The Year of Living Deeply 9: Goodbye Facebook, it’s (not really) been real

 

Dear Facebook

I thought I would write to let you know that after years of thinking (and even talking) about it, I am finally going to leave you later this year, probably on or around Easter, definitely before the summer.

You won’t really miss me. I was never one for posting photos of my amazing holidays or beautiful children (though they are, naturally) or thousands of awards and shortlists for my poetry (there haven’t been any) or arguments with other poets (ditto) or photos of the jam I have just made or that weekend living in my van.

I used you to spread the word about my blog, which I still love and feel wholly committed to in spite of everyone telling me blogging has died since Twitter. And, to be fair to you, you were good at that: getting the word out, helping me to get noticed, talked about. And I’m grateful.

What you weren’t so good for was my mental health. I think it started innocently enough with someone’s perfectly ordinary picture of their cake. (Or was it their cat? I don’t remember, and in any case, I’m sure you get the idea.) Innocent enough, you would imagine, and you would be right. Except it left me feeling rather empty. And worse, enraged. Not so much with the cake/cat (we need all the fulfilment we can get) but with the likes and the comments it engendered. I can’t have been the only one looking on, speechless and nonplussed, at the gap between the ordinariness of said baking/moggy and hyped-up self-congratulation and awestruck wonder expressed in the feed below. A question began buzzing around my head: Was this what I signed up for?

I am sure there must have been some highs from using you, something akin to witnessing an actual wedding or road trip or birth or sunset or a new poem taking shape or a really great poem by a friend. It’s just that I only remember the lows. My general feeling of inadequacy, lack of beauty, and wit, all fuelled by endless and instant comparison with others in the broad daylight of numbers of likes and comments.

So, in secret, I unfollowed every single one of my friends, and kept only the newsfeeds of the papers and blogs and websites I felt I could trust to give me an honest account of what was happening in the world. And then Brexit happened. And then Trump. And then Cambridge Analytica. And I knew, deep down, it was over. Even if you had nothing to do with these things, and I think you can see where I am going with this, the daily trauma of reading about them and only them became too much. After quite a lot of googling (you don’t make it easy, do you?) I found how to deactivate and finally delete you.

Which would have been the end of the story, only it isn’t. Such is your persuasiveness (not much different from pervasiveness: see what I did there?), I had installed a ‘work account’ in the meantime, so I could stay in touch with former students. Inevitably this began to bleed into contact with real friends, some of whom were the very same people I had unfollowed merely months earlier. I may have got to the point of hating everything about you, but there is still a part of me which has to applaud the armour-plated logic of your business model, namely that most of us are too afraid to miss out on (delete where applicable) the sunsets, births, parties, holidays, children, achievements, prize-winning poems, cats etc. of our friends, even if we lost touch with them a century ago, even if we live on the other side of the country from them, and even if we no longer feel we have anything in common with them. Perhaps especially that.

I am not sure when I decided to ditch you. Certainly before January 1st, when you made an appearance on my list of resolutions, and before I read Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism in less than a week recently (see how much time I now have?). We are not done yet, not completely. I am putting my house in order. I have found new Admins to take over my student group in my absence. And I’ve been letting my page-followers know how they can sign up to read the posts on my blog without you guiding them there.

I am going to use the time without you to learn a musical instrument and read the large pile of poetry that I have bought -and ignored- over the last few years. Mostly I am going to sit in silence for long periods, seeing where my thoughts take me, learning (I hope) to accept them as I go. I am going to write more, daily, if possible, and spend longer out of doors. I might even get a cat. If I do, you’ll be the last to know.

Yours with good wishes

Anthony

210 Comments

  1. Hooray for you. I’m pleased to read your reasons. I share them. To put it ‘commonly’ facebook (I refuse to give it capital ‘f’ status) was doing my head in.

    I breathe a sigh of relief each time I remember I cut the cord.

    Liked by 13 people

      1. Totally understand your disappointment. I just share my blog with Facebook and Twitter, and quickly get off. I hardly read any postings, unless I feel it’s worth it. There’s only a few that actually have something worthwhile to say in my opinion. If my spirit is feeling heavy or overwhelmed, thats an indicator it’s time to unplug and give it a rest. You might be taking in more than what you need to be.😊

        Liked by 5 people

  2. I deleted my Facebook, to take a break, avoid a stalker and get a problem with their ad system straightened out. I was meaning to open a new one “someday” but when someday came they refused to let me open a new Facebook account with no explanation or recourse other than paying a support tech to sort it out. I didn’t want to go that route, so I became a reluctant, at first, non-face-booker and slowly I started to like it and now I don’t WANT to use it again. At first I missed all the family photos and friends updates but now they have to update me in person or by phone and I actually like that more. Good luck with the leaving.

    Liked by 13 people

  3. Thank you for this. It has helped reassure me about my own decision not to enter the world of Facebook choosing rather to be content in/with my own world.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. I broke up with Facebook in 2015 and have never looked back. As I said to Facebook when asked why I was leaving “I no longer wanted to take part in their social experiment.” A sick experiment which has devastated lives and enabled and emboldened the negatives of the human psyche.

    There is nothing positive about watching other’s boastfulness and their attempts at pretending they have the perfect life.

    Perfect doesn’t exist and here in the real world, amid the imperfect are my true friends. The ones whose lives I’m truly part of, even though they don’t share their breakfast cereals or dinner dates via a crisply taken photograph. We share what’s important. The intimate, the private, the funny, the sad and the happy.

    A tip for you, set up a series of bookmarks on your internet homepage. That’s what I did, keeping my favoured newspapers there and so when I log on to the internet I just have to click through each of my newspapers… and guess what I’m reading them because I want to, not because someone in Facebook thinks I should!

    Good luck with the break up, they’re hard but honestly when it’s done, you won’t regret it!

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Thank you so much Marie. What great advice. I was half way there already. You might like to look at Cal Newport’s Digitial Minimalism (book) which basically advances the same behaviour. With all the best to you, Anthony

      Liked by 5 people

  5. A lot of what you say resonates with me (even the exact words you use are written in my diary which is the place where I give myself a talking to every day). To begin with, I aim to deactivate fb for Lent but it isn’t easy. I was all set to go last week (which I thought *was* the beginning of Lent, I got my dates mixed up) when Andrew said “But make sure you save the photos” and he then told me he sometimes looks at old albums of our children when he is away from home. So I need to do more groundwork and organising but I am a few steps behind you.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Hi Josephine. So good to hear from you. When are we going to start our podcast? I see what you mean re photos, but part of me thinks that is just the risk I am going to have to take (not there are too many of me on a beach on there anyway). Hadn’t realised it was Lent coming up. Will have to take something *up* for it. As ever, A x

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t know about the podcast! We need to meet IRL. I have done the deed, Anthony! Not deleted the website but logged off and turned off all notifications. Not on my phone, not on my desktop, but the photos are still in place for my sentimental family to view. I feel great about it, I hadn’t realised how stressed it was making me feel. Still on for the podcast but you might have to email me some dates. J x

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Lovely to hear from you again Josephine. Yes we should meet. A tad busy. Keep thinking about which microphone to buy. Really impressed you followed through and deactivated your FB. Big hats off to you. All power to you as ever, Ax

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Your comment about Lent has sparked something in me. A #lentbloggingchallenge kind of thing. I am not challenging you, btw, just myself. Feel like I need to provoke myself to do it. (NB, not Sundays, of course, as those are feast days.) x a

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Your intention to spend more simply being in silence resonates deeply with me. There’s something so loud about facebook & it seems to endeavour to send me off on tangents, and scramble thoughts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts her Anthony. Oh, but please do not give up the blog.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. A small dose, very small, of strychnia solution was once recommended for fatigue. The same caution should be used with Facebook, another form of poison. I use it sometimes to hawk the odd book, but that’s pretty much it.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. So pleased to read this – what does it say about our lives if we need to check to see what someone else had for breakfast! Who cares. It is a toxic distraction which stops us from living fully ourselves. (ps. What does the book think!!!) Thank you Anthony so enjoy your blogs, don’t let go of them.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I’m struck by the thoughtfulness and even tenderness in your goodbye, so clear that you won’t be coming back. And I couldn’t be happier for you, to be reclaiming all of that time and attention and life. Many years ago I worked with recovery addicts and alcoholics and these patients would talk about how simple life had became now that they’d removed drinking/using from the picture, finding themselves rich with time and attention and a fuller capacity for living. I see many parallels between the crack house and the predatory practices of this particular digital platform, the “armor-plated business model” you refer to, designed to prey on the most deeply human of our vulnerabilities, the need to feel connected and to belong. Thoreau’s observation ,”The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it”– that’s armor-plated, too. Enjoy the music, the reading and writing, the pleasure of your own company and maybe even the cat. All lifesaving, for sure.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Thank you so much Mary Ellen. That means a lot coming from you. (Did you get in touch the other day by email? I may not have replied to you…) Also interesting to see your Thoreau Quote. I think Cal Newport uses the same one in the book I have just finished, Digital Minimalism. I have also stopped drinking (for now at least) and all the things you say are true. With best wishes as ever, Anthony

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This, as always, is a pleasure to read and I am s blog follower! So I hope we can remain in tune? I work for a charity that relies increasingly on Facebook, I love your insights, they will carry me onwards! I will read them in the low moments… Thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I know this isn’t directed at me, but I was reading through comments and noticed yours. After I learned that Facebook wanted me to pay for support in order to access my page I did a lot of research online to see if they’d done this to others and the scariest ones were the businesses that had been locked out of their business page with no chance to get the word out to their online customers or to gather client lists or anything. I now tell all the businesses I work with that it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. Use Facebook but link it to an outside webpage that they own and control. That way, if they get locked out of Facebook, they don’t end up losing all the work they’ve done making connections.

      Liked by 6 people

  11. I was on facebook for exactly 11 days! What a horribke experience. I found your blog accidentally, as you do, while looking for a Mary Oliver poem. I love it Anthony so insightful and uplifting. Please don’t give that up.

    Liked by 7 people

  12. Hi Anthony, I’ve been reading your blog for some time and Lifesaving Poems has long been my most read anthology, but I loathe Facebook and the superficiality it encourages. I continue to be amazed at how many friends and acquaintances seem locked into it, including poets. I too write poetry. I didn’t know you too had a relationship with FB. but I am delighted to hear you have weaned yourself off it. Maybe, like me, thousands will respond to your blog as I have done and get in touch and you will never look back. You will have so many new and profound friends you won’t have time, not to mention the volumes of poetry that will flow from your pen.

    Jenny Hammond

    >

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Thank you so much Jenny. It always surprised me how many poets are on FB. I think it completely compromises the interiority required for poetry. I am looking forward to the new life you describe! With best wishes as ever, Anthony

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Anthony.. what a great post.. i am actualy one of the girls with the”great cake” picture kind of blogger😀… Just like you, i used facebook to spread my blog and after i while i quited because i was in the same state of mind : comparing my life to others…then i quited…then came back with the will to spread my blog only and it worked and still works (for now) … I also question myself about my blog…why do i cook and ask for my husband s help to take beautiful pictures… Why do i read books and post their review… And i got to the conclusion that tjis is my creative process… The one that fulfill my life and males me happy ( but not the only source of all that).. my aim is noble and since showing off and comparing is not on my list..it s all good
      Interesting blog to follow…thank you again for the quality of your writing… Respect from a moroccan cake lover and picture poster😀

      Liked by 3 people

  13. This flows so fluently. I felt like I was reading a poem because of how smooth it all came together. I agree and understand the view you have on FB. I still stay on it simply to stay in touch with long lost friends and see how they’re doing.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. You will enjoy being back in the 90’s without facebook in your life. I said goodbye last September, only added it back this month to promote my new blog, this go round though I am strict on myself and do not look at the news feed area, don’t post anything other than my blog and log off directly after posting it. It feels like you’re kicking a small addiction for the first week or so but then you become so glad to be rid of it. Good luck to you on your choice.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I miss the ’90s. I’ve become a bit nostalgic watching movies from the 80s and 90s with people running around without cellphones stuck to their ears or constantly swiping on smartphones. Good times.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I came across accidentally to your blog and we’re having the same courage. Thank you for such a wonderful letter. Facebook has been ‘toxic’ if we’re going to say it. Emotions being transferred by another, so as negativity. It’s not informative as it is before. It’s all about boasting and publicly letting everyone know your personal problems.

    Liked by 12 people

  16. It has been 18 months since I deleted my Facebook account and I’ve never looked back. I came close to missing one party (“I put it on Facebook!” “I’m not on Facebook!” “Oh.”) but in myself I absolutely have not missed it and never will. It sucks the life out of people and I know people whose mental health are impacted by Facebook as they only see snippets of other people’s lives. I only wish more people would follow suit.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Well, Anthony, you were doing what I have thought about doing for so long. What keeps me on Facebook is I have relatives and friends I grew up with that I stayed in touch with over the years that live very far away, so my only contact with them is Facebook. It’s a long story how I discovered family members I didn’t know I had. It has to do with my father’s long search for his biological father. You see, both of my parents are from Europe. Most of my relatives and friends I grew up with when I spent my summers in Ireland, still live in Europe or other parts of the world even further away. So, I applaud you for having the chutzpah to say goodbye to Facebook. When I no longer feel the need to stay in touch with my family, maybe I will follow in your footsteps someday.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. After reading yesterday about the PTSD that facebook monitors and screeners experience routinely, I have decided to do the same, as of yesterday. Kudos to you for doing so, and also for sharing this. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Wow! I am so pleased to have read this. Firstly, because its so relatable and secondly because I am relieved to know that I am not the only one who seems “old fashioned” in the sense where I refuse to allow Facebook to control me and my life! Not that our decision to NOT have Facebook is “old fashioned”, but we definitely do stand out of the crowd where everyone is social media obsessed!!! I just really love this post! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  20. I have often dreamed of moving to “Facebook Land”, where everyone is happy and living a life filled with beautiful, smiling families, travel adventures and more. Then I pinch myself as a reminder that it’s not real. Even knowing this, I just can’t disconnect yet. Congratulations to you for being able to do it!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Saving to read later when I can sit and focus. Just left all social media but fb.. that’s next. Thanks for writing and sharing this.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. I applaud you! I “unplugged” at the beginning of the year. I don’t miss a thing and have time to smell the roses. I deeply appreciate the small things now and am much calmer. Namaste!🙏

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Oh, I fully get all the negatives of social media and I’m aware of what it does to me sometimes but I’m not yet at the point to give it all up. I can go days-weeks without using Facebook, especially since I have connected my WordPress to Facebook so it will automatically share new posts to my blog’s Facebook page audience without any manual input. For me, my problem is mostly Instagram. I will attempt to give up both for Lent however, having already deleted the apps and logged out of the browser version on all my devices. As Jerry Jay Carroll comments, a very very small dose can’t hurt, just like a minuscule dose of strychnine solution was once recommended for fatigue, and even arsenic for clear skin! Similarly, I don’t see myself eliminating the social media poisons for good altogether any time soon, but I do plan to keep them in low enough doses to prevent them from poisoning my life. Thanks for writing this though! Appreciate the honesty and your outlook 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  24. This was such a lovely post. So well written, so smooth I almost wish it hadn’t ended so soon.

    I love how you styled this, like a breakup of sorts.

    I hope you find your Facebook-less life to be fulfilling and free from needless drama and tension. Although I am a big user of social media I have heard these sentiments from my peers and understand the damaging effects it has on certain people. You’re doing the right thing to improve your quality of life 🙂 I hope you enjoy!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. This is truly wonderful!! I have been trying to do the same and to ACTUALLY FOCUS ON REAL LIFE and so far it has been great. Your letter to Facebook is really helping me be motivated to keep at it and to stop social media addiction! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. What a right time for me to read your blog. I recently felt Facebook is now boring and thinking so much of old times where you are content of what you have and dont need to share to every one your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. It inspired me to deactivate my Facebook account which i have already done a few times before. But i can’t do that for a while now as i use it to share my newbie blog.
    and it is so nicely written. seems like outraged anger against Facebook but in such a calm manner. hope i’ll one day be able to write 1/10th as good as you. 🙂
    Best regards,
    A rookie blogger

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Today Morning when I woke up, I heard that beep sound of my Gmail and certainly I’d to open the email to see if any important mail pops up to inbox. I’ve it seen your new blog post email notification from WordPress. As usual I ignored it and continued my day as usual. After coming back to home from work, I was browsing through emails again to check back, if anything missed out. Randomly I picked out your blog post notification mail and started reading it. Oh man…., You nailed it how you’d gone through all these days with Facebook and such an amazing blog today I read. I can’t stop myself to click on follow button of your blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Oh, I relate to this entirely. I too have ‘defriended’ Facebook for the same reasons… but I have not yet actually deleted it. It sends me emails to entice me back “such and such got a new cat” etc…. actually, I quite like the cat posts, but that’s about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. You’ve put to words what my heart has was feeling for about a year before I finally took the dive and deleted my profile. It has been a wonderful period of digital, and neurological detoxing since I pulled the plug. I applaud your decision to take such a deeper commitment to yourself and the global community as a whole. I can only say that when you reacquaint yourself with the feeling of a real book compared to facebook (I like the idea of not capitalizing the F as a further form of boycot @Madeleine ;), you won’t regret your decision.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Bravo on your decision to abandon Facebook! It is something I am struggling with right now. As an artist, it is the best way to keep in touch with other artists, what they’re up to, and keep tabs on open-calls and the like. I have thus drastically reduced my usage to just those purposes for now and will reevaluate in the future.

    One way of keeping up-to-date with news websites (and lots of other websites – blogs, for example) is to install and use an RSS reader. I have started doing this again (having stopped using RSS about 10 years ago) and am finding it really good at keeping an eye on the sites that interest me.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. I stopped using Facebook several years ago. There was no public declaration of the intention. I just did it, like pulling off a band-aid in a quick, fluid movement. In the wake of my decision the part I found (and still find) most concerning was the lack of response from “friends” on Facebook. No one sent me an e-mail outside of Facebook inquiring about my existence – are you dead?; or why I was no longer using Facebook. Such things implicitly prove out the overall reality of Facebook: no one on Facebook cares about much beyond their Facebook existence. (Whenever I consider that revelation and ugly truth I feel my skin crawl and desire a bath in bleach and lye.)

    Nice to meet you.

    http://theliterarydrover.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I have deactivated my Facebook account since 2016. I have decided to work on myself and learn something new. I have decided to stop making comparisons as everyone has that shitty side in their lives, but we incline to hide it and sugarcoat. I think time to say goodbye to the social media!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Love it! I deleted facebook and got back on and then unfriended about 1,700 friends, and still on! Noooooooo!!! I’ve gotten much better. I’ve read all of Cal Newport’s books and he’s so right. Page 21 in his latest was so powerful. Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Curiously your essay came up a few days after I made a similar decision to reduce the intrusion of FB into my life (I have railed against it several times in the past). Perhaps the time of FB is past and we are the pioneers. You have given me reassurance that I’m making the right move. At least we can share a laugh over one of the share options for this insightful piece being FB itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Great post! I agree and I think I need to break up with facebook as well. I recently took about 3 weeks off from facebook and I didn’t feel like I missed anything.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I LOVE this!! I’ve drifted away from Facebook over the years and now only post every once and a while so extended family members know I’m alive. I never check my newsfeed! I got so tired of the drama, and “rants” and political garbage that was causing Facebook fights between my own family members. Then when I unfollowed people, they would get mad about it and take it so personally. Instagram is a much better avenue for me. It helps spread the word about my blog and limits characters so much more, also forces you to post a picture (something of substance). When I unfollow or choose not to follow someone, it’s not as heavily advertised and does not cause drama like it did with Facebook. I’m glad someone else finally gets it!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I love the style you have written this post in and it is so interesting.

    This has really inspired me. Thank you so much. Also, I’d like to say I am so happy to hear that you have taken a step towards improving your mental health. It is important and great issue in the world today.

    All the best,
    Cerys

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Ditching Facebook definitely affects blog traffic and getting the word out. No doubt about that. I ditched all social media a while ago, and can attest to seeing an initial dip as a result. But my mental health (and time and family and [insert a dozen other things here]) was more important. Also, the traffic starts to tick back up as you begin writing more than you had previously (instead of, say, scrolling Facebook or Twitter endlessly and not writing).

    You’ll be fine.

    God speed.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. I found this from the Discover blog run by WordPress, they advanced it, and it ended up in my inbox. I’m so glad it did, I share a lot of these sentiments that you express about Facebook. I took a step back, a pause really, and asked myself what I was getting out of the platform. Was I a happier human being because of everything I was consuming there? That answer had eluded me for a long while. The entire decision came to a head when I accidentally clicked “Haha” on a post about a recent celebrity death, and my friends all wanted to know why I had the gall to click “Haha” about death. It was a misclick, and I corrected it, but that started me thinking about a particular issue I’ve had with Facebook as a platform ever since they expanded the emotional responses that people can select on every story posted on the Facebook Wall.

    What is the cost in emotional processing energy to determine the proper emotional reaction to a story? Presented with a tragedy, what angle strikes you first? Is it “Sad” or is it “Wow,” or if you are embracing schadenfreude, is it a “Haha” or a “Like”? If you select an emotional response flag, even if it is rather innocuous and fleeting, what happens when people criticize you for it? I experienced that very thing, and then I realized that I didn’t have the available emotional energy to keep on giving little bits of it away to Facebook, evaluating how each story made me feel. And I am fully aware that there is no rule that I have to react, but I’m sure somewhere down the pike, a story would appear where not reacting would be seen as a reaction and raise similar reactions.

    So now I write on my blog, mostly directing whatever I would have put on Facebook on my WordPress.org self-hosted blog that I pay for because I’m tired of the awfulness, the toxicity, and being pecked to death by emotional evaluation fleas.

    With every day, I am noticing more people commenting about leaving Facebook. In my professional life, my personal life, and now in my email inbox. Facebook in a way has sown the seeds of their demise, and all of the theatrics are merely death rattles of a company that doesn’t know it’s dead yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Oh my god you just pointed out my problems! After reading your letter I finally see the light. Haha…ha… sigh I don’t want to say goodbye to FB, but I guess all the “harmless” stuff floating around and the mere thought of checking my newsfeed and give “haha” or another reaction, to post that later makes me feel like I just wasted my time is slowly eating my mental health. I think I’ll take a long break now.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Awe… yes I quite in 2015… read a ton.. wrote even more.. came back in mid 2016… but with strict personal guidelines… all I can think right now is dude!!! That’s my china in your photo!!!!?? 🙂 Have fun off FB.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Hello Anthony, It was a pleasure to find your blog this evening! Oh social media how you’ve lured me in and left me with FOMO! I’m so tempted to leave Facebook but not ready to do it yet. We’ll see what the future brings.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. “I am sure there must have been some highs from using you, something akin to witnessing an actual wedding or road trip or birth or sunset or a new poem taking shape or a really great poem by a friend. It’s just that I only remember the lows. My general feeling of inadequacy, lack of beauty, and wit, all fuelled by endless and instant comparison with others in the broad daylight of numbers of likes and comments.” Exactly!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. I have been wanting to do this for long..Fb doesn’t make sense to me anymore.And lately I have this strange question popping up in my head..Why would people want to display their daily lives to someone else?I mean what’s the need?and what purpose does it solve?Why would you want to show a present you got from your lover ,or a car you bought or duck faced pictures from a party to other people.Don’t know it just feels superficial and wasted thing to do.Though I am guilty of doing the same in the past but can’t connect to it anymore ,still Fb still sits there on my phone🙄
    Anyways ,Thanks for sharing this lovely post and inspiring me:)

    Liked by 2 people

  46. I stopped using Facebook to utilize the time to learn something new. I even bought a Violin. Guess what! I can play “Happy birthday” on it and nothing more 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Good on you! I share many of your thoughts about Facebook, and have recently reached the stage of using it only for keeping up with a few of the Groups that I’m a part of. I installed a plugin which basically eradicates the Newsfeed. It’s been much better since then. I quite agree that it’s a really tough decision to say Goodbye to Facebook altogether… Looking forward to reading about your post-Facebook life 🙂

    – Sneha

    Liked by 2 people

  48. Reblogged this on Marsha Maung and commented:
    Facebook also bled me dry during my worst moments although we DID have good times together (I found my family and even a penpal from my teenage years on the app!), the cons were starting to outweigh the pros. I set a time limit for myself on Facebook but I beat myself over the head whenever I hear the buzzer (which meant I’ve exceeded the time limit I’ve given myself – I was lenient as it was), but it didn’t work either. So, in order to reclaim my time (and life), I’ve deleted the app and I can say my life is a little less disconcerting. I envy fewer people, I have slightly more time, I managed to finish a few books, I read quality articles, I write more quality stuff, and I make more phone calls. Aaahhh…remember phone calls? =)

    Liked by 2 people

  49. This is bery relatable. . I already deleted my account last january and wait for a month for its effectivity. . Finally Im free of drama and others self – validation. . I am happy to spend time reading more and get my self into writing again😊 maybe the lessons I learned for having Facebook for more than a decade are seld control and discipline😉

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Facebook is always hard for me to open. Yet, I need it for my business, my husband’s business and, now, my blog, too. I haven’t been able to have children, which I’ve struggled to accept. It almost seems as if Facebook knows this, as I’m constantly bombarded with pregnancy announcements and pictures of everyone’s new born babies, upon opening the app. It even shows me ads for baby and parenting items! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a child hater nor am I angry and bitter. I’m emotional about it, right now. The last thing I need is for Facebook to rub it in my eye, everyday. I truly hate it! Good for you, for kicking it to the curb.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. Wow this is awesome! I’ve been contemplating on deleting facebook for awhile, never actually DID it. Hope you get to the large pile of poetry. LOVE this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Dear Anthony,

    You do not just walk away from me. This is not over. You obviously have no idea of how to end a long standing social media relationship. You may be strong now, standing tall in your righteousness, a giant amongst your peers……………………………………………………..But you will be back, it will start with a quick “Oh I wonder how such and such is getting on”, and then you’ll get embroiled in a dog video compilation. I will have you ensnared yet again, your life is my life, never forget that. Succumb now and let’s have less of this silliness.

    Lots of Love

    Facebook

    Liked by 5 people

  53. Good for you, and thanks for the eloquent expression. I closed my fb account about six months ago or so. Finished my novel, worked up the agent submission packet, and started a blog, among many other real things. Much less anxiety around here.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. I left Facebook in October and don’t really miss it. It may seem counterproductive being a blogger/author and not being on Facebook, but for me it was never that helpful anyway. I find that I’m generally happier without Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. I understand your thinking. I deactivated all my social media accounts late last year and decided to start my own blog (Think, Value, Decide) to give people information that can actually help them do more meaningful things with their lives. I started a Facebook and Instagram count a few days ago to promote the blog and I quickly had to delete the applications. Even though I wasn’t following anyone, there were postings on my fb news feed and it was literally filled with propaganda, misinformation and sheer distractions. Outside of my little stint recently, being off social media has been amazing for my personal well being and I don’t want to do that mindless scrolling and meaningless engagement ever again.

    Thanks for this post! People need to see things like these.

    Liked by 4 people

  56. Hello Anthony just found you and your article, I agree FB can be addicting, but nevertheless I stay. I am a late starter, mid 50 so first it was a little scary. But then I understood. It’s not about the pictures of grandchildren from long not see friends, invitations for gatherings with old school mates, the little puppy that’s just arrived in the house of your daughter. It’s the window on our world. And that’s difficult. You have to chose, between the newsfeeds from all papers published worldwide, protest groups also worldwide, political party’s, environmental sites, nature sites, specific groups that have your personal interest from cooking till anarchists. That’s the difficult part, because as you mentioned we are limited in time. So it takes self control. Than the second problem. Filtering the fake news, but the more input the better you can see the dots that combines the political, economical and social infrastructure. But the last is the most tricky. To communicate. Communicate with strangers, from all over the world, and not them who are also in your interest field engaged, but with those who have a completely different look on out world. I think the social media is a gift. Which as we know is being manipulated and hacked. It takes a lot of energy to skip the trolls, but giving up this opportunity, this change for the first time in 2000 years of history to share fast news connect with others is a big mistake. Only with open minds and open thoughts shared in public we, the people, can stand up. If FB and twitter will ends, because we don’t have the strength to console ourselves in using, because governments will use it as a pressure to control our freedom of speech, then we have arrived in the new society with outstanding technology without using it, but sitting home watching how the msm, newspapers/ talk shows will control our news information. So I stay, and.. you are welcome to have look on my FB page and share your thoughts on the articles i place. Greetings Elisabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  57. I liked this emotionally charged piece of communication directed towards FB.. I have a satirical piece lined up on my blog regarding the FBs and WAs taking away the highly elevating, good old pleasure of reading books!

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Good luck on the next leg of your journey! I deleted Facebook a little over a year ago, and all other social media about four years prior. It has been, hands down, one of the best and most rewarding decisions of my life. Congratulations on reclaiming your free time!!

    If you ever feel like you *need* social media to promote your creative work, look up Cal Newport–he’s an MIT computer scientist, long-time blogger and published author who has never had a social media account; he’s accumulated a large and loyal across time simply by doing important work and sharing valuable insights. He’s really been an inspiration to me. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  59. I have recently taken a 1-month time off from my social media accounts. Let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have made. I realized, I had so much more time in my hands to do more meaningful things rather than scrolling on my phone’s screen. I did my devotions every night, gave more focus and effort to finish my work ahead, more time with family and friends, the list goes on. When the time-off finally ended, which was yesterday, I went back to using my accounts again. I made some guidelines the night before which included; no checking of socials in the morning, only after work, screen time spent on those should not be more than my Productivity screen time, no stalking exes or people who won’t contribute anything good to my life… and more. Today is the second day. I am not that thrilled about using my socials anymore. Except for using it as a platform to promote my blog, there is nothing else I want from it.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. I can see this post has struck a nerve with so many readers. I loved this bit in particular: “My general feeling of inadequacy, lack of beauty, and wit, all fuelled by endless and instant comparison with others in the broad daylight of numbers of likes and comments.” I find Fb such a time sink – I regret going into a zombie headspace when I endlessly scroll for far too long – chunks of time that disappear in the morass of ‘stuff’. Like you, I use it mostly for the ‘news’ and ‘information’ side but I find my list of saved articles grows ever longer while I almost never find the time to go in and read them. Now it’s a sort of repository for things I want to keep and may some day actually read!

    Liked by 2 people

  61. The whole problem with FB is that it seems no one knows how to communicate anymore. Are u on fb? No … well yeah – 5 times this year … geez! What a struggle to get the H away from the beast which is why I bid you much strength in the task. Also fb extended the time of deleting to 30 days – oh joy!

    Liked by 2 people

  62. I temporarily deactivated and uninstalled all my social media accounts yesterday to test if there’ll be a change in my behavior and hobbies, cause I think too much of those affected my personality soooo much. Also, just like yours, to have more time about things that matters most than look and envy the lives of other people I see on screen.
    I was a bit shaking with the decision I made, as you can see, being part of the “millennial” age, this is really hard HAHA.
    But this blog and the comments here gave me that “tap” that what I am doing is just normal and i’m doing a great job.

    Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Totally relatable.
    Loved this post. I actually weaned myself off facebook, though it was tough initially but it happened and now it has been months since I have accessed it. I actually don’t miss being aggressively active on facebook and not presenting my moments from life there. And now, doing the same with Instagram.
    Detoxing myself from all the social media gradually to be myself once again.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. Excellent decision! Might I encourage that choice with these words: me too.
    I left Facebook about a year ago. Ok, Ok, I posted something about 3 times in the whole of that period. Habits are difficult to break 😉 They weren’t personal, that i recall, just some memes or happy holidays bs. The biggest downfall about my decision? I had to keep reminding those in my life: I don’t go on Facebook anymore. *snort* kind of poetic for the “can’t do without mentality” when those nearest and dearest DON’T NOTICE YOUR ABSENCE OVER A YEAR’S TIME PERIOD.
    No, that’s not me shouting, I thought it important to highlight. Facebook is not going to miss you, those that need to reach you, will. Even some you wished would forget your existence. Life will go on. And most importantly, it was the best thing I ever did. #noregrets

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Deleting my Facebook account has been nothing but a positive experience and made me so much more productive as an individual. Part of me wonders why I didn’t twig to a lot of the negative effects Facebook was having on my life and mental health a lot lot sooner!

    Liked by 2 people

  66. Social media maims, and often destroys so many. If used it needs to be held within strict clearly defined boundaries. Used only when required. I love the fact that more and more people are realizing that every now and again if you just raise your eyes up from the screen you are looking at, you will see a beautiful life right in front of you. It may be a garden of roses. It may be your husband who just needs you to notice him. It may be your child wishing for your whole hearted attention just for a moment. It may simply be a moment on your own in nature connecting you with your maker. Well done on saying goodbye.

    Liked by 2 people

  67. Yes thank you and best wishes! I deleted my fb a month ago, it was depressing and as I never truly posted anything about me or what not. Fb is something I wish never happened like a lot of social media. It ruined the world but did help in some areas. With all social media, the world is becoming a bad place.

    Liked by 4 people

  68. Great post. You can do it! I deleted my account in February (wrote a simliar post to yours about it) and haven’t looked back. I think blogging will see an uptick now that we’re seeing the negative effects of social media.

    Liked by 3 people

  69. Anthony, I wish you well. Your blog post touched on familiar feelings I share too. It is so nice to know I am not alone. I am a writer too. Delight in being free. I’m proud of you. I haven’t cut the cord yet so I admire those who do. Inspiring. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. I stopped going on Facebook back in December. I can’t say that I really miss it. It was like a crazy addiction to want to be on there all the time. I had to put a stop to it for myself and to actually live life not online.

    Liked by 2 people

  71. I completely agree! I found that I really don’t care what people’s opinions about anything are. And why did I think it was so important to post my opinion when really, the only person who really cares about it is me? And it was such a time suck. Now I have more time to write (I revitalized my blog), read, AND I learned to crochet! (2 blankets down).
    I also feel that Facebook has contributed to the general self-centered attitude and rudeness out culture is currently engaging in. I don’t want to be a part of that.
    And it was boring. I have been Facebook free since August.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. Your “break-up” letter was one of the most eloquent of its kind. I have had to take my own “breaks” from social media before, but I had never really given much thought to a full “deactivation”. Well said. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  73. Well stated. I have many times deactivated my Facebook for periods of time for the sole purpose of regaining my life rather than endlessly and mindlessly scrolling. At this point, I primarily only leave it active for business purposes, but I feel that too will end. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. I’ve been having these same exact thoughts. I took “a break” from it a few years ago and it was the most productive 8 months. I know I will do it again. And soon. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  75. Your article makes the thought of walking away from facebook highly appealing.
    Particularly the tiring and repetitive school reports of other people’s children, what size hotdog the whole family had at the fairground….etc etc…
    That’s my experience….LOL.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. I ditched a Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat only a month ago. Till now this has been the most (actually singular) support to the decision. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  77. I deleted my FB and Twitter too a while back and it was the most liberating thing I ever did to myself, mentally especially. The constant comparisons and struggles with feeling like my life wasn’t up to par with people online was depressing to say the least. I’m still on IG and it’s next in line. My connections/interactions are more intentional now and waaaay meaningful. Social media in general is a haux!! Sooo mentally draining!!

    Liked by 2 people

  78. Yes I recently quit fb too I used to feel so worthless comparing myself to others. The less posts you like the less other people like your posts it’s an attention seeking thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  79. Few years ago, Facebook was my favorite app simply because it did a great job to waste my time. I’m not going to lie I used to enjoy just by seeing it. Now I barely use it and I hope one day I can cut it off too. It will be a hard journey, but I know with determination anything is possible.
    Wish me luck ✌🏾

    Liked by 3 people

  80. You read my mind! Thank you for putting my feelings into words. I kid myself that there are sometimes good articles to read and I’m on writing groups etc etc. There’s an anxiety that rises when I consider deletion. Or is it a need to stay connected in the fakebook world? I applaud you and may follow suit if I can let go.

    Liked by 2 people

  81. It sounds like you’ve had a rocky relationship with Facebook and you’re not the only one. Perhaps Facebook is jealous of your awesome blog post?
    And is retaliating by boring us all to tears.

    Liked by 3 people

  82. Reblogged this on AuntyUta and commented:
    I am on WordPress but have always been reluctant to join Facebook. Reading all your reasons why you want to discontinue with it, I feel I have similar reasons why I do not even want to start with Facebook. Still my best wishes are with Facebook. I am sure, for the people who like to spend a lot of their time with it. it is a very good thing.
    Uta

    Liked by 3 people

  83. Wow good for you, I left in October back in ’18 and honestly haven’t missed it at all – the worst part is not being able to see old friends accounts. Not a big ‘pull’ factor compared to the push.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. Would love to join you on this one Anthony, but I belong to three essential groups, and enjoy pics of family and friends from far away. However, I do spend more time deleting political clap trap and fake news – big sigh!!!! Always enjoy your blogs by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  85. YES! #offline getting off of facebook can impact your mental health so positively and opens your eyes to everything around you and connecting you with the people you surround yourself with everyday but may not even pay attention to. More people need to go #offline and ditch social media and start connecting with the world around us

    Liked by 2 people

  86. I found this refreshing, mostly because it picks up some of my experience with FB, and yes, incredulous that real writing gets so little and cake/cat gets so much attention. And with the rumours of change at FB towards a more Whatsap style, I’m leaving too, have almost wound up.

    Liked by 3 people

  87. Well written Anthony and I couldn’t agree more. I generally take respite from social media as its just not healthy 24/7. But I have been thinking along your lines lately. Look forward to reading about what instrument you pick up

    Liked by 4 people

  88. Reading your experience and thoughts about Facebook it’s all I’ve been trying to say to the world but missing the skills to verbalize it. Please , stick with your decision.
    Welcome back to life 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  89. I am one of the lucky ones, not having started and you have confirmed that I am right. I keep well away from ‘social media’ in general and facebook in particular, and my health is better for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  90. Well done! I’d *love* to leave Facebook but my business page is there, and I don’t think it would help my business to loose it. I really don’t like Facebook! As they say, all human life is there 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  91. It’s funny isn’t it, something that was supposedly designed to allow for more connectedness, actually created a very large disconnect in our society. It is one more way in which we can be “connected” and yet removed at the same time. People need genuine connections and actual engagement. The number of folks we pass right by in our physical world all the while mindlessly scrolling and liking on social media. It’s saddening, truly. The world needs to spend less time on Facebook and more time face to face. You nailed it with this one!

    Liked by 10 people

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