7.03.2013

F- Off Facebook! and How I Reclaimed My Life



Yeah.  This basically summarizes my entire sentiment around Facebook.  The colossal self-esteem reducing, privacy invading, time wasting, life sucking void.  It started as a way to reconnect with friends from high school.  Then it slowly evolved into some soul draining mass that kept my right thumb constantly hovering over my iPhone in anticipation of the next stream of pointless updates about a friend of a friend's sister's cat and its Jesus-shaped litterbox-poo. 

I had been toying with the idea of closing my account for some time and it was a casual conversation over coffee that finally pushed me over the edge.  A wonderful acquaintance of mine, who used to push me even harder in my once upon a CrossFit days, mentioned she deleted her FB account when she realized she was spending too much time comparing her personal results and successes to all her friends and fellow CrossFit athletes.  And it made her feel like she was never good enough.  If you happen to be reading this, CheckaMae, you are MORE than good enough and a total butt-kicking inspiration.  I miss you, my friend!

The day following that conversation, with some reluctance, I clicked the great big DEACTIVATE button.  Not a true delete.  Just in case I change my mind and want to hurry back and catch up on all that I missed.  That was in March.  I haven't touched it since.  I haven't missed it.  I miss my friends, but the ones that count found a way to get in touch with me and me with them.  I miss seeing pictures of my friends' families.  And by "friends", I mean the real ones that I have known in person and interacted with most of my life.  But there are old ancient ways of acquiring those, like through e-mails and requests over a telephone.

So what has happened since?  My life became real again.  I became present in what was going on with ME.  I obsessed less over what everyone else was doing, experiencing, buying, eating, and complaining about.  And I put 100% focus on me, Matt, and getting my shit together.  After a terribly cathartic day and then a fat smack in the face less than 24 hours later, there came an avalanche of blessings beyond anything I could imagine. 

I submitted resume after resume after resume that one day in April.  One day.  And a progressive few as the weeks carried on.  And all of a sudden, the phone started ringing.  And resume after resume turned into interview after interview.  I couldn't believe it.  It felt like 2002 all over again.  Real life had become the antithesis of Facebook.  Things were happening to ME.  Good things.  My self-esteem was slowly climbing from just below rock bottom to somewhere a little higher.  I regained confidence in my abilities, my knowledge, and what I have actually accomplished in my short little time on this planet. 

Matt made it a point to inform me that I was a more pleasant person without Facebook.  Perhaps he was just happy I wasn't relaying every one's status updates to him anymore.  In fact, I found myself surrounded by some of the most positive real people.  Maybe they were always there, but I just never noticed because I was too immersed in a gnarly, negative, full of grouchy complaints virtual world.  And for now, all the gnarly negative grouchies have vanished and that's a really good feeling.

Matt and I have taken mini-roadies together.  Conversing about intellectual topics between Point A and Point B.  I've spent more time reading actual literature and not just two sentence status updates.  My garden is a crazy explosion of watermelons that I continuously hover over like a new mom in awe of her first born.  Except I am assuming new moms don't get so excited, they eat their babies.  Or maybe they do.  I'm not well versed in child rearing. 


There have been interviews.  And even job offers.  I've been rowing on my C2 like a mad woman and eating Paleo like I'm living in February 2012.  My "big girl" pants are loosening up in the thighs and if I keep at it, Matt's going to get front row tickets to the "gun show" in a few months.  Something along the lines of my running days... only better...


My sister-in-law gave birth to the very first grand baby/nephew of the family this past weekend.  Not super specific to MY life, but crazy amazing that Matt and I are officially an uncle and aunt and we get to meet the little man and hold him in our arms very soon.  (I promise I won't try to eat him.)  My in-laws are almost finished building their gorgeous new home.  Also not specific to MY life, per se, but I have picked out which room Matt and I plan to crash in once it's complete. 

Time with family.  Time with friends.  Getting healthy.  Getting employed.  It is mind-blowing how much I had distanced myself behind a wall of pseudo-anonymity.  Focusing on everyone else.  And not at all on me.  I still grouse.  I still complain.  I still grumble at Matt about the 115 degree heat and the falling ashes from nearby wildfires and the nowhere near excessive amount of time he spends at work.  I think nagging is just genetic.  But every day I wake up and give thanks.  I am so grateful for these past few months and the realization of how important it is to be present.  And private.  At least when I'm not blogging, or e-mailing, or on my phone, or anywhere within earshot of the NSA. 

Present and private.  I have truly gained and reclaimed so much from fully investing myself back into these states.

So f- off, Facebook.  It's not me, it's you. 

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And so you know,  I DO get my social media fix through Instagram, which I am well aware is a billion dollar entity of the FB giant.  But pictures and 15 second videos of people, food, and scenery make me laugh and smile and bring me great joy.  And aren't tied to anything else.  And don't require updates.  And aren't shared with friends of friends of friends.  And most importantly, it doesn't evaporate the hours of my day which I happily spend living my life.  Which I then take pictures of and post to Instagram



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