It’s been more than two years since I quit Facebook. It feels both good and bad. It’s good that I don’t have the same negative feelings that stemmed from using Facebook. I don’t feel like I don’t have enough “friends” or likes on my posts. It’s also good that Facebook doesn’t have my data anymore. The recent news coming out about Facebook selling their user’s data (and many other things) have really put me off the idea of ever reactivating my account.
The bad part is that I feel like I’m cheating at this. As a social media manager, I have to have a Facebook account. Since I wasn’t interested in going back to Facebook so soon after leaving it, I created a new account under my cat’s name. I intended to only use it for work, but two years later I’ve slowly broken that promise. Though I still haven’t added any friends besides family or posted anything, I’m a part of several Facebook groups. They are groups of people with my interests, like house plants, memes, and cats. It’s just for fun, and I still usually only look at them at work (bad, I know). Does my Facebook detox really count if I’m still using it?
When I left Facebook, I started becoming more active on Instagram (which Facebook owns, unfortunately). Not many of my friends use Instagram (though a few more started recently – yay!), so it kind of felt like I was posting for strangers. This was both freeing and intimidating. I started getting those negative thoughts in my head again…”why don’t I have more followers?” “Why did my post only get x amount of likes?” I try to ignore them. But lately I’ve been wondering – did I just swap out one toxic social network for another? Only time will tell.
Many of my friends live out of state, and I have to admit it’s been hard to keep in touch with them without Facebook. I’ve forgotten birthdays, missed important moments, and just generally feel out of the loop. I’m not good at staying in touch without social media. But I believe some friendships are worth the extra effort. I don’t think it’s worth throwing away my principals and adding stress for a little more convenience.