Welcome to Weird-Old-Ladyhood (OR Why didn’t I quit Facebook sooner?)

This morning, I deactivated my Facebook account. I’m still on social media elsewhere, but Facebook in particular really feeds my anxiety and negative feelings, so it had to go. I’m in the process of learning to do what I want and not just what will get me the most approval from people on the internet. It’s not that I don’t care what my friends and family think or that I don’t want to share my life with them, but I think the sharing I’ve been doing via Facebook has been tainted with approval-seeking and conflict-avoiding, and as a result, it’s been less than genuine. I’ve been writing more lately but keeping most of it close, and I’m starting to feel ready to share in a more real and honest way.

If you wanna see what I’ve been working on, I’m hoping to get braver about sharing things here, whether completed works or short snippets of ideas. When I have a poem or a couple lines that I like, I’ve been posting it on Instagram. Sometimes I post clips of songs I’m learning on the ukulele. I’m not a rock star or anything. I’m barely even a poet. (I mean, I am a poet in that cursed way that people with depression and an affinity for grammar tend to be.) But that’s ok. Right now, I am pretty much content with surviving.

Part of what’s going on here is that I’ve been rather deeply depressed this winter, and the past couple years have gotten harder, but this year has been the worst. I am sure the political climate has a lot to do with it, plus the seemingly constant stream of violence and conflict in every other public arena. I was staying on Facebook because it was supposed to help me stay connected with my friends and family, but it was also serving as a surrogate news source, especially when I was “too busy” to seek other sources. But instead of being a good way to keep abreast of the issues that my community finds important, Facebook provides me a firehose of bad news supplemented with the reactions of all my acquaintances. As I read my timeline (not just daily, but compulsively throughout the day, even when I really don’t feel like it) I feel the same heartbreak and rage over and over again, then temporarily soothe it with cute cat videos or tear-jerking videos of the good side of humanity. I’ve been emotionally overdosing, using news and memes alternately the way people mixed uppers and downers in the 80s. This is not mentally or emotionally sustainable. If you’ve ever bleached and dyed your hair till it felt like Easter basket straw, I’d say that’s my approximate emotional condition at this time, and Facebook is a direct contributor to that.

With all that said, I’m gonna wrap this shit up by resigning myself to being that weird old lady with the blog no one reads because why the hell not? Better to be that than the sad, semi-suicidal old lady pretending everything’s ok to get more likes on Facebook.

It's Friday, and I'm having some feelings.
Introductory Metaphor

6 thoughts on “Welcome to Weird-Old-Ladyhood (OR Why didn’t I quit Facebook sooner?)

  1. This this this!! All of this as if you’re reading my mind! All the love to you lady, there’s so much better we can be doing for ourselves than being consumed with Facebook!

    1. Thanks, boo. I’m curious to see who I’ll stay connected with and who I won’t, and who might resurface now that I’m no longer wearing the Facebook blinders. I have already noticed how many of my friends seem eager to connect outside of FB. I think more intentional social relationships and more mindful media consumption are pretty important not just for my well being but for being an informed and active member of my community.

  2. It’s funny that you post this now, because just the other day I tweeted about some of my problems with social websites (having things fed to you by arcane algorithms rather than straight chronology, advertising driving much of the sites) and wondering if I should just stick with my non-commercial, strictly chronological blog. Right now, I get more good than bad from Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (and I’d add Snapchat, but the latest update has pretty much killed it for me), but there are days when I’m ready to quit some or all of them for the sake of my mental health, so I understand you quitting FB. I’m still subscribed to your blog and following you on other social sites, so you’re stuck with me for now. 😉

  3. This is exactly why I removed FB and Twitter from my phone (and I’m barely ever at my desktop). Too much feeding of the attention-seeking, negativity-prone beast inside. It wa making me sick in a very literal way; my stress reactions are more and more physical these day. Good for you opting out. ❤️

    1. Yes! My anxiety has been through the roof lately, and I find myself sometimes feeling like I just want to crawl right out of my skin or shriek or shatter the world. It’s not just because of social media but the more our business grows the more day-to-day stress I’m carrying around. Then there are the extenuating circumstances of trying to buy a house while being self-employed, which is a whole other mess. Facebook seemed like the easiest place to remove some toxic influence from my life.

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