A week ago, I deleted Facebook.
“Wait, what? Why?” My inner circle feigned shock, albeit the sincerity was a paltry offering because they know me. Every version.
My words fell far from eliciting shock. Beheading the pinnacle of my social media presence has been a withstanding, but empty threat I’ve voiced many times over—I’ve literally had my indecisive fingertip hovering the deactivation button the subsequent of a couple years. It’s very similar to my parenting style. All the threats with sporadic bouts of action.
Not true. I’m a perfect parent who follows through with strict discipline every time without fail.
Yes, I have a problem with writing lies. Don’t worry it’s with innocuous intent.
But before you call me on it, let me clarify upfront that the first line of my post is relative. Your assumption (that you didn’t even know you were making) was right. I didn’t entirely delete Facebook. I only deleted the Facebook app off my phone, okay.
Whomp, whomp, whomp…
Let’s be real. The permanent online social disconnect?! Meh, ain’t happening. I mean, Facebook is basically my kids’ scrapbook. Plus, who has that type of will-power to scrap it all after nearly a decade of posting, anyway?
Not me. But that’s not a surprise. I’ve never been a poster child for will power. Hello, brownies are often my primary source of nutrition and much to my disdain, I’ve had a Y membership that I’ve made zero use of over the past few months. Like a bad habit, the guilt I succumb to as a result of the monthly YMCA bank draft only further adds to the problem, forcing me to make more brownies. The struggle–it’s a gluttonous muffin top speckled with cellulite. #realtalk
(Sadly, with summer next up on the seasonal deck, my safari history will be filled with long run-on sentences rather than solo keywords in my web browser. It will not say “bikini.” Nope, it will be something more like “full-body compression wetsuit that looks like a real bikini for people who eat too much and exercise too little” or “the real deal miracle diet that works off 30 pounds in 48 hours.”)
I apologize. Bear with me, I tend to veer off track. (shiny things syndrome) It’s who I am. For further proof, ask anyone who has shared conversations with me via phone.
“Sarah, I have to go.” Twenty minutes later…
“Sarah…I really have to go.” Five minutes later…
The dial tone followed by a text that says, “Sorry, call failed. Call you back later…” Again, it’s who I am. I’ve never met a person who I couldn’t make conversation with. Ever. (Like hypochondria, it’s in my DNA.)
Soooooo anyway, I’m back on track and will not talk about brownies or body image for the rest of this post, promise (insert my pinky here).
I wish I could say taking the Facebook app off my phone was a contribution to my inner sanity, or a power move after some serious self-introspection (and by some standard it was), but that’s not the real reason.
To be honest, I feel trapped by Facebook. It’s become this invisible tether that is shadowing and starkly dictating my emotional stability and certain aspects of my life. Worse, it’s a building tide slowly washing away my authenticity.
Stripped down, raw, and vulnerable, I’ve become a rabid, incessant over-thinking anxious mess who feels pressured by a newsfeed that often robs me of sensible inner joy on the daily.
Translation: I’m on the edge of needing a script for Xanax.
Also, friends, to my dire horror…I’ve become a closet snowflake who cannot deal.
I’m drowning in the crippling amount of anxiety that plagues me after reading about 200 (of the 500+ people on my friend’s list) lives each week. It feels like binge watching every reality series, presidential debate, soap opera, and tear-jerker movie ever produced all at once every time I log on.
Never in my life have I ridden a ride that serves chin to sternum whiplash without one iota of motion. But Facebook takes the cake, making the aforementioned ride a reality.
Over the span of nearly a decade, I’ve consumed the most horrific, tragic, and gut-wrenching stories via Facebook and it’s ramped my anxiety to unbearable heights. One word: overstimulated. I should not be privy to reading this steep a level of really-bad-ugly-crap-that-can-go-wrong daily. It’s too much. I admit it.
I’ve argued with and been deleted by people I deeply care about, others I honestly don’t, and some I haven’t seen in years and yet, it bothers me all the same. My initial emotional reaction of hurt feelings proves that I’ve been drunk on the please-everyone-like-me kool-aid despite knowing you-aren’t-for-everyone is the real gospel.
I’ve internally wrestled with pettiness, too. And I’m not talking child’s play pettiness, either. On a Richter scale of pettiness, it’s more like leveling an entire continent and possibly giving Kermit memes a run for their money. I’ve even played that ‘unfriend’ game with my pinky raised, too.
And yet, despite it all, I keep feeding the beast like some manic, addicted harpy. I’ve been captive to the innate drive to represent my most perfect self for public consumption. To hide the struggles that aren’t funny nor covered with self-deprecating humor.
I’ve bought into the “love everyone” rhetoric and it’s morphed into this metaphor for silence. Fear has been the cognitive word circulating my brain on every front. Do not speak one dang thing that holds substance on Facebook. These days, the only thing acceptable to stand behind, openly promoting, is Taco Tuesday because you will never be in the wrong with tacos on a Tuesday, or any day, ever.
All tacos aside, if it’s anything that relates to humanity and choice, more often than not, you will offend that one person who will troll you, wielding the sword of tongue at your jugular. Or you’ll play mind games with that passive aggressive “friend” who unfriend’s you or posts passive aggressive posts with the “you know who you are” tone attached to it. Gah, the cycle is exhausting.
In whole, and as a result, I’m overwhelmed. I’ve reached the landscape where the negative terrain is outshining the positive. Let’s not forget how out of shape I am. Again, I can’t deal. It’s no longer about “I’m here for family and friends.”
I feel partially sick over it, and mostly terrified. But the bottom line is a dark well of inner disappointment. It’s deeply saddening for my accountability to self that I’ve let Facebook and the consummate negativity that lives within its confines have any control in my life. Period.
But it’s my mistake and I’m owning it. Today.
Jesus did not create me to be a closet snowflake.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Also, not once did Jesus say I’d go to hell if I didn’t share your 29 posts a day that state “share if you believe in Jesus otherwise you don’t” either. Give them a rest. Seriously.)
As of today, I’m taking back control. And I’m pressing pause on Facebook to reassess and redefine what its platform truly means to me. I need clarity something fierce. You can roll your eyes (I get it) but pray for my anxious little heart, too, friends. Most days, I’m still learning (the hard way) and willing myself to speak to it.
And yes, I probably should have just written this in my diary, but I didn’t. Deal.