I Went Social Media Free for One Week

Last Thursday night I hit a seriously low low.

It was odd and unexpected.

Thursday had actually been a really great day. I had been busy at work. I had plans to meet up with Milo and his new owners. The meet up had gone super well. Milo did not ignore me or hate on me. In fact, he remembered me quite well. After his usual happy reaction to seeing someone friendly (ie me) from far away he kind of did a double take and totally lost it. Dogs are the best.

But then, due mostly to feeling a sudden and very intense wave of loneliness, the great day turned into a memorably depressing and low-sleep kind of night.

I would cry. Calm myself down. Do something. Cry some more. Calm myself down. Sleep momentarily. Go on social media. Get triggered. Cry. Cry. Cry.

Can anyone else relate?

I specifically remember going on Facebook, as I often do to pass the time when I’m hanging out alone (or not particularly involved with whatever is going on around me), seeing a picture of some of my friends from my past life hanging out, and totally losing it (negatively, not the happy-excited way Milo had lost it previously when he saw me).

This wasn’t so much a feeling of FOMO, I didn’t fear missing out, I had missed out.

A lot of things have gone really well for me since moving here. My social life and developing a group of friends is still something I’m working on. So it’s hard, especially after a week when the handful of people I do hang out with were all busy, to go and see that those people I left (I know I know I’m the one that left) are having fun without me (which, they should always continue doing, but I’m still gonna miss them)!

I used to say that Facebook was great because it allowed me to stay in touch with people. But really, for the most part, that’s not what I use Facebook for at all. Facebook, for the most part for me, has turned into seeing what friends, acquaintances, and others have been up to since I last checked Facebook. I don’t actually interact with anyone. At the most I’ll like a post. Every once in a while I’ll even comment.

So, after seeing the misery that one post put me in last week, and in an effort to get out of my funk, I vowed to go without Facebook and Instagram for a week to see what would happen. (PS I don’t use Twitter but I probably would have sworn that off too).

To be honest, I wanted to get back on Facebook SO. MANY. TIMES. Seriously, it was kind of like a strange addiction, my brain needed to mindlessly stare at something while my finger swiped (if that came off as weirdly sexual, I apologize). But every time I just said no.

So what happened? Nothing mind blowing, I’m not like the happiest person on earth now (hah!). But I really am considering getting rid of my Facebook all together. It really doesn’t serve much purpose for me. Sure, it’s handy as a member of certain groups to know what’s going on, but I feel like it mentally costs me a lot to have Facebook available at my fingertips whenever I want it. It allows me to waste time, and not in any meaningful way. I know, for example, some people who use Facebook mainly to follow and find scholarly articles that do actually provide value. And I applaud those people. And I also humbly acknowledge that that will never be me.

So yeah, if you suddenly don’t see me on Facebook anymore, don’t fret! A) It’s not like a I posted that much anyway so it’s not like you’re missing out on anything; and (B) No, I didn’t unfriend you thus making some horribly intensely passive aggressive statement about our friendship.

And as for Instagram. I actually find Instagram inspiring. I’m not sure why that is. And I’m not sure it’ll always be that way. But currently my Instagram is filled with some friends, tons of yogis that are really really good at handstands, and some body-positivity advocates.

So what? Well, if you find yourself logging onto Facebook to quickly scan your newsfeed and look up from your screen only to realize that half the day has passed and you’ve been drawn into a black hole of social media, consider taking a break. It doesn’t have to be a week. Maybe just 24 hours will do. Figure out other, more productive ways to spend that time. And see how you feel! Maybe going social media free isn’t for you!

P.S. I’ve decided to take a little break from writing to relaunch this blog both in terms of appearance and in terms of actually getting my shit together with forethought and more meaningful posts. So I will not be posting for the rest of this month. But I will be back so keep your eye out for a relaunch coming at you in June!