Humor

A Year Without Facebook

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!”

Why?

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?

53 thoughts on “A Year Without Facebook”

  1. I still have a facebook account, but I’ve found I use it less and less. I can go weeks without it. I’ve thought about deleting it all together, too. I’m happy that leaving facebook has made such a positive difference in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I’m doing with Twitter and Instagram. I’m using them less and less, but I still enjoy reading other people’s posts. At one point in my life, I felt compelled to continually create content. Now, I’m enjoying reading about other people’s creative processes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad that you were able to make a choice that’s had such a positive impact on you. Good for you for recognizing something that wasn’t (can’t) work for you. I still have FB, but I’ve taken a huge step back from it. Social media + current events = Unhealthy overload for me. I’ve noticed that those I remain friends with are also much less active than they once were, and there’s so much less political commentary/article sharing than there once was. I think that’s what allows me to keep my account. It is the only way I connect with a few people I really care about who live too far for me to see them in person.

    I agree with you about the importance of being present in the moment we’re in. I can struggle with having a balance between doing that and keeping myself informed/aware of current happenings that will impact the future. At the same time, I do like to sometimes share a little story. It satisfies the writer in me. I think my biggest takeaway on this subject is in what you said here: “I made the right decision by leaving Facebook. For Kari.” We all have to figure out what works best for us, and that will be different for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the key is finding social media that works for you. For me, that is TikTok. I don’t have to share anything about myself, I can just be an observer. I find so much that I can resonate with, but in a positive way. I do enjoy Instagram, but I’ve pulled away from that this year too. I also think that disconnecting from Facebook helped me with my soul homework and it has helped me become a better writer too.

      Like

  3. Today I felt so stressed after reading a few arguments in a facebook parent group that I deleted it from my phone. I also turned my Freedom app back on.

    It has become a social timesuck, and like Midlife Margaritas said, it was sucking my life and my free time. I’ve realized i’ve been spending less time on Twitter and Instagram already. Facebook is just too ugly and mean and full of misinformation when I just want to see pictures of my friends’ kids and puppies and know how they are doing. I can do that in 20 minutes a night. Tonight, I’m going to start deleting groups.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you felt stressed. You’re definitely not alone.

      Kids and puppies, yes! That was all I wanted to see as well. For the time being, Instagram and TikTok are doing a good job of satisfying that for me.

      Happy deleting! 🙂

      Like

  4. I’m glad you’ve found that leaving FB works for you. Your post sounds…happy and peaceful which is lovely.

    I have two large social media hacks that work for me – I deactivate accounts for at least two months a year, and one of my kids is in charge of my screen time passcode and my screen time limit is realistic and vicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy and peaceful, yes! I’m so glad this post came across this way because that’s exactly how I feel.

      Those are such good hacks, Katie! I also never have notifications enabled for any of my social media accounts. I don’t need to know when other people respond to me or leave comments on my pictures. It can wait a day. Or three. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you! I can imagine that it feels really good to be totally away from FB. I still feel a need for it for several reasons, but wish I did not. I’m in a local group that read TAW book together, then we moved on to another book about creativity and plan another one ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For a very long time, I felt like you do. My main reason for being on Facebook was for a variety different groups, which is why I was conflicted about leaving different times in the past. So I felt you when you said you have a need but wished you didn’t. 🙂

      Like

  6. Oops, my comment disappeared before I finished it. Oh well, it’s a Monday. All I was trying to say was that for me being on FB was like being stuck back in time. It wasn’t a healthy place for me. I deleted my account years ago.

    My preferred social media is blogging, followed by IG, then Twitter. I’ve tried to like Pinterest but it bores me. I don’t get any notifications from any social media. I control when I see things, they do not control me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Anniversary! 🙂 So glad you’ve enjoyed your first year of “freedom”. It sounds like you’ve also figured out how to interact with social media in a way that benefits you and does not harm you. Major props.

    I never got into social media. Not sure why. Too busy or maybe I get more happiness from moving through the real world (vs the virtual one). I know I’m “missing out” on some things – distant friends, relatives, etc. – but life is so full and there are other ways (texting!) to maintain connections. The people who actually care will find other ways. Trust.

    Also – I watched “This Changes Everything” on Netflix! I immediately thought: “wow my cool internet blogging friend Kari would totally be rad enough to like this” and *then* more of my brain cells kicked in and I thought: “is that the documentary cool Kari rec’ed like 2 weeks ago?”. Let’s hear it for brain cells that eventually kick in! And also *thank you* for the rec. That doc was so good (also appalling).

    Lately I’ve been having a lot of experiences that cause me to rethink or re-examine. So it was amazing to watch “This Changes Everything”. I may have escaped Facebook but I sure as heck watched TV/movies and absorbed those lessons about how I should look, act, be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I feel like celebrating. Maybe I will. 🙂

      You aren’t missing out on anything. When I first abandoned Facebook for a short period of time (long ago), I felt like I was missing out. Because of that, I rushed back to it. But I don’t feel that way anymore. I am enjoying being present with my friends and family now, and whatever news I am “missing” just isn’t on my radar. There are other ways to communicate, as you say.

      I’m flattered that you think I’m cool. That brightened my day. I feel exactly the same way about you too, Maddie.

      That documentary has stayed with me since I first watched it. It changed the way I think about movies and Hollywood.

      Like

  8. Aside from blogging, I watch a few things on YouTube…but I don’t consider that the same. It’s been many since I quit Facebook for good. It was definitely a harmful addiction, I’m glad to be free of. Congrats to you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Facebook – the bane of my existence. And, YES! When people say that they keep forgetting I’m not on Facebook itnmakes me think, “Oh. So that’s the only time you think of me is if you see a post or comment from me?” I still have it but rarely, rarely look at it and never post or comment.

    I’m on Twitter and Instagram but again, rarely post and rarely comment. I like to think I’m pretty good at being in the moment – but, honestly, I could do better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, it’s been eye-opening. Maybe I have too high of an opinion of myself to believe that I should be on others minds. 🙂

      Social media is incredibly addictive, which is why I couldn’t go cold turkey! Ha. But Facebook is the big one, and if I can get rid of it, I think I can back away from others too.

      Like

  10. I was curious so I hopped on Facebook; it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything! I check in on Wednesday just to see what our featured post is for the Encouraging Hearts and Home link up but I go right to our joint page and other than that I don’t really look at anything else. The only social media I do anything with is Pinterest.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is SO good, Kari. I am still semi-addicted to FB. I don’t share much; I’m more of a lurker. It is a huge time waster, for sure. It’s funny…I’ve actually not blogged in a long time for pretty much the same reasons you haven’t been on FB! I just haven’t felt like sharing anything private. I’m still trying to figure out what has changed in myself. All I know for sure right now is that I’ve been simply enjoying my summer and not having to worry about uploading pics and editing them and writing posts. A sabbatical of sorts.

    My social media of choice is Instagram. I can’t stand Twitter or Tik Tok. I know – each to their own.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a lurker on Instagram and TikTok. When I use the word lurker, it makes me think of someone looking over a bush with binoculars. 🙂

      When I read back my comment about not sharing my life on Facebook, it made me laugh because I do share my life on the blog. But it’s a different kind of sharing. It just feels different on Facebook, doesn’t it?

      Thank you, as always, for reading!

      Like

  12. WordPress. I check a Facebook briefly once a day. I glance at insta for slightly longer. But I haven’t posted on Facebook in over a year, and months since insta

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I totally understand your leaving Facebook. I think Instagram is a much better place to share your images and thoughts, There is less chaos I feel. Glad to see that you are happy without it. I would ditch it in a minute if I didn’t have those awesome groups where you can ask questions and they give you informative answers. Oh and the relatives that have no other social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I started with Facebook to keep up with what my kids were doing. Now neither one does much of anything on Facebook but I stay to see what my friends are up to. I just came back from a trip to where I grew up and although I saw as many people as I could cram in, I rarely got my camera out because like you, I made a choice to be in the moment with these friends and family…and not collect photos for social media or blog fodder. It was the right choice. In this Information Age (which I not convinced we are adapted to, equipped for, or using correctly yet), we need to think critically about how we handle the influx/output of content that is almost inescapable so that it actually improves our lives instead of taking away from them. Good for you Kari, for recognizing this already and taking the right steps for you!

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID.

      I used to believe that if I documented everything I did on social media or my blog, I would be able to look back on it. But, in the process of doing that, I was missing out WHILE I was living it.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip in the moment. Those are priceless memories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I still have my fb account, but don’t use it as much as I did a few years ago.
    YOU have evolved so much in the past year; it’s mind-boggling to see where you were and where you ARE. Present. Happy. Content. More care-free. It’s awesome to see and inspiring too. Being in the moment is what we should all aspire to do, so thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl, GIRL. I am totally different. I see how my mistakes have made me who I am.
      So much happier and content. I have bad days and days when the antidepressant is clearly not working. There is only so much that my soul homework can cover, wink wink.
      But I am so much happier on this side of menopause, and ditching Facebook was a significant part of it. For me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It is wonderful to read about your transformation. Change is never easy and so happy for you that you put the effort into this change. Sounds like it has totally paid off. Hooray!

    I have a FB account but primarily use it for market place, messenger, and for babysitting jobs. (Thankfully I have all the same families returning this year so I did not need to meet new peeps . . . always dicey). I rarely post anything. I realized a long time ago what a time suck it could be and I just don’t have time to waste. I occasionally scroll mindlessly and then slap myself around a little for getting off track.

    I never thought of my blog as social media but I guess it makes sense. I vote that as my fav. The rest of them? I’m too clueless to bother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit that I only miss Marketplace when I have something I want to sell. But then I remember how terrible people are on Marketplace, and I no longer miss it. LOL

      I didn’t think of blogs in that sense either!

      Like

  17. I have major philosophical and ethical problems with Facebook but I haven’t been able to quit it yet. I don’t do Instagram or Pinterest, and Facebook is always where I’ve had my interactions with online friends who live to far away to see in person. I have to take Twitter breaks regularly because it spikes my blood pressure, but Facebook is the place where I follow my relatives who live three provinces over and my friends who live in Nova Scotia and Calgary. I also love the memories, especially since my own is worse and worse. I absolutely understand why some people leave, and there’s only one who is fairly strident about it and calls people ‘complicit’ who are still there, which annoys me because she is always on Twitter, which is not that much better. I try to be principled, but I am often weak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, that is what I have a problem with. Making others feel bad about their social media choices. I absolutely understand why so many people continue to use Facebook. However, it was not a good fit for me.

      I remember the memories on Facebook! Some of my friends still send me screenshots that pop up in their feeds, so that’s special.

      There is nothing wrong with liking what you like. 🙂

      Like

  18. I typed ‘to far away’ instead of ‘too far away’ and now I have to move and change my identity, so I guess I probably will have to leave Facebook now. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My son got off facebook too, I do miss him for he was the best at posting picture of our grand children. We communicate a lot my message on facebook. Our ministry of Member Care Reps for our mission is about communicating any way you can with our missionaries. I don’t surf the facebook world unless it is to talk to our missionaries. At this time it’s still a value for us but I know there will come a time, when we retire I think we will get off too. I try to keep negative stuff off my wall but everyone once in a while someone will slip a post into complaining about this or that, usually it’s about political stuff. It’s gets dumps, I don’t do posting anything someone ask me to do to prove I like them.. and very seldom repost something someone else posted. I like finding my own quotes, messages, to pass on, if it strikes my heart in a good way I just might post it. I just want to say, good for you about getting off. When we first came home from overs seas people texting all the time drove me crazy. I had a friend who had two phones, a personal one and her work one. Even if it was her off day, she was checking both her phone to keep track of what others were doing. That freaked me out. I love to communicate but the best if face to face in my book. Enjoy your extra free time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand how you would miss seeing your grandchildren’s pictures! My mom is still not on Facebook, and she says she still misses not being able to see pictures of her grandson, who lives in another state, and her friends’ grandchildren.

      Two phones! I can barely manage one! Ha!

      Thank you so much! I’m enjoying that free time. 🙂

      Like

  20. I’m so old that the only social media I have ever even tried is FB. I use it only to find good and encouraging sayings that support what I already believe or that I want to believe. I don’t see a lot of stuff from my friends on there and I guess they post as infrequently as I do, but keeping up with them is another reason I’m on FB. I’ve only just very recently started posting anything about myself. The main reasons I’ve done that are just to let the people who care know how I’m doing and to practice taking and posting pictures, especially selfies which I seen as a way to try to support any new found self confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

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