In an age when everything is connected and your phone and computer are gossiping with the scale about the cheesecake the fridge told them you ate, it’s all just too much for a person like me.
I want to unplug, but because everyone else is plugged in, I feel compelled to remain as such. It kind of reminds me of the Matrix. The way everyone was plugged in, except for a small group of people who knew who was really behind the curtain.
Do we really need all these connections?
Sure, the convenience is nice, but it’s lazy. Having a phone with an internet connection means that I don’t even have to get up to check my email. I can have it delivered to me any time, any place in the world and I don’t ever have to get up from my La-Z-Boy.
I did something recently, that most don’t know and the one person who does appeared both confused and hurt. I removed nearly everyone from my Facebook “News” feed.
Let that sink in.
There are about 5 people and a handful of pages that now appear on my feed. I removed members of my family, my husband’s family, people I have been friends with a long time and people I was just getting to know. Those I didn’t want anything to do with got deleted altogether, but for the most part, I simply clicked “Unsubscribe” next to each name that appears in my feed.
I can’t tell you how much freedom this has granted me. I’m no longer tethered to my computer or phone in hopes that someone has posted something I would find remotely interesting. After a few days, I no longer felt the urge to share every detail of my life with those on my friends list. I doubt anyone has noticed, since social media reaffirms the illusion that the world really does revolve around us, but I have received more text messages in the past few days. I’ve gotten more excited about hearing from friends and it’s allowed me to really connect with those few people I really do care about.
I never cared for social media. It’s much more difficult to figure out what people are saying and how they meant for their words to be interpreted. I’ve seen so many families, friends, co-workers, and others lose faith in one another because of something that occurred on a social media website, like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Twitter was the host for a huge fight between me and my sister, that she then carried over to Facebook.
Having Asperger’s, I rely heavily on the way things are said, the specific words used, and the facial cues of the person speaking to determine what my reaction to those words should be. Even in person, I often get this wrong. Online, it can be even worse. I often get my feelings hurt because of things I have read, things written by people I love and who love me. Being much more articulate in writing than in speaking, it is confusing. To have a conversation with me, you would determine that I am intelligent, though very awkward and maybe a little slow. I get confused easily and often can’t follow long conversations without many breaks or switching topics. Writing is an outlet for many with language or speaking issues, but social media cheapens this outlet. Suddenly, anyone with a keyboard is an author of an internet autobiography for all to read and “follow”, updated on a whim.
I can see where this would be helpful to an agoraphobic, but I need real people and real social interactions. I can’t adapt to different situations and stimuli if I never experience them.
Being “Facebook Free” for the past few days… It’s a great feeling. I’ve been able to focus more the past few days. I’ve been drawing more and working on other crafts around the house. I’ve been keeping up with the laundry more and have been more available for my husband and children.
I haven’t posted a status message in 4 days!
I am no longer tethered to my phone, my computer is being used for more enjoyable pursuits, and I’m all-around more peaceful internally. My heart feels lighter, my brain doesn’t hurt, and I’ve been able to get a good nights sleep for the first time in a long time.
I wish I had the heart to deactivate my account altogether, but there are some people I can’t let go of just yet. For now, I will enjoy this time without Facebook.
I’m taking my life back from social media and it feels great!