Exactly 2 weeks ago I came home, unpacked my dirty dishes from lunch, took off my work shoes, got myself a big glass of water, sat down at the computer and deleted my personal Facebook account.
I wasn't in a bad mood, I wasn't being held at gunpoint by pirates - I had just simply had enough. For most people, this would be a strange and unthinkable thing. Our culture has become so attached to social media that even the smallest businesses need to have some sort of online presence to be even mildly successful in today's competitive marketplace.
Prior to the night I deleted my Facebook account, I didn't make an announcement, have a going away party, or do anything other than privately think about whether or not I should actually do it. I had been on Facebook for years, so I thought on that decision for a week before I realized my life would be a lot happier after hitting that "Confirm" button saying: yes, I am sure I want to delete my account. Social media is a fun and useful tool, but with any good can come bad. While it is relatively harmless - a platform used to connect with people and share your life, I found it becoming a negative and anxiety-inducing presence in my life. Within the last 4 months it had become something I loathed rather than liked, yet for some reason I couldn't stop checking my account.
Before deleting my account, I researched other people's videos and stories about their reasons for quitting Facebook, and I realized I wasn't alone. Now, don't get me wrong, I haven't quit social media altogether. I have a Facebook page for my blog that I solely use for the purpose of sharing my latest post. Because my blog's Facebook page is purely business, I don't find any anxiety associated with it. I put up my latest blog post, talk about the latest trends and call it a night. I also have a Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Myspace, and Tumblr account, none of which have ever caused discomfort or formed addictive habits for the years that I've been on them.
While I have various accounts on other popular social media platforms, the deletion of one account has made me feel more unplugged and balanced than I have in a long time. Ultimately, at the end of the day, what we all really need is a balance: one that perfectly blends ourselves, personal connection, and technology into a harmonious ebb and flow of life. Sadly, that's becoming harder and harder to come by, which is why I took one giant leap for myself, and one baby step for mankind (at least I like to think so), by deleting my Facebook.
It may get a little awkward now when people who want to talk to me outside of work ask "Are you on Facebook?", but I just smile, say "Nope, but here's my number if you want to talk sometime." and keep on going.