i have a confession to make.
truth is, i used to be a facebook addict.
but almost two months ago, i deleted my account. and i haven't looked back.
as much as i like social media at times, for the most part, i have a problem with it. a big problem.
for a long time, facebook has been a time-waster for me. and recently, i realized that facebook is a lot of bragging and complaining. people either do one or the other--myself included. i kept asking myself, why am i posting this status? this album? who really needs to know what i'm doing, where i am, and why do i want everyone to care so much?
i think it stems from the narcissism of social media. don't get me wrong: i love this blogging community. i love keeping a record of my memories and dreams, making friends with people all over the world. and granted, other forms--like twitter, instagram--are also self-focused; but i find that my blog is more of a personal outlet. for some reason, it was facebook that really got me.
why is it that we feel such a need to post every little piece of our lives on the internet? who are we trying to impress, get the attention of? why do we spend countless hours comparing our lives to others' or competing over the web for popularity? why do we always need to be connected to social media and technology?
so i got rid of it.
i've noticed too that in public, when people are waiting for class to start or a line to move or their friend to come back to the table (or anything really), they pull out their phones. scan instagram or facebook or twitter. we zone out of reality and transport to this virtual world. we're missing out on the present moments because of this strange desire for instant gratification and connection.
why can't we be content with our own thoughts? why do we constantly distract ourselves from the world around us? sometimes i feel like we're losing our ability for face-to-face interaction. people like statuses on facebook and call it friendship but can't converse with someone in person? why are we so afraid of being alone in line? in the grocery store? at a restaurant by ourselves? why do we need to know what everyone else is doing all the time, and share what we're doing all the time?
they say the italians are masters at the art of doing nothing. but it seems americans have a problem with being content. we don't know how to just relax; we are constantly bombarded with technology.
maybe if we all stepped back from our facebook accounts and phone apps and tweets, we could find that community we desire. maybe we wouldn't miss out on all the little moments in the day; like the beauty of new spring flowers or birds chirping in the early morning light or even the hush that begins to descend on the world as evening approaches. times we could spend in solitude with God, or in reality with friends--truly focused on developing relationships, really being in the present.
maybe we could start collecting memories and experiences for the happiness of ourselves rather than the approval of others.
i've been facebook free for almost two months now, and it feels great. i don't come back to my room after class and have the urge to check in on what everyone is doing, and i have so much more time to focus on my work and my writing. i'm learning how to relax, how to find satisfaction in the world around me, even when i'm alone. i'm learning to be content with myself.
and it feels really, really good.
what about you, friends? what do you think about social media?