There was a time when I praised the invention of Facebook. That it helped me reconnect with friends from college and beyond was mind-blowingly-amazing. I was able to rekindle relationships with friends I had deeply missed. And it was truly all thanks to Facebook.
During the past ten or so years that I’ve been on Facebook, my need for it has changed. I’m connected to my friends now; I can text them instead of communicating via Facebook. It has become a type of voyeurism instead of a tool for connecting. I know this and yet I’d find myself scrolling through mindlessly several times a day. It fooled me into thinking I was connected or connecting, but no. Facebook is not the place for connecting anymore.
I am in several Facebook groups that I find to be incredibly helpful. I have “friends” in these groups, but many are friends I’ve never met in person or that I’ve only met in person once. For that purpose, Facebook is great. It truly does allow me to connect with people in a way I couldn’t without Facebook.
Yet I truly loathe Facebook for the most part.
Is it really Facebook’s fault if I mindlessly scroll through the business of people I hardly know several times a day? Is it Facebook’s fault if I feel enraged when I read some of the stories people “like” or share?
And is it Facebook’s fault if I feel worse about the world and/or my place in it after scrolling through my news feed?
No. The answer is a resounding NO.
That’s on me. I get to decide how I feel. I also get to decide if I use Facebook or not. But it kind of puts me in a pickle because I still see some value in Facebook.
My solution for now is deleting the Facebook app from my phone, which I’ve done before. The result has always been that I check Facebook less since I have to put more effort into getting there. I either check in via Safari or Chrome on my phone or on my laptop, OR? Now stay with me here: NOT AT ALL.
I’ll keep the Messenger app to communicate with a few folks. And I will use the Facebook Groups app, which allows me to check the groups I like while not having to scroll through all the other nonsense in my feed.
Is this a sustainable solution? Maybe. I hope it is. There’s more to life than social media, but it’s easy to miss if I don’t look up.