Why I Deleted My Facebook App

It was a Monday and I had been contemplating it for months. I told myself that moving my Facebook app to the back of my phone in a file labeled "Media isn't Social" would keep me from opening it so much. And it did...sort of. But the amount of self control it took sometimes wasn't even worth it. So I held down the icon, waited for it bounce, and I hit the "X." My heart rate immediately rose. 

The thing is, Facebook can be so much fun. And informational. And enlightening, even, at times. But it can also be a grim filter through which to see the world. And depressing. And argumentative. Despite the fact that I had been limiting my use of Facebook, something was really beginning to nag at me. Well, several things actually. A mounting list of things I was doing (and that you probably do too) weren't sitting well with me. 

The first thing was something most people complain about: it's an increasingly negative experience. Everyone has an opinion, and I get that because I can be amongst the strongest when it comes to "taking a stand." It's great that we have a platform to get our causes out there, and to share ideas and exchange information. It's also kind of exhausting because you begin to see the same sets of opinions from the same 25 people.  

Think about it...when you post a political status (or any status), you probably know exactly who is going to like it, who will love it, who will hate it and tell you so, and who will argue with that person over the merits of the status. And how many minutes add up to hours spent on a virtual platform arguing over a political ideal that no one is really going to meet in the middle on? For me, the answer to this was "too many." Here's why: I value debate. There are some friends of mine that I can count on for robust disagreement without all the dramatics, and that's great. I prefer my debate in person where no one can catch a case of "keyboard courage" and go ape shit on me. 

Mostly though, at this point in adulthood, I have no interest in arguing points with acquaintances, "that guy" from high school, (god forbid) a coworker that I don't know super well, or my best friend's mom (I love you Jan!) It never goes well, and minds aren't being changed, but sometimes real feelings get hurt. 

A second issue for me is that I have noticed when we get on platforms and throw out political stances, we are tricked into the notion that we are "doing something," when in reality, we aren't. Donating money, calling your congressman or woman, writing a letter, attending a meeting or joining a committee, VOTING IN AN ELECTION--those are things you can DO. And there is a big difference. If something is truly important to me, I want to be moved enough to actually do something. Saying something about it simply isn't enough for me anymore. 

And all these things, they would probably be reason enough to log off altogether, but they really weren't. The kicker for me was a realization that boils down to much more than petty annoyance (because keeping your mouth shut is always an option, amiright?) The real issue for me is this: I am a complex, wonderful human being, and I don't deserve to be whittled down a single Facebook status. I don't want to be viewed in pieces and through filters, and neither should you. 

When we put these snippets out there on the Internet, we are doing each other a disservice. There are people I love in my life and the experience of them in real life is amazing. But if you only looked at them through something like Facebook, you might not want to even start a conversation. It's dividing us before we even enter the world, and I don't like that. Someone may not like my stance on a particular issue, but they might really like ME. These things can coexist. I'll bet you have friends that you absolutely love and you probably disagree on a few things, maybe even strongly, and I would be willing to bet that you would worry about it way less if you just got off of Facebook a little more. 

When I step outside my door, the world is a humbling and beautiful place. THAT is the experience I want to begin having more and more. It's not that I'll never go on Facebook. There are aspects that I love about it...like Messenger and posting my blogs! But if it's your way of "keeping up" with people, maybe it's time you started shutting down the app, and picking up the phone and give your friends a call instead. 

It's been a couple of weeks since I deleted the app, and I have to say, I don't know as much about what my friends did today, or what the political pulse is. I have only seen the pictures posted to Instagram (which I love), and I get my news by either going to a website, or watching TV. I haven't seen any cute kitten videos lately. But I sure have been reading more, and connecting with the people I love. My daughter hasn't asked me to put down my phone as much, and I've been looking up more recipes than statuses. My time isn't wasted nearly as much as it was before when I was using Facebook as entertainment. 

I feel like more of a spiritual being and less of a virtual one. And for now, that's really working for me. So what are you waiting for? Delete your Facebook app, and see what happens!