My days away from Facebook are paying off. I am learning about myself and my own motivations when I post on social media. Many times in the 66+ days I have been unplugged from FB I have wanted to post about something I was doing or post a pic. I have learned however that in many instances what we post and what we see most of the time is just a carefully curated life meant to show the best. It is a filtered, airbrushed and edited to shine for all the world to see. In my case I was one of those people who shared everything. I shared way too much and when I was not sharing too much I was posting pictures of myself so I could get those likes I needed so much. I was in a bad place in my life. I was depressed and lonely but the constant checking of my FB feed only made me feel worse. I turned to my FB friends for advise on my breakup, my loneliness and my journey to stop the drinking I took up during my heartbreak. The rush I felt when I would see 150 likes or 25 comments made me feel loved and not alone. That feeling never lasted. As soon as it passed I was working on my next post.
The thing that has struck me the most is how my carefully curated life on Facebook affected my relationship with some people. There were people who began to not like me because I seemed so successful and happy. There were people who assumed that when I was out on leave for some serious personal issues that I was just on an extended vacation. What I was not posting was the mess my life really was. My FB showed a very small piece of my life. It showed me in costume hiding what was really happening in my life that had become very small. It did not show the nights I cried myself to sleep or did not leave my apartment for a whole weekend. My posts did not show the internal struggle I was going through. I was heartbroken but my smiling pictures said otherwise. I was struggling with the thought of continuing to live a life that seemed to be falling apart around me.
Today I am feeling better. I am more able to focus. There are days when my bf sits down beside me and opens up his Facebook and I have to look the other way because I immediately feel a tightness in my chest just looking at it. I think about whether I will go back and if I did would I be able to just post occasionally and to delete most of the 1500 people on my friends list who I cannot even remember how I met. I am scared of Facebook like an addict is afraid of mainlining again. I don’t want to wake up and reach for my phone and my first hit of the day. So for now I know I cannot go back. Maybe I can someday but maybe it is best to stay unplugged and live my life instead of curating it.