Let me ruin the end of this story for you: I rejoined Facebook today after leaving it in January of 2015. You could think of this as my coming-to-terms with this decision and all its time-sucking, FOMO implications.
Why I Left
The Eye of Sauron seems the most fitting comparison to my past relationship with Facebook.
I was one of the early adopters of Facebook. It became a “thing” right before I entered college (back when you needed a college email to get a page). When my university of choice sent us our email addresses, I got a Facebook account the very same day and didn’t look back. How quaint, old school Facebook was! It felt like such an accomplishment to have 60 friends!
As Facebook grew from the college-connecting, friend-tracking site to the monolith it is today, I noticed my use of it grow, too– especially after I got a smart phone and I could click on the friendly little F at any trace of boredom. And then, I stopped allowing myself to get bored and I also stopped getting quite so much quality writing done.
Some people have self-control. Sam could avoid the power of the ring better than Frodo (I know I’m mixing LOTR references here, but bear with me.)
Why I’m Back
Life. One of the side-effects of becoming an adult with adult-type responsibilities and goals (like organizing excellent community events) is that Facebook is almost essential. It’s a tool.
Family. One of my cousins posted a video recently interviewing my grandfather about he and my grandmother’s first date. I would have missed this, except that my husband happens to be on Facebook still and clued me in. I don’t want to miss those moments, even when I’m hundreds of miles from the actual event.
But I don’t want to go back in the same way I left. I liked being a hermit for a year and a half, in a lot of ways. It helped remind me that people don’t truly care about each event in my day and removed some of the pressure of being a non-Pinterest-type mother/wife/woman in general. I’m coming back to the Facebook “Mount Doom” more carefully this time, because I don’t want to fall in.
Have you ever taken a social media fast? Felt overwhelmed? What do you do about it?