As a girl growing up in the 21st century, the Internet and social media have always been a part of my life, and it can become pretty temping and easy to fall under its trap. Yes, I said trap, because that’s what it is. Social media is a trap. Let’s face it…Facebook (ah, see what I did there…face it, Facebook…? Yeah…?? Okay, so that was unintentional, and now I’ve just proved to the world how lame I really am. Moving on.) has pretty much taken over the Internet and people’s social lives. Everything happens on Facebook, and it comes to a point that you don’t even have to tell anyone about anything because, well, everyone finds out on Facebook. “Susan had her baby last night!” “Yeah, I know. I saw it on Facebook.” “Johnny got into Harvard!” “Yeah, I read it on Facebook this morning.” It’s even gotten to the point that people are even finding out about deaths of loved ones on Facebook! I found out about my step-grandpa’s death via Facebook my senior year of high school. The point is, it’s sad. It’s sad that people’s lives have become so consumed with this silly website. Spending hours a day posting statuses, photos, and lurking on people you probably don’t even know very well. And why? For self satisfaction? To make yourself feel worthy? Does it make you feel good, accepted, and appreciated when someone “likes” your picture, or status? Or maybe it’s because you’re bored? Whatever the reason, it’s silly, and pointless, and I can guarantee you you’re not getting any gain out of it.
I myself fell into the “Facebook trap.” For me it was about not being able to completely move on from my past. I didn’t care about the “likes,” or the attention…in fact all that bothered me. I’d scroll through my Newsfeed and almost be disgusted at some of the attention seeking things I’d see. Facebook annoyed me. But for me, it was the only connection I had to the past. I could keep in touch with all my high school friends, and my family members. It was an easy way to see what everyone was up to and keep in contact with them. I felt closer to them using Facebook. And that was the only thing holding me back from deleting it. I used to be someone who was afraid of change…I was afraid of letting the past go. I wanted to hold onto the past because I had some good times with some good people, and I wasn’t ready to let that part of my life go yet. This coming from the same girl who sported very unflattering bleach-blonde hair for years just because I was too attached to the past and afraid of change. Yeah. =/ I’m not proud of those days…haha. The thing about the past, though, is that it’s the past for a reason…90% of the people on my Facebook probably wouldn’t have a thing to do with me if it weren’t for Facebook…so why did I care so much?
After a lottt of thinking, talking, and convincing I finally bit the bullet and deactivated my Facebook six months ago. I figured, the people in my life who WANT to talk to me and keep in their lives, will. I have a cell phone, they have my number…they can call or text me. But the people who could care less and don’t wanna take the time to find alternate ways to become in contact with me aren’t really real friends anyway, and I don’t want them in my life. I’m not going to make the effort if they’re not. Six months later, and without my Facebook, and it feels amazing. I don’t miss it one bit, and I’ve never been tempted to reactive it. My only regret is not saving all my photos on my profile before deactivating, but that’s really no big deal. My real friends have kept in contact with me since the deactivation. And there has been people that surprised me, who I though were real friends, but I haven’t heard from since I deleted six months ago. And that’s totally fine with me. At least I know who my real friends are now. Facebook is just such a waste of time and totally unproductive. I can’t believe I wasted SO many hours on that damn website. Now if I want to talk to an old friend, I actually have to call them, or meet up with them somewhere. I’m being more productive with my time and I’m actually not procrastinating the things I should be doing. When I do find myself with free time and internet access (which is a lot…the joys of not having a job…just kidding. Someone hire me, please? haha.), I find myself actually reading articles, educating myself, writing, researching things that interest me and could help me in the future, or in life in general. My point is, even when I’m being “lazy” on the internet, I’m still being somewhat productive with my time…instead of spending many pointless hours lurking Facebook. Yuck. I can’t believe I ever did that. Gross.
Of course, I have earned some backlash for it. I had my aunt text me and told me that I was turning my back on the family by leaving Facebook and that I was being “selfish.” Yes. You read that right…I’m selfish for deleting my Facebook. HA. She was one of the reasons I left in the first place. She was always creeping on my profile, running her mouth about me to the rest of the family, twisting my words on my statuses, and somehow a rumor got started about me in my family that I was pregnant…which would be the most impossible thing in the world. She told me when I deleted “Jenn-Jenn, we all live so far away and this is the only way for all of us to stay close with each other. You really shouldn’t have deleted. I use Facebook to check up on all you kids. You’re turning your back on this whole family. I don’t want what happened with your mom to affect your relationship with this family. You’re being selfish.” This really pissed me off. I simply told her “I’m not doing this to get away from anyone in this family…I’m doing this for myself because I think Facebook is stupid and a waste of time. If anyone in the family wants to get a hold of me, that’s fine; they have my number.”
The moral of the story is that I’m so glad I finally deactivated my Facebook. I don’t miss it at all, and I really encourage everyone to do the same. It’s so much more freeing. Try it out. Deactivate it for a week and if you don’t miss it, then do it for good. Get out there, get off your butts and start living your lives in the real world; not some little virtual social media website. Go be productive and experience life. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did. :))