My one year anniversary of quitting Facebook!
Exactly one year ago today, I “woke up at 5:30 AM and logged onto my phone while in bed” to shut down my Facebook account.
I was really excited at the time to attempt this experiment in Facebook-free living, but I was also kinda freaked out; I confess. People were worriedly whispering all kinds of ominous things to me, from “your friends will think you think you’re better than them for doing this” to “no one will invite you to any parties any more.”
Yes, really. And that latter one was really scary. I mean, no more party invites? But I looove parties!
Turns out neither of those were true — and none of the myriad other scary prophecies I heard came true, either. But I have gotten what I was hoping to out of this. At almost 34 years old, I just had an urge to really be the best version of myself and the best friend I could be. I didn’t want to be a person who worried incessantly about performing the proper routine in cyberspace; a person who was so busy making stupid compulsory comments about people’s lunches and party photos from the night before, that I forgot things like births and deaths and anniversaries. I was disgusted that I actually had strife with people because I did or didn’t respond to some internet nudge in the right way. And I just really didn’t want to be one of those people who had to have their phone in their hand every minute while eating dinner or hanging out with friends.
That just hurts me in my heart soul. Really. Whoever invented “checking in” – f#@% you.
I honestly feel like I’ve been a better, more attentive friend this past year, and my friendships are in a better place. Turns out, Facebook was never really necessary for maintaining my old, true friendships. Those people were my friends from a time before social media existed, and when I took it away, things just moved right along. WHADDYA KNOW.
(The best part about my old friends is, I don’t even have to ask – they just know what to do.)
But the overall landscape has shifted some; I’ll admit it. There’s been a draining away of peripheral relationships, though I now have the time to focus on people who really matter. And I confess; I kind of knew this would happen. Quitting Facebook might have been my way of making it happen. And I’m okay with it, because the set of newer friends in my life who’ve stayed on this journey with me are proving themselves to be exceptional people, and I feel very lucky to have them around and to have put more energy into our friendships.
The two things that have really stuck with me about this year, though, are…
- The amazing experiences I’ve enjoyed without having my face in my phone.
- The communication I’ve maintained with people as a result of reaching out and asking folks to email me before I shut down my account last April 1st.
So, to sum up this blog, I’m posting photos of some beautiful memories from this past year, that WEREN’T plastered instantly on Facebook before I could even finish enjoying the moment. And I’m interspersing them with a few things I heard from the many, many people who emailed me asking to stay in touch when I left Facebook — and we have. And I’m so grateful for that.
Sounds silly, but it’s a relief to now be almost 35, and to know that a website didn’t give me friends. I actually made them on my own. And I can keep them on my own, too.
“Congrats on the move off of Facebook. There has to be something very freeing about it.”
“I read your manifesto and thought it was awesome – just as I’ve always thought that both you and Trent are awesome!”
“Stepping away sounds….refreshing, liberating, and down right necessary for me! “
“I can’t imagine unplugging from Facebook. I’m curious to see how this plays out for you.”
“Color me impressed – I’m not sure I would have the wherewithal to leave my beloved Facebook behind, though I have also considered it.”
“You’re an inspiration especially when it comes to dealing with life and making the best of things.”
“I couldn’t be more supportive or proud of you for your decision. I know that I’ve been looking for more ways to meaningfully improve my relationships with my friends. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.”