I promised myself a while back that I would stay away from anything that makes me unhappy. It was a promise I made to myself as I realised that my happiness is something that I must create, nurture and continue to nurture and I mustn’t depend on anyone or anything to free myself from misery but my own conviction. It was me coming to terms with what’s really important; prioritising my soul.
As such, I walked away from Facebook. It was a tough goodbye. It was an end of an era. It was a self imposed exile of sorts – some would say. On the contrary I saw it as regaining control of sorts. Despite being a social pariah, I now have the ability to selectively engage with those I want to engage, those who nurture my soul, add colour to my life and not taint it with their perception of what I should and shouldn’t not be. Essentially, I disregarded soceity’s right to dictate terms of my being.
It was by far the biggest gift I had given myself. However, everyone keeps questioning my decision. While I limit my answer to a few lines because I honestly don’t feel like I owe an explanation, for the sake of standing my ground, here are the reasons I am no longer a citizen of the Facebook population.
A) The effort of creating a “self”.
This indeed is exhausting and for the life of me I couldn’t not understand why I should indulge. It is an excruciating and time consuming task to censor your life to fit into a persona that society expects you to be. From little details like making sure the same dress is not photographed at two separate events, to censoring what you’re tagged on and what you share, we engage in a never ending process of creating a social media personality. The paradox of this is that we are pretty much never truly who we show the world we are. We are all con artists trying to prove to the world that we have perfect hair days and that we are eternally happy. This takes away our right to grieve, to feel too much or too little, essentially promoting an apathetic generation.
Which brings me to my next point,
B) The beauty of first impressions.
But you know me, don’t you? The girl who goes out on Friday nights, listens to rock music and watches Game of thrones. You know my religion, my political stance or lack thereof. So if you’re are a friend of a friend who by chance you happened upon my pofile, you “know” me. But do you really? Do you know that my friends dragged me out ? And that I wasn’t drunk despite the distorted photographs? And maybe I don’t do anything else with my life. I mean, how could I? Right? With hundred and one photos of me parting on a Wednesday night, it must be truly impossible for me to do anything else. By this premis, you know me already. By the time I actually shake hands with you at our mutual friends twenty third birthday party you already “know” me. Oh what we could have been had you only stopped to ask me what my favourite song was and realised we had a lot more in common than you thought we did.
C) Information overload.
I had no idea that I knew they were dating for three months now. But scrolling down my homepage on a Sunday morning my subconscious mind retained that information. What’s more, unintentionally I compared myself to her life and suddenly I was not too happy about being single. Of course, none of this negativity was that I had arrived at on my own. It was all a product of engaging a seamless process of subconsciously engaging in comparisons and overloading on information that I in fact had no use of.
D) 1,954 friends later…
The argument behind this factor is twofold. First and foremost, I don’t really like you. But we’ve met thrice and you’re friends with my good friend so it’s only the norm to accept your friend request and wish you on your birthday. But you know as well as I do that this gesture meant nothing. And personally , I’d rather have five people remember my birthday because they care than get more wishes than I could individually respond to. And when I replied to your wall post about meeting up, I didn’t really mean it. I genuinely don’t think we have enough in common to discuss over a cup of coffee. But social norm dictates that I must respond, and I obliged. And these facades are exhausting.
Secondly, when I sat down in my room with a cigarette ashing to my wrist and not the ash try because was too numb from the pain to feel a thing, 1,954 friends and there were two I mused the courage to dial the number of. And at that point, I had truly lost the need to maintain the facade, the masquerade of a social butterfly.
As such, I deactivated Facebook. I talk to whom I wish to, I know what I want to, I feel as and when I want, and express to my audience of two – shamelessly. My soul has never felt lighter. Life has never been less complex. And to date, it remains the best leap of faith I had ever taken. As inconvenient as it maybe to myself and those around me, I manage. For I know my soul is in tact and I’ve cleansed the negativity away – a detox of sorts. I meet beautiful people everyday, and truly get to know them beyond the million dollar smiles on their profile pictures and there’s no room for hate in my life anymore.
In summation, deactivate. Detox for a month, I dare you.