Friday, January 31, 2014

Breaking up with Facebook

I recently decided to take a Facebook break.  All of a sudden I felt overwhelmed by all the negative posts, the "my life sucks because of this" posts.  As you may know, I've been exercising a lot lately and it's finally making changes to my mental health.  I feel good about things.  Life isn't just "meh", it's good.  I'm able to see the negative in my life and am working on changing it - either by changing my views on it or changing what is causing the negativity.

I toyed with the idea of leaving Facebook for a couple days.  I didn't think I could do it.  When I finally made the decision it felt good.  It was like a burden was lifted off of me.  However, I'm finding that that unburdened feeling is seeping away and other feelings are coming up, like loneliness. And minor panic (I might be missing something important!) And this was all on the first day.  I've lost an entire group of friends all at once. I sometimes wonder if they're talking about me.  Then I fear they're not.

I've made a lot of friends over the years through online groups like The, iVillage message boards and my local Mothers Club. Not to mention the several friends I've made in the more intimate private Facebook groups.  Most of these people I only connect with over Facebook. Although I haven't deactivated my account and I can still be reached through messages, I still feel completely disconnected from them now.

Back in 2006 a very good friend of mine died.  For months afterwards I would think "Oh, I need to tell Karen XYZ" and then realize I couldn't.  Leaving Facebook is similar.  While I certainly can log back in and tell my Facebook friends XYZ, it completely defeats the point of leaving in the first place. My point is there's a sense of sadness and loss when I chose not to log back in.

A couple times I've had to log back in to check the dates of an event or post in the Virtual Running group and I'm almost afraid to even look at the news feed.  I get a little anxiety over seeing one of those posts that pushed me over the edge.  But I'm even more anxious over seeing a post that will suck me back in.  Breaking up with Facebook is hard.  It would be so easy to go back, fall back into the routine.  But I know over time it will get easier.

(Part of me doesn't even want to share this blog because if I cave and come back to Facebook again, then I'm afraid you'll all think I'm a hypocrite.)


  1. I walked away from Facebook 3 years ago. It was becoming such a negative influence in my life. Sometimes I miss the connections, but for the most part it was the right choice for me.

  2. Julianna,
    Do what works for you. If facebook doesn't enhance your life then don't check it. I will personally miss your posts. I think you are funny, well informed and frankly I like opinionated people, even it is goes against my opinion. I'm sorry people on facebook make you feel bad. Shame on them.
    We will miss you and if you cave and come back I won't call you a hypocrite. I'll say " Glad your back. I missed you."

  3. You need to do what's healthy for you, physically, mentslly, emotionally. I know I've taken breaks and it was the right thing to do. The people who are friends are still there when I return, the same will be true for you. Enjoy the time you would have been Facebooking doing something that refreshes you.

  4. I've taken breaks from Fb too. It can become overwhelming.

  5. Do what works for you, Julianna!
    I know that you have struggled with this for long enough and I'm glad you are trying new ways to keep up with the people that you care about.

    FB can be a total downer of a cesspool; it can also be a fun place to hang out... Personally I'm using it to keep in contact with people while we are away but when we get back home I'll back off of it...

    If I see you on FB again, I will just think you are doing what works for you. No need to be consistent to please me!!!!!