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My Life Six Months After Facebook

I made some drastic changes at the beginning of the year. Over the holidays, when I realized California was no longer a place I wanted to be, I packed my bags, moved back in with my mom in New Hampshire, found a job, moved to Connecticut, and started new.

It was during this time that I decided to get rid of Facebook forever.

Well, everyone knows it’s not forever. Unfortunately, you can deactivate your account, but it’s still there whenever you feel the urge to check it, but it was a step in the right direction.

There were a lot of questions and reactions surrounding my breakup with Facebook. Are you doing it because of your recent breakup? Are you trying to avoid someone? Is it because you’re looking for a job? You’ll be back, right?

No, to all of these.

I actually wanted to get rid of my page years ago, but there were many people fighting against it that I raised my white flag instead.

I did it because I personally felt like I wasn’t going to figure my life out with the distraction of Facebook. It was a place where I constantly compared my life to other people. My page claimed I had around 500 friends, when in reality, I didn’t actually have many friends. At the time, I had around 2-3 friends I constantly spoke to, and still do to this day. While most people would say that’s satisfying, it only goes so far when most of those people live in different parts of the country.

I needed to figure out what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, and who I wanted to spend my time with without Facebook and all of its people influencing those decisions. I wanted to be able to do just about anything without everyone knowing about it. I didn’t like the feeling that all eyes were on me, watching my every move and judging my every decision. If I want to pull an all-nighter and walk aimlessly around New York City, I don’t want the entire world to know it, and proceed to ask me questions. In hindsight, I just wanted to be left alone.

It’s been approximately six months since I left Facebook, with only a handful of times I’ve logged on only to grab a picture or two. I’ve noticed some pretty liberating changes since then that I’d like to share with all of you.

1. Meeting and getting to know friends organically.

Since moving to Connecticut, I’ve met a large number of new friends. Back when I had Facebook, I most likely would have become friends with them after meeting them the first time, creeped on their Facebook page, and that’s how I would have gotten to know them.

Oh, I see Amanda went to Ireland a few months ago. She must like to travel.

Brian is constantly confessing his love for Hillary Clinton. He must be into politics.

Our real-life conversations would have been mediocre at best because we would have felt like we already knew each other based on our Facebook page. Without Facebook, I have no outside knowledge about them, therefore I ask them questions and really show that I care, and vice versa.

2. Absolutely no drama.

Everyone deals with stress whether it’s work-related, or family issues, but Facebook stress is a real sucker and is completely unnecessary. Since I left Facebook, I haven’t been wrapped up in an internet argument, or been subtly insulted by some unknowing individual not realizing their statuses affect their “friends”. There wasn’t a day I didn’t get upset about something because of Facebook, but now, it’s one less thing I stress about and that feeling goes a long way.

I logged on the other day to retrieve an old photo to my phone, and the first status that popped up was a complaint about society, or something like it. I instantly felt claustrophobic and wanted to throw my phone against the wall. It’s kind of similar to that parenting method – if you’re anxious and stressed, your child will be too.

3. Reaching out.

When I hear good news through the grapevine, I now have to personally text or call the person to congratulate them. I feel like that makes a difference, even if they don’t say that it does. For instance, a friend of mine from my MFA program recently signed a 3-4 book deal with a publishing house. I don’t talk to him much, at least not since I graduated, but when I found out, I immediately texted him to send my congrats and asked him all about it. It seemed like he really appreciated it, especially since I’m sure many people said similar things to him on his status.

When I heard a friend of mine got engaged, I texted her to ask how he proposed, and I got the full story and all of her gushyness. I would not have gotten that same experience through Facebook. I certainly feel like I’ve become a better friend and person because of this.

4. Focusing on healthy relationships.

I’m no longer wasting my energy on relationships that are actually just acquaintances. I get to share happy events with those who matter the most, and eliminating those who only spoke to me out of convenience from Facebook. There were some people I considered close friends, and I haven’t heard from them in months. At times, it’s upsetting, but then I remind myself that I’m now surrounded by friends who like speaking to me, and put in the effort to spend time with me.

When Mr. Jess and I decided to start dating, it was pretty nice not having the entire world know about it. Not that I was trying to hide him or anything, but we didn’t have the distraction of everyone asking questions or sticking their noses where it didn’t belong. Everyone got to meet me naturally, and vice  versa. There had been too many times in the past when a significant other and I changed our relationship status, and then ex-boyfriends and girlfriends fluttered in like a pack of cluster flies, sending messages and throwing things completely out of whack. It kind of puts a damper on the honeymoon stage.

Mr. Jess and I got to focus on each other instead, and it has made all the difference in how we approach our relationship. The real beauty of it was when he texted me the other night saying that he realized he never changed his relationship status and he actually didn’t care at all, and for once, he was just focused on being happy. It made me realize that I’d never had a relationship before that wasn’t announced to everyone through some form of social media. I guess that’s growing up millennial.

Facebook has way too much of our past – where we’ve been, who we’ve interacted with, what we’ve said and done. I don’t miss one thing about Facebook. It was the best decision I ever made.

Have you ever thought about leaving it? If so, why? Tell me your thoughts on the matter! It seems as though the Facebook walls are slowly crashing down.


15 thoughts on “My Life Six Months After Facebook

  1. As an Air Force nurse, I moved around quite a bit, so I have long-distance friends all over. Distant family. Etc. We’re not close enough to write or call much, but I like to know what they’re up to, and FB is good for that. Also, I publish my blog to FB. So I can’t quite get rid of it, but I try to use it wisely. I don’t post much about myself (no statuses, selfies, what I ate for dinner), limit my # of friends and how much time I spend scrolling, ignore/don’t respond to drama-inducing posts. But you make some very valid points about privacy and face time with REAL friends. Thanks for a great post, Jess. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joan! When I studied abroad, it was very useful to let my family know where I was and that I was okay. It’s definitely a great platform for something like that. Especially when I was living on the other side of the country. Now that I’m closer to home, I’d much rather just call/text them. I just didn’t find a need for it anymore now that I could go see my family and friends whenever I wanted. The downside is that I’m sometimes the last person to know about any major events haha but I can live with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mom says:

    Don’t forget how your creativity has sky rocketed! You are writing more and painting more, etc….Kudos to you! It’s hard for me, as your Mom, not knowing if you are up to date on family issues sometimes but that’s my problem not yours. I’m very proud of you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mom! I didn’t even think about what it’s done to my creativity level. It’s been so nice focusing on what’s going on in my head without others cluttering it. It’s so peaceful.


  3. I really liked this. It was like the “where are they now?” portion of a tv show. I was nodding my heading in agreement when you said you just wanted to be left alone. I couldn’t agree more. When you first said you were deleting Facebook that inspired me to slowly get off it. Although I never deactivated, I don’t scroll through it as much anymore and it feels great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Facebook has way too much of our past – where we’ve been, who we’ve interacted with, what we’ve said and done.” It’s true… and such a problem.

    Honestly, I consider dropping Facebook about once a year. That consideration increases exponentially during an election year. I just can’t bring myself to ever do it. I keep telling myself that Facebook is the reason I get a few extra readers on my blog each week. I’m pretty sure that’s a lie. But I tell it to myself anyway.

    And I just started a new job where using social media is one of core requirements. I’m afraid that The Facebook and I are intertwined for a while longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may just need to take a deep breath and do it! Haha I really hate how much Facebook has controlled the way we live now. It’s everywhere and you can’t escape it. People use it for everything, not realizing that they actually don’t need it at all, they just think they do. It was a wonderful platform to use when I was away from my family, but I simply have no use for it anymore. I used to post my blog to my Facebook way back when until I realized nobody read it except for maybe my family. So I found it to be useless in the end haha

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I “deleted” facebook about a month ago and its been great. My messenger is still active though, I have family members in Puerto Rico who don’t know how to send a text but they love to send a facebook message. Since I deleted facebook I am reading more books and being drama free is amazing.


  6. I’ve definitely thought about quitting Facebook. Going through a difficult breakup and just being a part of”groups” that were really negative just were making things worse. I took a break for a while, uninstalled the app on my phone, but since I’m in charge of a journal swap via Facebook that lasts for a year, I kind of have to stay connected. But I’m on it waaaay less and find myself disliking it. Maybe Instagram has taken its place, but I follow a lot of planner/sticker shops, do I feel it’s quite different. All of your findings though are very accurate. Good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Facebook can be toxic, I agree. It’s not just the obnoxious, hateful, and downright narcissistic posts about politics, world affairs, and general commentary that blatantly state “my opinion is better than yours.” It’s that Facebook is a breeding ground for insecurities and resentment. Nobody ever posts the bad things going on in their lives on Facebook so we get these very carefully curated moments of bliss…which can lead to unhealthy comparisons regarding how I’m living my life versus how they’re living theirs.

    I’ve thought about deleting Facebook, too, but have refrained. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with people and it can be useful for other purposes, too–I actually found my current roommate on Facebook, in a group for DC housing, and she’s awesome.

    Instead of completely deleting Facebook, I’ve been trying to cut back on my use of it. I also have been posting less than I used to. I rarely post news there anymore–I will personally tell the people who matter most in my life about the goings on in my life. It’s not something I really feel I need to announce to all 650 of my Facebook “friends.”

    I think Facebook is a good thing in small amounts. The only problem I find is exercising the self-control to stay off Facebook sometimes. I’m really glad to hear your life seems to have gotten significantly more fruitful since staying off Facebook–I think a lot of people could learn a thing or two from your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s nice and convenient when it comes to staying in touch. Now that I live closer to home, I don’t find it necessary for me anymore. I actually call my mom a lot more now than I did before, and our conversations last like an hour. Unfortunately, the bad things were overshadowing the good qualities Facebook has which was why I decided it was time. But thank you for your comment! I certainly hope Facebook dies down at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

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