The Facebook Detox

By Lindsay Ritenbaugh

I’ll be honest. I try to make my social media presence as positive as possible. I normally think before I tweet, and on occasions when I forget, I’ve been known to delete those tweets sent in the moment. This is usually done when losing a football game or being frustrated with a company’s lack of customer service. Positivity and the overabundance of emotions have become increasingly more apparent as I have been reading people’s statuses, tweets, and the like on social media.  Last week, I decided to make a personal decision to do the unthinkable:

I deleted Facebook from my phone.

(I had to document this momentous occasion, of course, but instagramming the deletion with the app shaking in the background.)  

The comments and likes began to pour in, but I didn’t see any of these because I had turned my phone off completely. I took the rest of the night without looking at any social media, texts, or emails. In the morning, I had a few notifications but nothing that were so time sensitive that it mattered that I was receiving them over 12 hours later. I woke up refreshed, rejuvenated, and found that my daily commute consisted less of facebook scrolling and comparing my lives to those on my newsfeed. I was about to blog about this unplugged experience and how it made the next day a little brighter for me.

Then I read this article. It reminded me a lot of an article I saw earlier this year to stop instagramming your perfect life, but it made me take a step back and re-evaluate my well-intended Facebook detox. Here I was, complaining about the people who are bragging about their perfect lives when I was participating in what the blog considers the 7 ways to be insufferable on Facebook by sharing 5 types of statuses that are outright annoying.

  1. Image Crafting: Wanting my followers/friends/social media companions to see me in a certain way. What I thought was just a positive status was unintentionally shaping me into a “runner” and bragging about my one good run of that week. Then I stuffed my face with chocolate when I got to work. A notice that I didn’t make status about that. It’s all about authenticity, y’all. Nine times out of ten, others are just as bad. They’re only showing me what they want me to see. People rarely post selfies when they’ve just gotten out of bed. They, like myself, use filters and make sure their outfit of the day, hair, and/or makeup are perfect.
  2. Narcissism: Making my statuses more about me than about the people reading them.
  3. Attention Cravin.
  4. Jealousy Inducing: Guilty. See below
  5. Loneliness
Then I kept reading. The article continued that there were 7 ways to be insufferable on Facebook, which led back to the 5 core reasons for posting listed above. I realized as I read the article that I was guilty of many, if not all, of these insufferable statuses on Facebook. I just masked them as positive and that made myself feel better about what I was posting. Sure, it’s exciting to share that I had finished my last paper of grad school. Yes, it’s nice to thank people for being there for you during a turning point in your life. Sharing an inspirational quote every now and then? Why not? I realize there’s not much I can say without being a hypocrite. Just something to think about: For whom are you posting your statuses, tweets, or instagram pictures? If you’re doing it for B or C, cool. If you’re doing it solely for yourself or to get likes out of it, maybe rethink before posting it.

[Retrieved from Huffington Post via]

The author of this blog said it best:
The bigger point here is that the qualities of annoying statuses are normal human qualities—everyone needs to brag to someone here and there, everyone has moments of weakness when they need attention or feel lonely, and everyone has some downright ugly qualities that are gonna come out at one time or another. And that’s why you have people who love you. The thing that Daniel and most others haven’t internalized is the fact that if they have 800 Facebook friends, only about 10 or 15 love them. For an especially lovable person, maybe it’s as high as 30. Between 1 and 4 percent. That means that between 96 and 99 percent of your Facebook friends do not love you. People who don’t love you don’t care about you or your worst day or your life that much, they’re probably not especially rooting for you, and they certainly want nothing to do with your worst qualities. And you doing something to purely serve your emotional or egotistical needs really should not show up on their computer screen.

It’s a harsh reality, but there’s a lot of truth in these words.

Will I give up Facebook completely? Doubtful. [Editor’s note: I added it back to my phone 48 hours later. With a new perspective, of course.] Will I stop comparing my seemingly imperfect life to those around me? With practice. 

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