Why I Deleted Facebook Off My Phone
Let me premise this blog by saying that I still have a Facebook page, and a business page. I didn’t delete myself off Facebook entirely, because I still use it for work purposes (like my Color Street Nail Babe VIPs group). But I definitely deleted the Facebook app off of my phone several weeks ago, and it’s literally been the absolute best thing I have done for myself in years.
I’ve been a Facebook user since 2007 or 2008. I left MySpace and headed over to Facebook, and I’ve spent years there. I’ve been part of groups, I’ve run a business page (I had one of those original fan pages way back when!), I’ve made some incredible friends and I’ve made a lot of money over the years using Facebook for marketing.
But over the last couple of years, Facebook lost its appeal to me. It started small, with little changes that made the user interface absolutely terrible. Then, the ads in the videos started and might be the most annoying things ever. More than that though, I started to realize how horrible it is for communication, for developing relationships and for society in general.
I used to be friends with someone who literally couldn’t stay off of their phone, for longer than maybe 5 minutes at a time (maybe). Every single time we hung out, the phone was glued to their hand and their eyes and this person was almost always on Facebook, messaging people, posting, sharing, running their business, whatever. It drove me absolutely nuts, to the point where I actually started having to ask them to stay off their phone when we hung out. When that didn’t change their behavior, I actually stopped wanting to be friends with them because I felt pretty disrespected and devalued.
Then I realized that as annoying as I found it when someone else did it, I was a bit of a hypocrite. I would be on my phone, looking at posts on Facebook and engaging in groups and chatting in messenger all the time, too. Whether I was sitting in the car line at school, going to the bathroom (shut up, you know you do it too 🤣), cooking dinner, or whatever – I was hooked on it. It was how I stayed in touch with people from everywhere we had lived, it was how I tried to make myself feel important in the wedding photography industry, it was how I kept up with people I looked up to.
Ah, and then the Covid pandemic hit during an election year while I was also battling cancer and going through my lowest depressive state I’d ever experienced while giving up my 10 year career as a wedding photographer while grieving the loss of my big brother in law while moving cross-country for the 5th time in 9 years.
So, basically, the shit hit the fan, for all intents and purposes.
I hated logging in, and seeing people argue about the virus and wearing masks, or arguing about how terrible our president is or how awful Joe Biden is. Reading what people were writing and shouting from the rooftops, people just being absolutely horrible toward each other about politics or any other hot topic. Watching videos people would share that would be disturbing, offensive, or mentally draining. And, oh my gosh I won’t even get into the crazy MLM women who would friend me and immediately try to sell me something. Ugh.
I tried to curate my feed so it was people I cared about, funny videos about dogs, but it still wasn’t enough. I left groups that didn’t bring me joy or serve a purpose in my life anymore. Then, I started to unfollow, hide or actually just delete people that didn’t bring me joy. I found myself feeling worse and worse every single time I’d log in, and I also found myself spending more time over on my Instagram.
So one day a few weeks ago, I just deleted it off my phone on a whim after coming to a breaking point. I honestly can’t even remember what exactly spurred the snap decision, I just remember feeling like I needed the app gone.
I spent the next several days reflexively grabbing my phone throughout the day, to check Facebook. It took a week or two for me to stop reaching for it 100 times a day; I wish that was an over-exaggeration, but I’m pretty sure it’s an accurate number 😬. It really cemented in the idea that Facebook had been way too involved in my life and that I had made the right decision. The really crazy part is that once I stopped checking my phone a million times an hour, I felt happier.
I never recognized that my dependence on Facebook was contributing to my spiraling mental health issues. But, once the constant barrage of negativity, drama and fake news stopped being something I had in front of me all day, every day … I felt lighter; I felt freer. Suddenly I became blissfully unaware of all the awful things people had to say about anything and everything, I didn’t have the constant media-driven fear of impending doom.
The best part? I stopped giving so much of myself to people who didn’t know or care that I existed. Once I stopped giving 100% of myself to people who didn’t give me even 1% of themselves, I felt happier and fuller because I was no longer running on empty. It was the same thing for me with the wedding and photography industries too – giving so much of myself to people that couldn’t give two actual shits about me. It was just so mentally and emotionally draining that I didn’t truly realize how empty my heart was until I started filling it up myself.
I have been spending a lot more of my time and effort on my Instagram account, and I’ve kept in touch with the people closest to me there. I have my Instagram feed curated to be about topics that bring me joy or that I’m truly interested in (i.e. dogs, memes, recipes, more dogs, traveling, and my favorite TV shows, authors, movies and celebrities). And I’m definitely not trying to replace my time that was spent on Facebook on Instagram now, but it is where I am if you see me on social media.