Confessions of a Former Facebook Addict

I hate Facebook.

It once had a really good place in my life.  It was a place where I came to post about and process my grief.  It was a place I came to be validated for how I was feeling and what I was going through.  I needed Facebook.  I needed the likes and comments.  Those comments, as odd as it might seem, were very powerful in helping me heal.  
But I had an over-reliance on it, and I started to pay too much attention to the newsfeed and how other people were living their lives.  And on exceptionally stressful or low days, I’d find the newsfeed to only depress me further rather than to boost me.  Paying too much attention to the highlight reels of others’ postings made me re-examine my own life and question whether or not I was actually living it or living vicariously through others’ postings about their lives.  
So I began to ween myself from it.  
I began my “unliking” some pages that no longer interested me.
I then downsized my “friends.”  Most of those that were eliminated were people that I really didn’t know, people I’d “collected” over time, people with which I had no regular contact.  To be honest, the people that were defriended were people that I just don’t care about.   I’m certain those people don’t care about me either.  I did manage to piss off one person that I defriended. He messaged me after the fact to let me know of his disapproval of his defriended status, and he went on to inform me that he always thought I was an asshole anyway.  If that is the case– that I am, indeed, an asshole, then I don’t really know why he wanted to be Facebook friends anyway.  Some people really take this Facebook stuff a little too seriously.
And that’s the root of the problem.  
Facebook is not real.  It’s not life.  It’s a representation of life.  And how we use it can ruin our days if we allow it.  I won’t allow it.   I’ve got too much of a life to live, and I want to live it.  
I ran an experiment a couple weeks ago.  I vowed to not look at Facebook for an entire week. It was glorious.  Any time I felt an “itch” to look at Facebook, I’d force myself to do something else– like read a book.  Or I’d call or text a friend…ok, who am I kidding?  I texted.  I never call people.  Or I’d just do something else. Cleaning the cats’ litter boxes even took precedence over Facebook.   
And you know what?
I didn’t die.
In fact, I lived.  
I lived.
I lived my life.  I got off of my online life, and I just started living. Living a real life.  
Since that experiment, I’ve only had limited use of Facebook.  I just don’t enjoy it anymore, and I really don’t “need” it like I used to.  
I wonder: how much time do YOU spend on Facebook?  Do you use it as a “crutch” for actually living a life?  Do you use it mindfully, or do you get caught up in it and end up wasting a whole bunch of time on it?  
Why not try weaning yourself away from it?  Try it for an hour, a day, a week, however long you like….what’s the worst that can happen?
You’ll live.  I promise.    

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