I decided it was time to delete my Facebook account.
My personal one, that is.
I still have a page dedicated to this blog, (and if you manage a page, you have to have a profile). But my “incognito” profile doesn’t post anything, share updates, pictures…
And truth be told, I prefer it this way.
The decision to delete my profile was a long time in the making. I have several reasons for doing this and I’ll get into them in a sec. All I can tell you is that knowing it’s gone, I feel lighter and relieved.
Why I Deleted My (Personal) Facebook Account
I created my Facebook account in late 2007. Back then, I thought the whole idea of getting in touch with old classmates, friends, co-workers & family I hadn’t heard from in a while was such a cool concept. And for a while, it was. But if I’m honest (and I always strive to be honest, especially with myself), I also felt a ton of anxiety.
I mean, these were people I hadn’t given much thought to in years – and who probably hadn’t thought about me either. I had to present my “best self” to them, right?
Well, that being the case, I had to find a decent photo of myself, come up with some great explanation about who I was these days and hope people were impressed by all of that.
Pretty photo – check.
Witty insights – check.
Accomplishments – check?
Ok, we’re all set!
Now, at first, it was pretty neat to communicate with people from my past. Seeing everyone’s updated pictures, new families and finding out how life turned out for so many of the kids I knew a long time ago was nostalgic. We’d share photos of the past consisting of our birthday parties, nights out, work gatherings, etc.
You know the deal.
And with Facebook’s nifty tagging tool, someone could tag you so that you (along with everyone else on your friend’s list) could fondly remember those days right along with you – whether you wanted them to or not.
In fact, when I was brand new to Facebook, I shared a picture of a work party. We’d all had so much fun that day (and I just looked so damn pretty in those pics). It was the epitome of what a happy & successful person with a bunch of friends looked like.
So with this idea in mind, I had to put it out there. I had an image to create. People to impress. An ego to feed. An identity to protect.
And while I smiled at how wonderful it was to relive that moment and share it on my profile so the other work friends who’d also attended the same party could relive it with me, I suddenly realized the horror of my mistake.
I’d somehow shared this image to everyone’s page on my friend’s list.
I thought, “These people don’t want or need a picture of me and a bunch of strangers all over their profile page” – but I had no idea how I’d managed to do this and worse, how to undo it.
Well, that sucked. But I think I eventually figured out how to untag, undo, unwhatever it was I did, even though the damage had already been done.
Ok. Lesson learned.
The second horrifying experience was when some family members shared a picture of me (and tagged me in it) – which wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t look absolutely horrible in it.
But OMG, I did.
I mean, do you ever have those photos where you wonder how on Earth you could possibly look SO bad?
Well, this was one of them. And since it wasn’t my picture (and I didn’t know enough about tagging, untagging, etc) to remove myself from it until later on, I had to accept that this gawd awful, fugly-ass image of me floated around social media for anyone to see – whether I wanted it to or not.
These were some of the initial unpleasant experiences I had with Facebook, but there were others. I’ll talk about the three main reasons I deleted my personal Facebook account and let you know that while I’m discussing my own decision, I am in no way trying to influence you.
1 – My Ego Was Running (and Ruining) My Life
Facebook, like most other social media platforms, is all about impressing everyone (who cares to notice) by promoting your “best self.”
And I fell into that trap hook, line & sinker.
If I had a new picture (one I looked good in, of course), I couldn’t wait to share it. And then I’d sit back and just wait to see how many people liked or commented (preferably both) about how wonderful I looked and how I hadn’t aged a bit.
When I combined the elation of people approving of you with the negative experiences of feeling embarrassed about the not so flattering aspects of you being out there, I began to realize something rather profound.
I cared way too much about what other people thought of me.
Years ago, when I began to understand the role of the ego in one’s life, I realized just how much this aspect of my being controlled everything I thought, felt & subsequently, did.
And while I took steps to make my ego more of an employee of mine rather than my boss, I still hadn’t been able to let go of trying to impress people with my profound ideas, deep thoughts and “stunning photos.”
I also became totally addicted to notifications.
Seeing people “like” what I had to share fed into my need for approval. The bad part about that was not only was there no end to that need, but receiving the opposite of it felt terrible.
Letting go of my Facebook profile is letting go of something I no longer subscribe to – that being my “image.” My ego is my image and as long as I allow that part of me to rule over my mental, emotional & physical well-being, I won’t experience authentic well-being at all.
I deleted my Facebook account and by doing so, I deleted the erroneous idea that my image is the real me. This idea that I AM my looks, my accomplishments and my opinions causes a lot of friction in my life when the truth is, all I ever wish to experience is peace and a feeling of ease from within.
I realized I could only feel this way quietly – with nothing to prove to anyone.
2 – Politics, Religion, and Opinions
We have just entered an election year (even though the controversy and arguments started up early last year). I ever so fondly remember what Facebook was like during the past few election years and I decided I’d rather eat nails than see all of that nonsense again.
Social media seems to be a haven for people to express whatever’s on their minds from the comfort of their home – even when it comes down to hashing out insults, starting arguments and in some cases, getting involved in all-out brawls.
Over a difference of opinion.
Folks, I’ll just say that regarding politics & religion, there’s no way to win these battles because when it comes to opinions, everyone’s got one and no one will ever see things from another person’s perspective regardless of how hard they argue for them.
I have to admit that for a while, I got in there and expressed my “wisdom” right along with everyone else.
Now, I happen to think of politics & religion a little differently than those around me insofar as I don’t give either of them any merit any longer, but even that’s just my opinion.
No one cares about my opinion and they shouldn't. My opinion is mine, their opinion is theirs and it's not my job to change anyone else in the same way that it's no one's job to change me.Click To Tweet
But there was so much of this sort of thing going on that I noticed it not only cost me relationships I’d once held dear, I watched it tear other relationships apart. The whole thing was so sad and I realized I just wanted no part of it anymore.
As far as how religion affected me on Facebook, well, I had once shared some spiritual meme that I related to and thought it might “enlighten” my social media peeps.
I was so smart, so deep. Such a profound thinker that I needed to help change the world with my (I mean someone else’s) words of wisdom. It was only a few minutes after sharing it when a former classmate (a devout follower of some religion I don’t recall) shared my meme with a fun editorial about how dangerous it was and why no one should listen to such crap.
Now this classmate & I shared several of the same “friends” – all being of a professional nature. Needless to say, I felt kind of embarrassed, put down and insulted that this person would damage our professional relationship (which had been very pleasant up until this point) because he didn’t agree with what I shared.
I sent him a message letting him know it was fine that he didn’t agree & that I wouldn’t argue over belief systems and had no desire to try to prove him wrong in any way, but to please remove that share for the sake of professional courtesy.
He didn’t. He wouldn’t. So I blocked him.
It was really such a shame too. So unnecessary. All this drama over a difference of opinion.
Stuff like this continued to happen over the years until I decided I’d had enough. It just wasn’t worth it.
I’d rather experience the people in my life as the kinder, generous souls I know them to be through their actions instead of hearing their opinions about shit that programs human consciousness & divides the public (those being my personal opinions about these topics – but on my own blog, I’ll go ahead and express them).If I want drama, I'll watch a movie. In real life, I only desire wisdom, joy and to experience the best in humanity. Click To Tweet
3 – Weird People & Privacy Issues
I had been going back and forth with the idea of deleting my Facebook account for a while, but the final push came when some dude I didn’t know (a “friend of a friend”) pasted a bunch of emoji hearts on several of my pictures.
Now I know what you’re gonna say. “You need to check your share settings & fix that.”
Well, I had the whole friends of friends thing checked because it was suggested that I use that option to get my work out there. Sort of like a networking/marketing tool.
It made sense, so I did.
And then the weirdos showed up.
Yes, you can always block people or decide not to accept friend requests from people you don’t know. But that felt awkward to me. So did feeling the need to reject/unfriend/unwhatever people on Facebook (as it was to see it was done to you as well). Just more unpleasant and unnecessary bullshit.
It’s easy to creep into people’s lives on social media, but especially Facebook, since this particular social media site is geared toward being personal and sharing private stuff (it’s encouraged, actually).
It’s been said over and over again that once you share your data with any of these social media sites, your info no longer belongs to you. And Facebook is notorious for these things, including stalkers, data breaches, and programs that gather your info to choreograph your newsfeeds (and program your mind).
Enough was enough for me.
I deactivated my personal account for about two years on and off (with the exception of signing back on when I had a major project to share) and finally realized the time had come to delete my Facebook account once and for all. It took well over 30 days to see it was gone, but as of yesterday, it is.
Finally, my fake self is a thing of the past – and I feel relieved, lighter, and freer.
So Do I Still Use Facebook?
I mentioned earlier that I do have a page for this blog. You have to have a profile for this sort of thing, so yes, I have a personal profile – with a few friends for messaging purposes only.
I do interact in a few groups related to specific interests between work projects and a few personal interests (like a book club group). But since there’s no real personal profile, there’s no need for me to create an image.
Anyone I still keep in touch with happens on an authentic level. These people and I know we want to correspond with one another and we don’t need social media for that.
As far as my other social media profiles, I rarely post on them and I use them for my work. They’re fine for now. Until they aren’t.With all of this, I shared why I deleted my Facebook profile, but I am in no way looking to influence you. You do you. Long gone are the days where I tell people what they 'should' do. #wisdom #freewillClick To Tweet
As far as I’m concerned, the Universe is far more intelligent than my physical mind could ever hope to be. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone to be successful. But to be at peace, I do have to be free.
And letting go of my false identity is one path of this beam that lightens my life.
If you care to stay in touch, feel free to contact me through this blog. If you’re a real human being, not trying to sell me a program or whatever other spam you’re offering, I’ll respond.
I wish you guys a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2020 & beyond.
Until then, I am not my titles, I am not my opinions, looks, achievements, etc. And neither are you!
I AM my imagination. And I imagine myself light, free & at ease.
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