The ‘mental problems’ category

Spring Cleaning

March 25th, 2018

Please, come with me to the land of the free... Instagram

Please, come with me to the land of the free… Instagram


I’m thinking of joining the ranks of the disenfranchised and actually… dun dun dun… getting off Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook for ten years. In that time, it has enriched my life tremendously.

For one (and this one’s enough), I have Facebook to thank for my husband and twin daughters. If this easy mechanism for reconnecting with long lost loves did not exist, Jon and I would have been gone for each other forever. Facebook was our gateway to every single beautiful thing about our lives together today. If not for Facebook, I would probably still be single and lonely in a tiny cottage in California, and Jon would still be in Utah, with skiing and climbing the exclusive focus of his life in perpetuity.

Thank you, Facebook.

Also, fuck you, Facebook! You could not be more the worst!

Every day, I get on you, and immediately my mood sours. Mainly, it’s anxiety. The state of the world and all — the one my kids are going to grow up in. If I have to hear about another school shooting, let it be on NPR, where at least it’s presented with a cool head. And to be honest with you, if I never hear another alarmist story about vaccines or gluten or the toxins in my toothbrush again in my life it would be too soon. Life is hard enough.

Then there’s the fact that people I like and love have wildly different opinions than me about things that really matter. I type out like 30 irate posts a day and then force myself to breathe before posting them. Over 99% of the time, I get over it and backspace. But in the meantime, my blood pressure shoots up and I start to question the values of people I love. Frankly, I’m starting to feel alienated from a few of the people I’ve been closest to in my life, and that doesn’t feel good. Facebook was supposed to bring us closer.

The problem is that I spend most days online all day, as I work on digital content for clients. I tend to use Facebook as a break when I’m feeling burnt out. It’s like a cigarette break. It’s terrible for me, and makes me feel bad, but it gives me an excuse to get some fresh air. And then I worry about dying for a while.

Yet, there are things I have always loved about Facebook, and that’s what makes it hard to quit. I love the ability to share stories, photos, and ideas. And I want to read other people’s stories, see their photos, hear their ideas. There’s a certain creative aspect to it that I really cherish. (Sidenote — I am never getting off Instagram, so follow me there if you feel like it.)

But, it feels like time. It’s spring, and I’m cleaning up my life in other ways, too. I’ve been eating better, drinking less wine, spending more time outside, and reading more. The idea of losing Facebook is weirdly scary, but it’s also exhilarating. (And, of course, I can always reactivate my account at any time and it will pop back up just as if I never left, as we’ve all seen a million times when one of our bolder friends decided to get out, made a declaration, and then quietly got sucked back in. That will probably happen to me too; I’m not making any promises.)

I swear this has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been watching “Black Mirror.”

 

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