Two weeks ago, I FINALLY took the plunge and requested that my Facebook account be deleted. Earlier last year, I took a break from the social media site and deactivated my account for a few months (click here to see my blog post). I enjoyed my time away from Facebook but came back in May 2017 because I missed my Facebook groups. I stopped looking at my timeline and thought I wouldn’t be on Facebook as much if I just stuck to my groups. HA! Wrong. Here’s what I realized:
- Once again, I was still using Facebook to seek validation—for example, I was member of a group for African American introverts. I liked seeing responses to my comments on other people’s posts: “They agree with me!” or “They think I’m funny!” I thought. Not only that, but I just felt accepted; if I felt misunderstood in the real world, I didn’t have to worry about feeling that way in this group. I could relate to the other members’ posts and felt like most of them had similar experiences (“this happened to me, too; you’re not alone”). We all want to feel like we belong somewhere. However, because I was so addicted to this group, I wasn’t spending enough time with God or His word. Instead of seeking Him, I was focused on this group and that’s not how I want my relationship with God to be.
- Like Maxine Waters, I wanted to reclaim my time—I’d spent so much time on Facebook, but yet whenever I wanted to work on my writing, do some reading, etc. I was too tired or there wasn’t enough time. “I’ll just get on here for 30 minutes.” Next thing I knew, an hour, 2 hours had passed. And after I finally got off the site, I felt guilty, like dang…I could’ve been doing something more productive. Now that I’ve been off Facebook, I have time to do things that I want/need to do: read books, organize my room, work on my blog, etc.
- I wanted to regain my focus—I’m not sure what it is about Facebook that made me feel like I had trouble focusing (probably because everything is “bite-sized” and consists of images with small amounts of text; you don’t have to use your imagination). For instance, whenever I read a book or my bible, I rushed through it, couldn’t focus, and wasn’t able to remember what I read. Now that I’m not on Facebook, my focus is better; I enjoy taking my time to read a book and imagine how the characters look and how they sound. I know that if you’re stressed out or have a lot of things on your mind, you won’t be able to focus on anything. But if social media is making it harder for our brains to focus, then that’s pretty darned scary.
If you’re able to manage your time on Facebook and not become addicted, then that’s great! Unfortunately, I was not able to, so I made the decision to give up Facebook in order to make some improvements in my life.
Have you deleted your Facebook account or are you thinking about it? Let me know in the comments.