I broke up with Facebook

Facebook.  It’s like saying an ex-boyfriend’s name.  I cringe and my eye starts to twitch.

For months I had been contemplating deactivating my account for many reasons.  While I was supposed to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends by reading their status updates on my feed, I actually wished to not see the feed because it stressed me out.  This person was doing this, this person feels the total opposite way I do about politics, this person is complaining about their day, and I would get so absorbed into what other people were doing.  I’d check in constantly.   It’s not that I didn’t care about my friends, I simply spent too much time reading on other’s lives than concentrating on my own.

Then, I assumed, that other people were absorbed with what I was doing.  So, I tried to keep up.  I’ll post this fun picture, Cheese.  I’ll take a picture of my dog while I’m back home, Smile, Paris.  I booked this job, I’ll be here on Sunday, I’m doing this and that, and in a few months I’ll be doing this! Post, post, post, update, update, update.  Stay relevant I thought, market yourself so you can book a new job, get publicity, prove your worth to your Facebook friends/fans.   Show everyone your life is valuable and you deserve to live!

And then I had one of those realizations.  It came to me at church (as most divine thoughts do), in a women’s bible study earlier in the week.  The false expectations we put on ourselves, or that we assume others put on us – to succeed, to be amazing, to be happy, well that can really be draining.  The discussion got my heart stirring and my mind thinking.

I’m one of those people who has many mountains I’d like to climb – metaphorically, not physically, clearly as I do not enjoy engaging in rigorous activities.  I want to do something, do it well to prove it to myself I can do it, and then I move on to the next.  After all, life has many crossroads and lots of time to discover yourself through creating, engaging and exploring.  This problem of attempting to be good at everything also leads to perfectionism which left me in tears as a teenager when I couldn’t ice skate, rollerblade, or rollerskate – I didn’t want to participate in anything I wasn’t naturally good at.  Even knitting and crocheting has been a challenge as I huff and puff while my mom tries to patiently teach me.

All this to say that removing the distraction of others and worrying about what my status update will be today, to remove the ability to shout from the rooftop (or through a Facebook post) what I’m accomplishing tomorrow, has left me calmer, quieter, and sane.  Social media is good and bad – it can be used as a way to keep in touch, but if used too often can be used as a platform to simply prove something to yourself or an unhealthy means of trying to get attention.  Even checking your blog statistics to see how many people are reading, clicking, searching your page can be unhealthy.  Being deactivated on Facebook means no one has to know if I’m busy or not, and I don’t think many will notice I’m gone and the sooner I can realize that, the better I can focus on who I am really trying to please.  The enemy will try to lead you astray with lies and distraction and I really felt that I was being constantly distracted by those things.  I’m trying so hard to listen to what God has for me – is it rest, a new endeavor, a new hobby, being a better helper to my husband, digging deep within myself, or drawing closer to Him right now? The only thing I know is the less distractions and approval of others is the first step to peace and quiet. Lord, your servant is listening.

Diana Elizabeth is married to her bestest friend in the entire world.  Mr. Wonderful is really the only person she needs in her corner and he’s always been there to support her even if she wants to get out of bed at 4 am for a wedding or sleep in past noon because she’s exhausted from shooting one.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in her garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party.

11 Comments

  • Gail M. Weide

    Diana ~
    WOW! I have to say that your confession on why you left FB really spoke to my heart. It definitely became a trap for each one of us at some level. There is that feeling of wanting to be in the know about your friends but at the same time we can get so embroiled in the chaos and trauma of our friends lives that we forget what is truly important in our own. That doesn’t mean we stop caring it just means you have set a healthy boundry in your life. And for that I stand and applaud you!
    You bravery for taking a stand stirred in my own heart as I read your blog post. It made me think about how much time I spend on FB and why I spend time on FB. You have caused me to really think about what else I could be doing if I wasn’t sitting here staring at this screen! I could use that time in a wiser way ~ getting deeper into God’s word would be a fantastic place to start. I mean, after all … if I have time for FB I certainly would have time for God! I don’t need to seek validation by how many people read my posts or like what I like. Instead my validation needs to come from my Heavenly Father; from spending quality time with my sweet husband and son; and spending time in the Word.
    Thank you for being outsp0ken about why you stepped away from this distraction. I admire you and your beautiful spirit even more.
    God’s blessings to you.

  • darlene

    Hi Diana,
    I will miss your beautiful posts. On another note, a company that I do social media (I’m afraid to type it here now) needs some bios photos done. Are you interested or do you have a photographer to recommend?
    Thanks!

    Dar

  • Connie

    I found your blog a while back and instantly tacked it to my reader. I don’t read blogs much but came across this post in my reader today as I was browsing. LOVE IT! So inspiring. I hope more people feel this way. I feel so strongly that society is being weakened by platforms such as Facebook. One example, not even a very big one, was my hubby and I were at the mall and ran into a friend of his from facebook. I said, “isn’t that so-in-so?” He said yeah and laughed because all they exchanged were a couple awkward glances. It made me stop and think just how it’s ruined true friendships or weakened even our ability to socialize in person. I’ve been off Facebook for a year now and I can say it’s been the BEST and most focused year of my life. Cheers to you!

  • Carmen

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I feel much better now cause my fb presence has always been inconsistent, especially with my photography page. I tend to naturally withdraw from it, to give myself the time to breath. The less I have of social media the better, I think.
    I’m also starting to focus more on the things that really do matter the most like: God, family and time to rest and recharge. Between a full time job + trying to build a photography business from the ground up- these things can really take a toll on you.
    One more thing, this post reminded me about a verse I read last night: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. So yes, as Christians we need to be careful where we put our time and energy, because eventually that will become precious to us, but won’t reap any eternal benefit.
    Hope you have a lovely week :)
    Carmen

  • Charity Maurer

    You are awesome, Diana. Way to be brave. I’ve had this thought for awhile now, but always use my business as an excuse to keep it up. I haven’t quite felt the need to completely unplug yet, but I’ve been working to set better boundaries. But, you doing this totally empowers me to know I could give it up and be ok, too. Thanks for sharing your heart!!

    P.S.
    We need to get together soon!

  • marisa

    I’ve been following your blog for a little bit now, but haven’t felt compelled to comment until today. Thank you for sharing this – your point about the false expectations we put on ourselves hit close to my heart and I think that’s why I’ve pulled away from FB in the last year or so. You’ve articulated perfectly what I’ve been feeling about FB – it’s more than just a distraction/waste of time, it actually sets up a fake reality where we try to make ourselves look as interesting and fabulous as possible. Wow. So true and incredibly convicting. Who are we trying to please?

    (I feel like Pinterest creates some of these same feelings, which is why I’ve put lots of boundaries for myself with that!)

    Thanks again for sharing your heart. You’ve given me lots to think about! xo

  • Tim Poole

    The evolution of life. Several other professional photographers I know, who also had advocated FB as a business promotion tool, have decided to leave FB as well, but for monetary and policy reasons. And now you have made the break as well , for personal and spiritual reasons. I applaud your decision. You are the person first helped me get started in this business and I will always consider you a mentor. I have taken all your classes and found the information useful, and hope that someday you might come up with a fourth one to teach. I will miss your FB posts. I truly enjoyed keeping up with your adventures and go Niner’s posts. I will still be reading the blog and the SLR articles you do. I wish you continued success in all your endeavors.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks Tim! We’re friends in real life, even though we haven’t met yet! :) We will one day I know! You can email me anytime of course. I’m not leaving Twitter, and so I know we’ll be in touch :) Thank you for always being so supportive!

  • Tom

    Thank you for this insite Dana …. :)
    I agree with Sheila I think it’s time to shut off some news feeds for me!

  • Sheila

    That is awesome, Diana, and true freedom!

    Facebook often leaves me feeling negative. I, too, have often contemplated shutting down my FB,but I do use it to promote my blog and keep in contact with some long-distance friends. Unsubscribe to news feeds is the next best thing. ;)

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