2014 marked the year I quit Facebook. I did it back in July. I even made a big announcement on Facebook as my last status before I logged off “forever.”
Why did I do it? I was just basically fucking sick of all the bullshit inside.
I wrote, “My feed was turning into nothing more than a stream of rotten consciousness.” And I hated it.
I hated seeing videos of dumb people getting drunk and violent. I hated seeing clickbait-y headlines. I hated seeing my friends post passive aggressive statuses which obviously cried for major attention.
I wasn’t being inspired and due to personal issues of my mine, I let all of the above get to me and even ruin my day.
It took me a long while to decide to go cold turkey. I deleted the Facebook mobile app in January and it felt good. Then in July, I knew it was time to leave entirely. I never thought I would do it, but I did. And it has been awesome.
Hopefully this post would inspire you to do the same. I don’t mean to go all hipster on you and say shit like, “Technology is evil”, but I do agree that social media is here to stay. And the danger comes when we’re unaware of how it has changed our lives for the worse, however small it is.
1) A big, fearful part of myself was let go
This may come across as a surprise, but back then, I had a major fear of sharing my articles on Facebook. I was afraid of bad comments or that people would think less of me. Super ironic considering I write about personal development and not giving a fuck about what others think or say.
But it was a problem which persisted for a long while. I can’t pinpoint the underlying issue behind it, but it was there. Sometimes I shared my articles willingly, but felt the pinch.
Today, I share with abandon. And it’s been great because I don’t ever have to care about what others have to say anymore.
Truly, fear is all in the head. It’s imaginary. Fear does not exist, especially when you don’t see what’s going on. Fear of other people, online or offline dies off when you simply stick to yourself.
Fear will always be around somewhere out there, but on some level, it’s your job to make sure you don’t find it in the first place.
2) Nobody really gives a shit about you
So previously I had that fear of sharing my articles. After I left Facebook, I still wondered from time to time what difference does it make. The rest of the world is still on Facebook. The haters and critics would still be there. How then is the issue really solved when I was simply not around?
But honestly, the idea is not debating on whether you’ve truly grown through ignorance. The real idea is to realize that nobody really cares about you.
I wrote a viral article at a local website this year. I happen to know there were a lot of negative comments through my own friends and family. I also knew it was posted at some other local forums thanks to some friends who felt the need to show it to me.
It was shared a lot, but only for a few days. What then, do you think happened after that?
Nothing. Not a god damn thing happened. No more comments were made about me, much less headlines. The same will also apply to bigger names and personalities, like Kim Kardasian. I don’t see many people talking about how she “broke the internet” anymore. I know because I still surf Imgur and a little bit of 9Gag.
That’s the thing. Facebook and social media give this false assumption that people really care about you through the currency of Likes, shares and comments. The currency works, but only if you really care for it in the right sense of internet marketing. Anything else, oh, you’re just deluding yourself.
So coupled with the fact that I let go of my fearful self and also have been ignorant of whatever is being said about my articles and me, it’s a double whammy to how nobody truly cares about you. Really. Life moves on.
The trick is to actually realize that so that you can start improving your life offline and not validate yourself with social media all the damn time.
3) I get lonely sometimes, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s only something to think about
This is probably the hardest part to let go. The biggest feature I enjoyed most on Facebook was chatting with friends. I had to drop all of that.
And I actually found myself feeling lonely and bored when I had nobody to talk to. I’ve Skype, but it doesn’t match the number of available contacts online.
It kind of made realize how deeply connected we are in social media. That’s both a good and bad thing. Unfortunately for me, the bad side overwhelmed me so much that I decided to leave.
But the loneliness is not an issue per se. That can easily be solved. I just have to log back in.
The real issue is how we, as people see a need to be “around” people all the time. Whatever happened to being alone and appreciating your own space?
I’m in my room and I feel a bit lonely? Well no fucking shit. I’m in my own room, alone. Figure that out.
4) The new things I pick up offline allow me to discover new things about myself
I’m reading a lot more now. I head to my local library at least twice a month, which is the number of times I find something new to read. I’m looking to expand that so I can accomplish reading a book a week.
But this isn’t simply a matter of “finding new things to do.” It’s also about discovering new things about yourself. As cliche as that sounds, it works.
Look at it this way: How you do anything is how you do everything.
And unfortunately, when that “anything” is consisted mostly of social media, you’ll be stuck in a rut. You’re plugged in and you get limited in the number of things you do. That is why you constantly check your phone, apps and computer to see if there’re any updates for a supposed sense of newness in your life. With that in mind, ask yourself, right here right now, how much of everything in your life, literally has social media involved?
That is the “trap” the hardcore, anti-technology hipsters like to talk about.
Social media has a life of its own, but if you give it your life entirely, you’re missing out.
5) I started appreciating life itself and I can bet you aren’t
This is not a dramatic point, at all.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you watched a movie, play a video game, watched an episode or read a book without checking your phone? Gosh, the bloody convenience of mobile apps.
When was the last time you fully enjoyed something for what it is because it made you think?
I personally didn’t have that for a long time during my Facebook days. I kept checking the fucking phone and when I looked up again, I always had to rewind because I felt I missed the punchline or whatever.
When I go for walks now (yes I go for walks) I actually feel surprised at the little things around my neighborhood, like I’d go, “Oh shit. I didn’t know that was here.”
So it isn’t just about finding new things to do. It’s also not merely about being distracted. It’s appreciating whatever that is around you.
Social media has made us more connected than ever, but it’s also blinding us to the things around us.
6) I’ve become an anomaly, but that is a judgmental yet accurate reflection of you, not me
Because not many can understand or appreciate the idea of quitting Facebook. Trust me. I get a lot of surprised reactions and looks of amazement.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it goes to show how a slight deviation from a norm can invoke such a huge reaction.
Now, add in the bullshit headlines people are clicking on their feed. Most get “surprised.” Compare that to people who feel I’m different just because I quit Facebook.
What then, are we really appreciating in our own lives? Is it really so easy to get you surprised and get you entertained?
Personally, the point is not to find things or actively allow yourself to be so surprised. That is what we call gossiping.
The point is focus on your own life, do your own shit, keep learning when you can, get inspired so you can become your own anomaly, however you like to define that.
7) I am still connected and that shouldn’t be surprise to you
From what I gathered, most people are scared of quitting Facebook and dropping social media because they don’t want to feel disconnected from their friends. They don’t want to be left alone.
I don’t feel disconnected at all. I still communicate with my peers through using the fucking phone to drop a personal text and meeting face to face. And then, I don’t constantly use my phone when I’m with somebody.
Social media isn’t your life. You should never make it so. If your sense of self-importance is there alone, it’s time to wake the fuck up.
And it’s really not so bad.