A lot of us have seen at least one of those videos which drive home the message that Facebook, smart phones, and all our devices are isolating us and making us feel disconnected from each other. There’s also a good chance that you know someone who has a passionate distaste for Facebook and has decided to either delete his/her account or never join in the first place.
Last month, I decided to take an unannounced break from Facebook. My intents and purposes were as follows: I wanted to stop being so concerned with what everyone else was up to, for the sake of getting my life sorted out. For all of April, I didn’t sign in once, not even to check my messages/notifications. I’m not saying it was easy, but I managed to make it through without much drama. Most of the time when I wanted to check my profile, it came about kind of unconsciously. For example, a lot of times when I would open up my internet browser, I’d immediately type “F” on my keyboard.
I got pretty amused when this would happen, like I was studying ape behavior as an anthropologist. But it was shocking nonetheless, that checking Facebook had become as routine as brushing my teeth.
Although my plan was to cut my use of technology to pursue a more genuine connection with people in the real world, I ended up withdrawing altogether. I went full weeks without calling people up to hang out with them. It’s strange to say, but I became kind of a hermit and didn’t want to go out to see anyone.
Facebook itself wasn’t really my problem. Neither was the internet or anything technological. Even though I often got upset while using Facebook because I start comparing my life to those exciting moments people share, I know that I’m ultimately responsible for how I respond to that.
My problem was that I wasn’t taking the big, necessary steps to make my own life exciting. I was and am taking baby steps here and there, but not with the same earnestness and power that I’d like. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of what matters, and still struggle to bring it to mind now.
Even without being in any immediate danger right now, I’m still in a fight for my life – I think we all are. Not necessarily a fight for survival, but a fight to create the life experiences we want so badly…
Fulfilling & fun work.
Making an impact.
Connection & community.
It’ll be a lifelong process, I’m sure most will agree. I’ll slip, and when I do it’d be in my best interest to not withdraw from the world, and instead actively seek out the people that uplift me the most.
They might be on Facebook.
They might not be.
Either way I’m learning that no amount of isolation is getting me closer to where I want to be in life. Whether or not Facebook is contributing to that isolation, I know it’s definitely not the cause for me personally. I still kind of prefer having it to not having it. Despite all the criticism of technology, I’m leaning towards saying that having real connections is and always was entirely up to me. Nothing is robbing me of that.
And with that, I should probably stop typing this, by myself, on my computer.
Thanks for reading,