As of this month, I haven’t had a Facebook account in over a year. Last year, I wrote about my decision to leave Facebook, and I discussed my reasons for doing so. In the comments, many readers agreed with me, but I don’t want to alienate those of you who use Facebook. That isn’t the point of this post.
I made the right decision by leaving Facebook. For Kari. I didn’t understand how much chaos and noise it caused in my head until it was gone. It prompted me to make other life choices that transformed me into a completely different person.
It didn’t happen all at once, but I gradually became less interested in sharing the details of my life. I preferred to be immersed in the present moment, paying attention to how I was feeling at the time. I couldn’t think about the future, and I didn’t want to think about the past either.
In the book I’m presently reading, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron wrote, “Pain is what it took to teach me to pay attention. In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now.”
I now see how Facebook became an addiction for me. This is why, in the initial post, I was so outraged by it. This is also why I had to leave and why I can never return.
Occasionally, when I’m walking in the forest preserve with Mike, I will still pull out my phone and take a picture of the lovely wildflowers rather than just being in the moment. “I wish everyone could see this beautiful scenery!”
So that I can tell a story about what I’m seeing?
So that I can show others that I’m doing something?
If just one person who sees it and believes this world isn’t worth living in, perhaps I will convince them to get outside today?
The truth is that it will never be as good as what I am experiencing at that moment. Catch the live show because the reruns won’t do it justice.
Since leaving Facebook, I’m not getting ready for the camera, I’m not thinking of when it will be the perfect moment to take the picture, and I’m not considering what the caption should be.
In terms of interactions with my family and friends, this past year has been the best of my life. I wish I could a better job of explaining it. Perhaps I just did.
When people say things like “I keep forgetting you’re not on Facebook,” I suppose they don’t understand they’re actually saying “I keep forgetting you.” Perhaps we all should pay more attention to others. I understand busyness, but I assure you there is time in our days. I discovered that time, I know it exists.
I didn’t completely abandon social media. I’ve kept my Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts active and I picked up a TikTok account along the way. I don’t spend nearly as much time on all four accounts as I did on Facebook.
I’m a storyteller, it’s what I love doing. But I also love living in the moment now. Because, as I’ve learned, some stories aren’t meant to be shared.
What is your social media of choice?