I hesitantly signed up for Facebook when it first became available to non-ivy league schools in 2004. (Who remembers that?!) At the time, I thought it was crazy people were signing up for “social media” to “talk” to the friends they saw every day. 13 years later, I’m pretty much back to that initial thought. Now, I’ve enjoyed drinking the Kool-Aid for years, and I’ve extended my time with Facebook longer than I’ve wanted because of friends and family in other states. But I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can’t stay on Facebook for other people anymore. I’m taking this break for me. Let me tell you why.
6 Reasons I’m Taking a Break From Facebook
1. “Friends” don’t actually talk to you when they actually see you.
I bet you can think of a handful of “friends” you would pretend you don’t know if you saw them when you’re out grocery shopping. Maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of this. Or have you ever tried to have a conversation where you’re excited to share something and someone cuts you off with “Yeah, I saw that on Facebook”? It’s killing actual conversations!
2. Less authentic interactions
People only post their best selves, creating a virtual “keeping up with the Joneses.” Life isn’t perfect, motherhood is far from it. Remember that behind every Pinterest-perfect image you see, there are many meltdowns, sleep deprived moments, and other things that remain behind the camera and not captured in the image.
3. 90% of your “friends” are MLMs (multi-level marketers).
I’m not sure when pyramid schemes came back in full force, but unfortunately, they have. Today, it seems that you may know more people selling this way than not. Here’s the thing: I know what you do for a living, so you don’t have to remind me with every post, every day. Please stop PMing me for your “amazing deal.” If I want what you are selling, I’ll ask you for it.
4. The political posts haven’t died down since before the caucuses.
In fact, they’ve only been amplified. Listening to people complain about politics is incredibly unproductive, and there are no signs of that noise turning off or even slowing down anytime soon.
5. You rarely see the stuff you actually want to see.
The baby was born! Your friend hit a new weight goal! Someone’s grandma passed away. You may have missed these posts because of new algorithms that are constantly being implemented. Newsfeeds are full of advertised content – have you noticed that the baby monitor you were browsing last night is now showing up as a sponsored ad in your feed?
6. I find myself looking at other people’s lives more than living my own.
And while I’m doing that, I’m not seeing my daughter in action. Scrolling Facebook for 20 minutes a couple times a day adds up. Time to get off and get on with it!
If you are feeling “over it” as well, there are many ways you can cut back on social media consumption.
Ways to Cut Social Media Consumption
- Turn the notifications off your phone: Not seeing the red dot may help you not check it as much.
- Delete the app: When you go to check it, it won’t even be there.
- Only log in on an actual computer: This can be a way to make your time more intentional.
- Take a break: Just tell people you will be done for awhile and remind them of the other channels they can utilize to communicate with you.
- Delete your account: Just be done. It’s actually a lot harder to do this than you may think, and many sites still keep your information if you ever decide to come back to it
There is life after Facebook, and there are many ways you can keep in touch with your true friends and have deeper, more meaningful connections.
6 Ways to Foster Authentic Connections
1. Share a meal together
Whether you go out to eat or make a home-cooked meal, food is a great way to bring people together and create some memories.
2. Have a bonfire/cards night
We started having friends and family over on Friday’s anytime after 7 (once the baby is down for the night). It’s been a great way to learn some new games, hear stories, and share some laughs.
3. Pick up the phone and call/text/FaceTime
The phone is in your hand anyway!
4. Better yet, just drop by
In the neighborhood? Swing by and say hi.
5. Do something
Take a class, get outside, get the kids together for a play date. Whatever you enjoy doing, invite others to join you!
6. Catch up on a couple chores
Attack that never-ending laundry, do a closet purge, take some time to meal prep, etc.
These are the things that generations before us were doing. Look at how strong some of their friendships are, while we all bellyache on social media that we want a “tribe.” Go do it! Fostering friendships and relationships takes a lot of work, and only so much can be done behind a computer.
Now, don’t worry…Iowa City Moms Blog will still be here for you, no matter how you choose to engage. Here are some of the many ways you can connect with us.
Connect with ICMB outside of Facebook
- Join a play group in your town and meet up with other moms
- Get our blogs via email
- Follow us on Pinterest
- Follow us on Instagram and check out our “real mom” takeover days
- Come to an upcoming event, like our tailgate-inspired Moms’ Night Out!
If you’re feeling frustrated with social media, you can set limits for yourself without disconnecting completely.
We can’t wait to connect with you in real life, as well as on social media!