A few months ago, I did what most people wouldn’t dream of doing…

And that was to delete my Facebook.

Yup, you’ve heard right. I deleted my Facebook.

Okay, maybe there’s a bit of an exaggeration… I didn’t delete it… I deactivated it.

I chose to delete my Facebook because I was getting tired of comparing my life with my peers. I was seeing hundreds of vacation photos, sappy love-dovey photos, wedding photos, baby photos, and almost everything else. It’s not that I despise my life but I couldn’t help but compare some aspects of my life with my peers. For example, I’m working full time while I see others travelling the across Asia; I’m still in a happy relationship with Dan but my classmate from math class just had her second child already. I see friends celebrating their new promotion and I’m still at an entry-level position.

I realized, it started to make a bit upset and resent where I am in life and those around me. I got envious and jealous at how some of my colleagues are so successful already, and how I feel like I’m not supposed to be where I am in my life.

What deleting my Facebook taught me

It’s funny because I’ve taken a course called ‘Being Online’ as one of my electives and we focused on the negative impact social media has on its users…. and I was a victim. For a moment, I forgot that people fabricate their lives on the internet and post only the best of the best for the world to see. Not every couple is happy and not even vacation was purchased on disposable income.

And, when it wasn’t my mental health being preyed upon by social media, I also wasted a lot of time on it. Every morning, I would waste about ten minutes just scrolling through feeds. Or every time I’m bored at work, I’ll launch up Facebook and see what’s happening – let’s not even talk about how fast my phone battery used to die.

The messenger was also another thing. I hated being “available” 24/7 for people acquaintances to message me about a favour or pitch me their pyramid scheme. I wanted to connect with my friends and only those who I shared my phone number with.

So, ultimately, I decided to take a break from it. I deactivated and within two weeks, I felt much more better. I was happier, more productive and didn’t waste much more time than I needed to.

Eventually, I enjoyed the break so much, I’ve decided to keep it deactivated until further notice.

What did I learn from deleting my Facebook?

  • There’s no point in comparing your life with your peers. You’ve heard it a billion times but it’s right – we’re all on different paths.
  • Those who really matter would take the time to exchange alternative methods of communication. When I first deleted my Facebook, I didn’t announce it to the world. I just did it. Kendel was the first person to noticed and reached out to me on Twitter and then exchanged numbers again to talk on WhatsApp.
  • Social media is a lie. People will always post the best of the best.
  • It’s refreshing to let your brain not be cluttered with pointless life updates from people you haven’t spoken to in 5+ years and don’t care about. Do I really need to know what Susan did on Thursday night?
  • The ten minutes I spend every morning laying in bed scrolling through my Facebook feed can now be spent snoozing for another ten minutes or getting a ten minutes head start to my day.
  • My eyes can rest from rolling at yet another useless rant.
  • I no longer feel the need to update my 600 friends about my life aka read this sentence as I no longer feel the need to “impress” people about my vacations and wonderful boyfriend. Yes, I’m not going to lie – I share only the best of the best highlights of my life.
  • My insecurity and jealousy no longer comes up because I don’t and can’t stalk girls anymore (lol)
  • People genuinely applaud me for deleting Facebook but yet they can’t bring themselves to delete it because “it’s the only way to keep in touch with everyone”
  • Nearly everyone agrees that they felt the negativity of comparing their lives with their peers as well
  • My phone battery actually lasts until I get home from work
  • Speaking of phone, my phone is much more quieter
  • I no longer have to write cheerful Happy Birthday messages on your wall that I clearly don’t mean

 

But, life without Facebook has its cons as well:

  • My blog engagement decreased since I no longer share my posts on various blogging groups
  • I sometimes can’t obtain bonus packages in my mobile games because I have no Facebook account to connect it to
  • I always have to explain why I chose to delete my Facebook, which always follows with “Oh my gosh, I feel the same way! The exact same way! But I can’t delete my Facebook because I need to connect with everyone.”
  • I sometimes do miss seeing what my ex-classmates and acquaintances are up to and being able to know what their latest news without meeting up for coffee and small talk
  • I get no more Facebook invites which means if I get invited to something, I don’t know who’s going, don’t know any immediate updates or changes, or sometimes people just forget me
  • I also miss reading viral news and seeing random/funny videos
  • I also miss getting notifications for events around my city… I mean, 95% of the time I’m not going but it’s nice to know what’s happening around town

 

I still have Twitter and Instagram which oddly enough, I don’t feel like I’m comparing my life on those platforms. For Twitter, it’s filled with just bloggers and blog posts and none of my friends are even on it. On Instagram, I follow celebrities, memes, and photography accounts that whenever I do load up Instagram for a bit, I see funny and inspirational pictures more than I see my own friends.

I’m not saying that I had an unhealthy obsession with Facebook but I ultimately decided that it’s better for me to delete my Facebook until further notice. I don’t know when or if I’ll reactive it but for now, it’s extremely refreshing and I’m genuinely happy and relaxed from Facebook. It’s amazing how one site can do this to people!

What are your thoughts on Facebook? Would you be deleting it anytime soon?


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20 Comments

  1. I considered deleting my facebook as well sometimes but facebook seems to be the only way my distant relatives are connected to me and are able to see updates on my son.
    LOL so I am one of those from your list HAHA
    “•People genuinely applaud me for deleting Facebook but yet they can’t bring themselves to delete it because “it’s the only way to keep in touch with everyone””

    My bestfriend actually deleted her facebook and yes, she only has her instagram! That’s her way of keeping in touch with things online without the pressures of facebook. It’s funny to say that there’s pressures with facebook when there isn’t anywhere else. It’s one of those weird anomalies.
    That’s awesome you are from Vancouver as well! It’s rare to see another blogger from Vancouver and come across one out of nowhere!

    • Haha, I don’t blame you for being one of those people!!! I can definitely see the benefits of using Facebook to stay in touch with those further away, especially if they’re not on any other social media! I think if I had more distant friends that don’t use any other platform but Facebook, I’d definitely consider keeping my Facebook. And you’re absolutely right that it is pretty weird that a lot of these mental and emotional pressures comes from Facebook but rarely off other platforms – I still love Twitter and Instagram!

      No way – that’s awesome you’re another Vancouverite blogger! I agree that I don’t stumble across many Vancouver blogs myself 🙁 A lot out in Ontario and Quebec, I noticed!

  2. I’ve thought about deleting my Facebook quite a few times, but now that I’m in a foreign country I’ve found that it’s a lot easier for me to stay connected with people without having to do any heavy lifting. I’m busy out here, so sometimes it’s nice that my aunt in Connecticut can see what I’m up to without me having to contact her and tell her all the details on a phone call I could be having with my mom.

    My dad hates Facebook for the same reasons you decided to deactivate it. He doesn’t see the point in sharing so much of our lives online, at least to 500+ friends, most of whom don’t really care about someone’s kids, someone’s marriage, or someone’s career. I think, of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the one that breeds the most toxicity. Props to you for deactivating it and realizing that your life has been bettered in many ways because you did!

    • I can see the benefits of keeping Facebook activated when you’re overseas. While I was thinking of Australia, I debated on whether or not to keep it deactivated or not. Deactivated because I’m enjoying life without Facebook a lot more now and I have other methods of keeping up to date with friends and family; but also reactivating it to show my adventures abroad and add new Australian friends.

      Facebook is one of those things that if you’re not on it, you’re the odd one out, and definitely has its pros and cons. If I did return to Facebook, I think I might look at Chrome plug ins that helps filter out some contents and whatnot.

  3. Comparison is definitely the enemy of joy! I deleted my FB for a short time too and it made me realise how beautiful life was before we all started living it online!

    • Agreed – comparison is definitely deadly! You’re absolutely right that life is beautiful and way too short to be living it online! I’m quite happy to slowly realized how I transitioned from living to be online (eg. behind a camera to document EVERYTHING) to living in the present and taking a few snaps but not eager to share it online anymore.

  4. Social media has some amazing pro’s but like you’ve said can come with cons. I’ve known lots of people delete their Facebook or other social media sites for the same reason. But remember, people very rarely share the down moments in their lives online, and obviously want to share the highs, so you should never compare yourself to everyone else online, as you’re probably only seeing the selected bits of their lives they want to share.
    xx

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jasmin! I guess a lot of us do forget that social media is fabricated to extents – myself included when I post online.

  5. I actually deactivated my Facebook (pre blog) when I went through my no social media phase. I wanted to erase myself and my presence from the internet… and it was so freeing! I loved it, in fact, I wish I could do it again but my family overseas would hate me for not being able to see pics of my daughter online… so instead, I just removed everyone and went down from 1000 to 100 friends Thanks for sharing.

    Shevy
    http://moonsomnia.com

    • Right?! You described it best – it’s just freeing! I know what you mean – since I’m planning to move overseas next year, I’m debating if I should reactive my FB or not. I really like the idea to deleting or muting everyone I don’t connect with so my feed isn’t cluttered.

  6. I totally agree with everything you say, I hardly use my Facebook anymore except for the blogging groups. Good for you that you deleted it

    • I miss those blogging groups! They really generated a lot of engagement for my blog and it was such a supportive community! If I reactivate, it’d definitely be for the groups rather than keeping tabs on my friends, haha. #bloggerslife.

  7. I made my first FB account a couple of months ago and I barely use it. I had a feeling this would be the case which is why I was delaying getting an account. I completely agree with what you said about getting a glimpse into everybody’s else’s lives and then comparing it to your own. I definitely prefer Twitter as a social network to connect. I really enjoyed reading this post and could relate to a lot of what you were saying.

    • Ahh, smart thinking on delaying the process! I really love Twitter, sometimes even more than Instagram and Facebook. It’s so much easier, less time consuming and get a mix of humour, life updates, and news. Thanks for stopping by and glad you could relate to this!

  8. Absolutely love this post! Everything you said is so true. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to not compare my life with others. I’ve never been married, so every time I’d see someone get engaged I was so envious. But like you said, I realized that we’re all on different paths and not everyone’s life is as shiny and glamorous as they make it out to be. And then there’s the people who never talked to you in high school who send a friend request, act like they genuinely care about how you’ve been, and then jump right into a sales pitch. No thank you!

    • Oooo, those are the worst! If it’s not a sales pitch, these “friends” will strike up a conversation and be all buddy buddy with you until they start to ask for a favour. I use to get old high school classmates asking me for discounts when I used to work at Best Buy, and I’m just like… we haven’t talked since high school AND even back in high school, we weren’t friends!

  9. I barely use Facebook if it’s not to keep in contact with family and friends who aren’t close by, or to communicate with other bloggers x

  10. First of all, I’m proud of you. It’s very hard to let it go.

    I was in your same situation with Facebook, constantly comparing myself with my former highschool friends, my university classmates, and so on. I never actually used Messenger, but I felt like everybody were spying me, if I declined an invitation I had to make sure to not appear online playing a game or people would think I didn’t tell them the truth and silly things like that. I deleted (not deactivated) my profile 3 years ago and I never looked back.

    I have a new profile now, with my second name instead of my surname, that I only use for blogging stuff like managing pages for the blogs I write for and interacting in a couple of groups, but I’ve set up some boundaries. I blocked all my RL close friends and family and if someone asks me if I have Facebook, I say no.

    Good luck with your Facebook-free life 🙂

    • That’s a good description of how Messenger made me feel as well. I also hated being available for everyone to contact me whereas, exchanging a phone number is much more intimate.

      I do sometimes still get the urge to go back to Facebook and I think if I ever did, I’d unfollow or remove those who I really no longer interact with. I miss those blogging groups the most, haha. I love talking about blogs :p

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