I’ve been asked this a lot and have been meaning to post this last year but I thought it would be better to post this once I’ve reached at least a year from when I actually deleted my Facebook account. So one year (and about a month) later, here it is!
I still remember the time I created my Facebook account.
It was February 2009 and one of my college friends had told me about the newest social media website. She said it was like Friendster – this was more popular than MySpace back where I’m from – but the difference was that Facebook had games and chat all in one site.
She had me at games. (Yes, I played Farmville 👩🏽🌾🐮🐷🌽)
So I made an account and by 2012, I found myself with over 1,000 “friends”.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!
Sure, back when I was a teen, this would’ve excited me like “OMG! I’m popular!”. But in 2012, this overwhelmed me like, “OMG! Who are these people?! 😱”. I did categorize each person under a certain list – ‘Family’, ‘Close Friends’, ‘Friends of Friends’, etc. – to help give me some control over what people can see on my account. But this ended up overwhelming me even more. I would literally spend hours checking (and rechecking) the ‘Friends’ tab just to make sure people were under the right list. (Yes, I know I’m OCD 🙈)
This was so time consuming that I thought I should just delete some people off of Facebook. And so I did. I got rid of the ‘Acquaintances’ and ‘Friends of Friends’ – these were the people I had only met once or twice and never had any contact since (apart from a Facebook like every now and then). Basically, anyone I didn’t know personally or had enough time to get to know better had all been “unfriended”.
After the mass deletion, the list dropped by about half. And I felt a lot better.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW THEM OR TALKED TO THEM?
In August of 2014, I met my husband. Of course, as it was silently mandated by the social media gods, we added each other on Facebook and eventually tagged each other under “In a Relationship”. When I first added him though, I noticed that he had less than 50 people on his ‘Friends’ tab. LESS. THAN. 50!
I was so amazed by this that I even asked him about it. He told me he just wanted his family and really close friends to know about his personal life; which made a lot of sense. I kicked myself for not thinking about that sooner. I probably had when I deleted people off of Facebook in 2012, but maybe I was just too afraid of what people might think or be confronted by them when we do eventually meet like, “Hey! Why did you unfriend me?” or “You’re such a snob!”. But by 2014, I really didn’t care anymore.
My husband helped me out for “Facebook Friends Mass Deletion – Part II”. Both of us went through my account and had gone over everyone that wasn’t on my ‘Family’ & ‘Close Friends’ list. He would ask me two simple questions:
- Do you know this person?
- When was the last time you saw them or talked to them?
Even if I answered “Yes” to question no.1, it all came down to my answer for question no.2, which was the deciding factor on whether or not the person was going to be deleted from my ‘Friends’ list. People I used to work with, people I used to play soccer with, and even classmates from high school & college were all up for questioning.
And so the “friend” count dropped by another half again. I had a little over 200 people on my account, which consisted of family members – including the distant relatives & extended family – plus my closest friends.
IT’S JUST ONE BIG BLACK HOLE
Fast forward to mid-February 2017 when my husband & I had just moved in to our new apartment in San Diego. By this time, I was just so fed up with the drama that IS Facebook that I spent a day contemplating whether or not to just delete my account entirely and thought I’d bring it up with my husband when he got back from work.
The drama I’m talking about isn’t just about the annoying things some family & friends do on Facebook like the oversharing, political rants or fighting with random people online in the comments section. But it’s also about how the whole site makes you feel. You subconsciously find yourself competing and comparing yourself with your family & friends for the best photo of the newest restaurant that just opened down the street, who had the best time on St. Patrick’s Day, or who just got the newest iPhone.
Facebook has made us care too much of what people think about how we’re living our lives instead of actually just living it. It’s just one big black hole that seems to be consuming all of our time just scrolling through our ‘News Feed’.
So when my husband came home that day, I first asked him how his day went. And as if this was the sign that I was looking for, he told me they had a little seminar at work about being safe online and what not to post on your social media account(s) – this is a very serious matter for him since my husband is in the military and it gets even more serious whenever they leave for deployment.
When he told me this, the first thing I said was, “Oh great! That makes it even easier for me to delete my account”. I then explained to him my issues with Facebook and wanting to delete my account. I was really happy that he felt the same way.
And so, we downloaded all the photos on our accounts and finally said goodbye to the social media site.
JUST MORE LIVING, LOVING, AND LAUGHING.
A year later, I could say that I feel a whole lot better; and my husband says he does too. Apart from having more time for each other, I feel like I have more time on my hands now to knit & manage my Etsy shop, workout, and even write this blog today! (YAY!).
As for our family & friends, we definitely have a lot more to talk about now that we don’t have Facebook accounts. Updating them with what’s going on with our lives (and vice versa) is a lot more genuine than learning about it via a Facebook post.
So here we are, Facebook sober for a little over a year and there’s no more oversharing, competing, and comparing. Just more living, loving, and laughing. 💑