivate’ button. It wasn’t necessarily about ads or privacy or even the horrible trending stories. Something in me had finally had enough. Enough of the noise. Enough of my inauthenticity.

By inauthenticity, I mean feeling removed from my heart centre, my inner aliveness. I felt like a machine while using Facebook: addicted, robotic, consuming, judging, comparing. I’d stopped posting regularly some time ago, but I could still feel the desire to be seen, liked, and validated. These are human needs, and they’re understandable – but they got a little out of whack. Facebook made it hard for me to get one step ahead of my ego.

befunky-collage

Of course, none of that is Facebook’s fault. Social media obviously has positive aspects, and our experience is our own responsibility. In other words, you can’t blame Facebook for your misery! I’m sure some people have figured out how to have a balanced relationship with it.

But I personally struggle to feel the real connection to others, maybe because there are so many connections. A constant stream of photos, opinions, inspirational quotes…Where is the space to digest it all? What’s true and what’s contrived? In all this hyper-connectivity, how much of our real selves are we actually sharing?

Are humans ready to handle all this information about each other?

A while back, an acquaintance created a ‘Truth Day’ event. She proposed that for one day, people would post how they authentically felt, not how they wanted to be perceived. One woman immediately objected, stating that Facebook shouldn’t be a place of airing “dirty laundry”. It struck me that she equated authenticity with airing dirty laundry. Is that how we regard our real feelings and emotions – as something dirty, something to shield from others?

But then, I had to wonder how authentic I myself would be on Truth Day. As open as I am on this blog, I was not so real on Facebook. Occasionally I’d share my blog posts, but always to a limited audience, and never the more personal subjects. I wasn’t ready for all those people to see all of me.

Many of us crave true sharing and intimacy, and social media might give us a taste of that…without us having to be too vulnerable. The online world can distract us from pursuing relationships where we could experience real pain or rejection. ‘Social’ media ironically locks us into further isolation (under the guise of connection), and it becomes harder to leave our comfort zone.

For now, life does feel better without Facebook. I’m not getting sucked into a huge time-waster. I’m enjoying reading actual books, and savouring prolonged moments of silence. I’m tuning into my inner self more. I’m realizing the importance of my real-life relationships. I want to nurture these things as much as possible. Maybe then I’ll have a more enjoyable relationship with social media. I’m open to that.

40 thoughts on “is life better without facebook?

  1. I feel the same way about Facebook. I for one, am guilty about showing people how I want to be perceived. In the end, I feel like I’m making some jealous of my “lifestyle” and I’m allowing myself to compare to others. I’ve also noticed that no one likes to post on people’s “walls” anymore, and the act of it seems a bit ingenuine. A lot has changed in Facebook, and I’m glad you’re taking off of it! I can totally understand how liberating that must feel.

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    • It does feel liberating. I’ve been off for so long now that it feels like a completely different world. But it does mean I miss out on quite a few things. And no one remembers my birthday anymore, haha. I think it’s great that you have such self-awareness when using Facebook. It is a huge part of our world now, and I find it’s a lot more problematic when we’re unconscious of how we are being triggered. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! 🙂

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  7. Got to admit I use to post all time on FB now I go on it when I feel like it. I do get annoyed when family members say not heard from you in a while as I haven’t posted. All they got to do is call or text me not message me. Have done 3 months and missed nothing.
    New objective each day don’t go on it put x amount in money box and see how rich I get.

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    • Wow the money box is great incentive! I’ve been off FB for about five months and now it seems like a totally different world I once lived in, and don’t really feel like returning to. (But I might one day, who knows.) I do miss learning about cool events, and people’s important life updates… but you’re right, there is still phone and email and even meeting in person with our friends and family! What a concept! 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Aleya

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    • Gillian, it’s so good to hear from you! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, and sharing my post. I hope to see you in person again soon. I left the island somewhat quickly, and my heart is missing it. I’m due for a visit in the next couple of months so I’ll keep you posted. I hope you are doing well. Big hugs! Aleya

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  8. Deactivated my Facebook two years ago, Leya. One of my wiser recent life choices. It has enabled me to renew connections and truly meaningful relationships with like-minded friends and colleagues, often in person. This I value immensely. Wishing you the best life you deserve!

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    • Hi Eric, it’s good to hear from you! Thanks so much for sharing your experience… it’s great to hear that deactivating allowed your relationships and connections to renew. This is what I hope my time away from Facebook will bring. It’s been really interesting for me to notice who now crosses my mind during the day, who I think about, who I feel called to reach out to, etc. Being online so much seemed to intercept those natural inklings and impulses, and there’s something quite magical about them. 🙂 Aleya

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  9. Nice post and fellow bloggers at some point have likely pondered the same thing and deactivated and/or deleted accounts.

    Facebook is very ego-centric and folks have a tendency to get caught up in its web, feeding each other and with that signing up to life of materialism.

    Many people seem to live holistically within Freud’s human psyche paradigm and do not look deeper inside their core to reveal a greater connection with themselves and beyond to what could be argued the collective consciousness.

    A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle covers your point and that of the ego in detail, worth a read if you haven’t.

    Of course a blog is social media too, but anonymity seems not to feed the ego in the same way Facebook does (depending on whose blogs one follows of course!), and often reveals the musings of the writers inner core rather than that of the external “I”.

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    • Very well said. ‘Feeding’ is a good word… yes, it’s a lot of feeding and consuming…and spewing and regurgitating – hah. It was difficult for me to not get caught up in it all, despite my best efforts to stay detached from everything I was observing/absorbing. Which is why it wasn’t about spending less time on FB, or reducing the number of friends, etc. It went beyond that. It was actually quite humbling for me to experience my own ego-centricity – and so, the only recourse was to just stop and create new space to connect with that core part of myself. I’m glad you addressed blogging in your comment too; I’d originally included similar thoughts in this post but removed them for some reason or another. I think you articulated it better than I did. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting! Aleya

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    • Thanks so much! Seems like more and more of us are going that route… or at least taking a break to contemplate the role of social media in our lives. I hope you have been enjoying the time away! 🙂 Aleya

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  10. Love your authentic sharing and all the thoughts that are being shared here by you and others commenting. I find it so valuable to hear different perspectives, that allow me to expand. I do waste a lot of time on social media and haven’t been able to find the right balance yet, between totally quitting and reading too much. However I do love the connections from all over the world and at the same time when I get a real letter in the mail from a friend far away, the joy of opening that letter holds no comparison.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and perspective here. Social media has completely changed our world, and in such a short time, it’s no wonder that so many of us have a hard time finding the balance! And the positive aspects are truly amazing, like the fact that we can all have this conversation right now. I too love the connections all over the world… I’ve met a couple blogging pals in person, and that’s just so cool. Another good thing about social media is that we can pick our platforms, i.e., we don’t have to be everywhere, all the time. I don’t know if I’d be so willing to let FB go if I didn’t have the creative outlet/connection of blogging. 🙂 It takes trial and error, esp in a techno world where things are constantly changing, and quickly. Thanks again for reading and commenting! Aleya

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  11. Yep ! I GET you . I did that too but then was bullied to get back on . Haha! My friends got mad that they couldn’t send a group – meetup or I was not informed when a parent died .
    So now I just try to check in first thing in the morning & BEfore bedtime ! Best to you !

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    • It’s so true…Facebook seems to be the way of communicating for most people about important life events. I have missed so much news, and this has been challenging. That is awesome that you check it just twice a day. Brava!! Thank you for reading and commenting! Aleya

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  12. Hi Aleya,
    Sometimes I do too much authentic connecting on social media (and/or learning how to communicate more effectively), and offline; and I really need to hit my books and get to my studies, or work out a theory, or work on my book, or finish my newer website, or update my old website/blog, or practice my Qi Gong, or take care of my plants, or start that art project, or clean my house. Or just simply integrate “bodily” all my new experiences. So, then I take a break and I do what I need to do. Other times, I just enjoy the connections and camaraderie and seeing how the kids I know are growing up, and being amazed by my super creative friends who are working very successful businesses and happily! I enjoy that I have all these places to socialize, network, and can enjoy multiple connections at once, which fuels my love for humanity and kindness, and believing in people, and also believing in myself and my capacity to love my work, all of it: the paperwork, the study, the daily tests, the art, also the connecting: with source in silence, or with people in journey space, or with people in person, and often as work projects or in practice. I think abundance sometimes can give the perception of inauthenticity, and I don’t know why. What do you think? Like too much of something, anything, makes it less appreciatable, appealing, or reduced quality? Plus, the time spent can be addictive, so the question comes back to the self: is *this* worth my time?
    xoxo Ka

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    • Hi Ka, sounds like you’ve got a good thing going with social media. 😉 I’ve taken FB breaks before, but this one seems to be sticking a bit longer, probably because other parts of my life are calling out for the attending they haven’t been getting. Interesting to think of abundance as giving the perception of inauthenticity. I think there are many different perspectives to this. Some people (like me) are prone to over-stimulation as it is (Vata constitution), so too much of any kind of electronics or noise is irritating. I don’t know…it’s such a personal thing! At the end of the day, for me it’s about priorities and paring things down to the essentials… and if social media can fit into that, then great. Technology in general should enhance our (social) lives, not complicate things or feel like another obligation. Thank you for the thoughtful comment ❤ Aleya

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      • Thank you for your thoughtful response! 🙂 I’ve always felt like Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. At different times in my life, I felt my balance was/is different. Thank you for stimulating my mind here. I’m just trying to roll with the over-stimulating thing for right now, let it do it’s thing, whatever that is. Bless you dear! ❤ Big love to you and your priorities and your peacefulness. That's part of what it feels like sharing this journey with you is about. ❤ Some breaks from social media are longer than others, some planned, some unplanned. One thing that you also brought up for me (in my mind) along with thoughts on abundance and authenticity are thoughts on how being inconsistent in our behaviors is somewhat freeing and liberating when we base it on our wellness needs. Just another thought! Also, if I am really honest with myself, I have no idea what other perceives unless I ask. ❤ Love you lots! Thanks so much for you. Best wishes, Ka

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