It’s been maybe a couple months now that I made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account for good. Not totally delete it, but put it in that hibernation status where you can still use messenger and you don’t lose all your thousands of photos you’ve inevitably uploaded over the years.
I have good reason which will take a bit of explanation. The very short reason is for my mental health.
The much longer explanation is because I found myself constantly getting triggered in the various groups to which I belong. I couldn’t manage to keep myself out of the groups either, particularly the mental health OCD/scrupulosity ones. There was also an MBTI group (Myer-Briggs type indicator) INFJ group I was very fond of as well. And Christian groups.
I would get very triggered by things people would say that would be offensive against God or Christians (usually not in the Christian groups). I would then promise myself not to do the whole group thing when I went on Facebook and only check my friends’ and family’s feeds. But it was like a moth to a flame, I would continually get drawn back in, after leaving group after group, then joining a new gaggle of groups.
I would get triggered and leave a group that I had enjoyed for a long time. One INFJ group I really quite enjoyed and I was able to look past a lot of the blatant anti-Christian rhetoric, and I would actually interject some of my beliefs in a respectful and kind way. What triggered me in that group I struggle to remember to be honest. I do know it was religious based and I couldn’t handle how badly my OCD got triggered.
I was in one Religious OCD/Christian group for a very long time (years!) and actually enjoyed it very much. I would offer my insight to those struggling and words of support and comfort. When I got triggered in that group, that’s what really broke my resolve to remain with Facebook at all. That group felt like my home, a safe haven and it was gone.
Wondering what happened?
I shared something personal with them. I almost never posted myself and only ever commented on other’s posts. I was having a hard time and decided to make my own post, which was hard for me to do. Social anxiety for the win.
I posted about a woman I know who had severely wronged me, who was a very bad person (we’re talking pure evil), having gone missing since the beginning of the year. I mentioned that I was feeling very guilty for feeling momentary satisfaction that she was experiencing karma for her evil ways.
Most people replied with understanding and words of comfort and support.
Except one, the trigger. They essentially told me I was very horrible because what if she was lying dead in a ditch.
No duh?! Why did they think I was posting and why did they think I was feeling so much guilt?!
But their words made me feel like the worst human in the world for having that initial very human response. One that I knew wasn’t good.
Considering the type of group, they should have considered their words would have an impact such as they did. In what type of mental health group is it ok to tell someone they are a horrible person??
I still feel guilty for what I shared with them, though I did delete my post before I removed myself from the group. It reinforced my beliefs that I cannot share my feelings with others without bad things happening, and hence my social anxiety and OCD teamed up against me.
I sent a message right after to my husband that Facebook was Satan’s work and I was deleting it.
That may sound a bit melodramatic but honestly, I still hold to my beliefs that it is a tool of the devil. There has been so much evil perpetrated because of Facebook since its inception. Affairs started because of people meeting with old flames they reconnected with or new ones they meet in groups, young people being lured to meet pedophiles, groups to meet people for nefarious activities, groups to meet sugar daddies, people get their information stolen, I won’t even get into the insurmountable amount of research into the negative effects on mental health across the board due to social media.
The thing is, once you start using Facebook, it’s very hard to put self limits into place. It’s extremely addicting. Many of the features are designed to release dopamine and we end up wanting more. Especially that stupid “like” feature. Gotta get those likes!
That is why it took as long as it did to deactivate Facebook. And that’s also why I still struggle with wanting to reactivate it…”Just for my art groups.”
Yeah. I can’t go down that rabbit hole again.
I feel better about my life and self image since I’ve stopped using that cursed app/website. It was hard at first, I kept finding myself inadvertently looking for the app on the phone to check my notifications or to want to scroll my feed. I’d then remember that I got rid of it and why.
I stand by my decision as a great decision. Especially because I waste so much less time now! And I worry less about what people will think about me or my activities because I won’t be posting anything about it.
If you use Facebook, would you ever consider giving it up for the sake of your mental health? If not, why?
My husband still uses Facebook. He tends to scroll through his feed and look at funny cat videos, but he also uses it to see what his family in the U.K. is doing. He could do without it, because he regularly calls and messages them on WhatsApp to chat and catch-up. Could you too?