Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why I don't have a Facebook profile

There's a couple things that have been on my mind lately. I feel like this ties in with my goal of positivity and updating you on how my Lent project of getting rid of negative thoughts is going, so here goes.

I'd like to write about Facebook.

I don't have a profile. My general answer for "why not?" has been that it doesn't add to my happiness.

Which is true.

But there's more to it than that, which I usually don't go into with everyone.

See the thing is, I'm really, really apt to comparing myself to other people. For ridiculous things, like how they look or whether they've said something clever or who has posted on their wall and no one's posted on my wall and why am I not that good of a photographer?

But also for very real things.

My freshman year of college, I struggled a lot with fitting in. I thought about transferring, but decided to stick it out. My sophomore year, I had a group of friends through a campus organization and I was getting close to a couple of the girls--which was a Big Deal. One Saturday I hung out with one of the girls all day. We talked about how I'd struggled with finding friends at college and how I was very happy to be getting closer to all of them.

A few days later I noticed pictures on Facebook. They'd had a get-together the very night I shared my difficulties with her and hadn't invited me. Ouch.

This story makes me seem a little pathetic. I'll admit it: at the time, I was a little pathetic.

But this story also illustrates just why I don't need Facebook.

I don't need to see all the things I wasn't invited to. I don't need to see friends hanging out without me and wonder why I wasn't asked to come along.

I needed to learn that just because someone looks happy doesn't mean they actually are. Facebook may be a reflection of someone's life, but it can also be greatly altered to project the "you" that you want people to see.

Facebook can speak truth, but it is not always an honest representation of life. But I was reading into the face value of everything, and feeling worse about myself for it.

And just because someone writes on my wall doesn't mean they actually care about me. Since I have no Facebook, I value my relationships more because I know when someone catches up with me, it's because they actually wanted to and not because they just happened across my profile. People have to be intentional about contacting me. I like that.

This was definitely, for me, a very personal thing, and I by no means am advocating that anyone else needs to delete their profile or that Facebook is a bad thing.

The fact is, I was using Facebook for more bad than good. So I shut it off.

I still log on occasionally through my sister's or my mom's profile. Facebook is a really useful tool. I used it to see my cousin's wedding photos and to harass a former professor about a letter of recommendation.

But having my own Facebook and logging on daily or even weekly was not good for my mood, my relationships, or my self esteem. I need to focus on being happy with myself and doing the best I can in all that I do.

Anyone else have mixed feelings about social media?


Alyx said...

I have facebook, but I find myself logging in less and less because I realized that it's not something that's a necessity. I think a lot of times it does more harm than good because, you're right - it's a projection of someone as they WANT to be seen, and that can create some jealousy. I see friends traveling posts and start to get jealous because I wish I had the money to go somewhere new each weekend or whatever. Yeah, it's petty and I know it, but I think you're right - facebook can definitely do more harm than good. At this point, I check it once or twice a day and really only so that I can see pictures of and communicate with family and friends that are in the states.

Melissa (Freeing Imperfections) said...

A little late on seeing this post, but I'm so glad I found it! I struggle with Facebook a lot too. I honestly sometimes feel I only keep it around so I can have a facebook page for my blog. Other than that, Facebook is pointless and annoying to me more than it ever is helpful and makes me feel good. Props to you for "being different" and going against the norm of our online addicted culture! You know what's right for you and it's awesome that you did something about it.

Shari Chang said...

I am facebook-free now too! Let's blog together :)

Miss you, old friend!!

Btw...I don't know how to subscribe to your blog. There's too many buttons to push...pointers?

Shari Chang said...

Jk...I just had to make an account. Officially subscribed. If you've got time, you can peruse my poor writing skillz


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