I would like to start off the delivery of my thoughts today by letting others know why I made the dramatic decision to deactivate my Facebook profile and what my feelings were leading up to the social media change. Over the spring and summer of 2014 while on an extended vacation. I felt an increasing sensation of being slightly low in my self-esteem, which for me was a new experience. I have never felt like a super model, but I was far from not feeling attractive to other people. It was not just for my aesthetic appearance, but what I had to offer to a friend or loved one that I felt this way. I can honestly say I was happy with myself on a general level as much as one would be expected to love themselves. Overall I felt pretty. Then, after returning from my vacation I felt pressure. Not just from one person, but I felt pressure from many. There was no one person to blame. I felt the need to post my pictures as quickly as possible. In today's time folks usually post their photos on the day they occur. (which I did sometimes). But I had so many pictures and time was so rushed on the trip that I wanted to ponder and enjoy every moment. Secondary to that, I was unaware of the instant photo editing possibility with applications such as Instagram. As many people know I took multi media courses in college, but we used Photoshop and uploaded a photo individually to work on. The way I was taught was not close to an instant process. I would see photos of people I know in my life, know of, or not know very well. A few of them looked overly clear, radiant, and smooth in their pictures. Admittedly some of this could be because a lot of the people I know are talented with the lens and lighting. But I suspect just a couple folks were digitally altering their photos. Which is definitely OK, in my book. The major problem was that I was unaware that this instant editing was available. I felt as though there was something wrong with me because I have a small scar on my face and sun spot on my shoulder that I was not digitally altering or covering up online. It was a revelation. And, one which I personally needed time to process, and to gather my self-image back.
Secondly I made the decision to leave because my general state of mild sadness was fueled by added stress. In the past I used my phone with my Facebook application to view if someone was trying to get in touch with me. The difference from other people was, I did not respond right away because Facebook messaging on my smart phone is not only difficult with the touchscreen keyboard but hard to view. I figured I could return the message at my convenience on my lap top. I would sometimes get messages from individuals stating “why didn't you respond sooner, I know you saw my message”. I have a cell number, and my close friends and family know my information. I would assume it was not urgent if it was sent via Facebook. Being forever reachable as I was I felt as though it was bringing me further apart from my favorite people instead of closer. I needed a change. I had to take the chance to break away from the social media world in order to reconnect with myself and what is truly essential in the real world.
There are some life changing events that have occurred since I left Facebook on many levels. I have personally been more productive. I am already onto my second educational class and it has been only a few months. I have lost a few pounds and I am healthier, due to extra walks and time for working out. I went roller skating with a child I tutor/babysit for. It was the first time in a long time. I had forgotten how fun those activities could be. I have called people that I have not spoken to (other than via text) in months. I acquired one of the most enjoyable day assistant jobs at a place so fancy I never thought I would have seen in my lifetime. I received two sets of flowers from a friend. And, I acquired three dates without the assistance of technology. I am over all in a way happier mood. I feel as though I resolve issues with people either in person, over the phone, or through email faster than I did when I was distracted with current Facebook posts. The biggest thing I found that helped my personal enrichment was writing thank you cards, holiday cards, and thinking of you handwritten notes. I believe those cards and letters were the start to the process of healing my friendships and my self-esteem.
I feel like I am reaching out and touching others in a way that I had forgotten how to do. I am no longer distracted or stressed out by suggestions, comments, and posts. I currently receive communication in a way that others want to send to me. And, I feel the love far greater than any computer screen could allow.
“If you aspire to be yourself and no one else. If you turn to face the ones that reach out to you with unbridled acceptance, you can begin any journey in life happier than you were before.” Katie Johnson