I've been mulling over a personal change for over almost a year. I'm saying goodbye to Facebook. I know, it sounds like a drastic action for a self-admitted social media junkie for the past 10 years, but I fear my FB relationship with "me" has become toxic over the years. I will be 70 in 2017 and I am weary of the inner strife that trying to please others has brought me, and FB is just a painful daily reminder. I think it's time to grow up.
It hit me like a slap in the face in the wee hours of the morning. I woke up with my ear buds still in my ears - playing nothing, I might add (as is my Pandora habit), I turned on the little iPad on my pillow to "see what's going on" with my friends in social media. It took me almost a whole 30 seconds to scan through posts of Memes, re-posts of political satire, ads for Target, and various other non-personal diatribes. There were a few cat photos (at least that's personal!), pretty scenery and inspirational messages, but for the most part, nothing. Nothing.
You might say, perhaps a better group of friends, Laurel? The truth is that I have many FB friends, many of whom I love dearly. I have culled that list over the years, so if you are still seeing my posts, you're still there. During the election from Hell, I stopped "Following" many, as I was exhausted trying to weed through all the vitriol and BS. Though the list is short these days of friends that I follow, I am nevertheless weary of what FB has become...it's not YOU, it's just become a platform of sorts for what others think I want to read - I guess that's why they call it social media. I guess I just don't really care whether the Olsen twins have changed and "read here to find out why".
But more to the point on this, perhaps my last FB diatribe, I am even more weary of my tiresome addiction to combing through it everyday (several times a day) looking for what, I'm not sure. All it does is make me crabby. I already took it off my iPhone as it sucks your battery dry - is that not a great metaphor?
Compare this fruitless exercise to a stroll through my Instagram. I follow a lot of people (hundreds, in fact) on this social media site and I can scan through countless beautiful photos (and some bad ones too) from creative artists, sewists, and well, people like me. IG is short and sweet, with few ads and when you click on a hashtag/link you usually are not bombarded by ads or other links. Sure, those IG accounts exist, but at least I have the choice to see what I want to see. It's not necessarily more "personal" than FB, but what occurred to me this morning was that it made me happy, made me smile, made me want to create, want to learn and want to inspire others.
I think it is ironic that in the same breath that I decided to close my FB account in 2017, I was inspired this morning by reading a very personal, very touching account of a friend's personal struggles this year and her hope for a better 2017. Posts like this one are few and far between, because most of us will not risk having our lives out there for everyone to see. We hide behind memes and re-posts of others' thoughts and beliefs instead of giving others all a real piece of ourselves. I too am just as guilty, lest you not "Like" me for what and who I truly am. And isn't that the real goal of FB - to be Liked? To be accepted? Even the marketers have that as their goal, let's be real.
Yes, let's be real. Me and my "non-confrontational, can't we all just get along and love one another, did you Like my post" self is going to give it a rest. It's huge for me, so let's call it what it is...anyone who is facing 70 should finally NOT give a rip what anyone thinks. And you should not keep doing things that don't give you joy and zest for life.
But please know that I love you all for who you really are, for your caring hearts and brilliant minds, and not necessarily for your FB posts. Thankfully, I KNOW you better than that.
I haven't written on this blog for almost 6 months...I can't promise that I will start or be more regular with posts, although I started it because I love to write - I just got bogged down by whether I was "followed" and again, "Liked". See? Time to get over myself!!
So, if you want to keep up with my endless photos of sewing, good food, family, places where I go, and general thoughts on life, you can find me on IG, FabricLady's blog which I ghost write, and maybe even this blog, if I get really ambitious. And if you have a great photo to share or want to chat, then by all means, pick up the phone or drop me an email.
Life is short...eat cake, laugh with friends, hug your family. Be real...yeah and I'll probably peek to see if you liked my post, LOL!
My IG account @laurelsquill