A lot of you have been asking me why I suddenly quit Facebook. It’s a valid question since I used to be a type of person who posted about Every. Little. Thing. And then without warning, I was gone. Poof. Actually, a lot of people thought I had just unfriended and then blocked them, which wasn’t the case. Here are, are in no particular order, the reasons why I (temporarily, as it turns out) deactivated Facebook- -and why I’m back.
1) I was addicted.
Yes, I was that person who would check Facebook before getting out of bed in the morning (as it turns out, I’m in good company, according to recent statistics). And again in the car at a red light (bad Kathryn). And again before my classes started. And again…you get the idea. Facebook was consuming me. I realized that I didn’t want my Facebook notifications to be the first thing that I thought of in the morning. So I went cold turkey. And it was everything I thought it could be.
2) I was envious.
It’s been said to never compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. It’s dangerous. It’s easy to do. But it creates a false sense of thinking that there is something wrong with you, when everyone else looks so darn happy. All. The. Time. Envy started to creep into my heart, and instead of celebrating when my friends posted cute photos or proud moments, I started to think that their accomplishments started to mean that I was missing something in my own life.
But guess what? We are all broken, we all struggle, and we don’t all have good hair days every day of the week. The danger of social media is thinking that someone else’s best moments are their everyday experiences, and that’s simply not true.
3) I was playing the game of Mommy Competition
I was tired of snapping pictures of my kids with the sole intention of posting them to Facebook. I was tired of feeling hurt when not enough people “liked” their photos, or commented saying how cute they were, etc, etc. Guess what? My worth as a mom is not tied to how many Facebook likes my kids get. I think that the Facebook competition between moms is huge, and it’s unhealthy. We barely survived the “Back To School Chalkboard Era” (by the way, am I the only mom who missed the memo about the chalkboard photo on the first day of school? Sheesh), we are now in a season of Pumpkin Patch photos, followed by Christmas/Santa/ twinkle lights/etc and the insanity will never end! It’s madness, I tell you, madness! Okay, I exaggerated a little. But seriously y’all, I can’t keep up. So I won’t.
4) Mommy. Guilt.
Logging onto Facebook meant that I saw everything that everyone else was doing that I wasn’t (see point above). Did I give my babies all the love I could, feed them, bathe them, clothe them, rock them, sing to them, make sacrifices for them? Yes. Would I lay my life down for them if I needed to? Absolutely. But somehow, because I didn’t take cute monthly photos with their milestones marked on chalkboard next to them (seriously, what is it with the chalkboards lately?) I felt like a failure. It’s the Mommy Comparison Game that led to the Mommy Guilt Game, that led to the Mommy Exhaustion Game, and I was done playing. The only way out was to unplug.
5) It was a distraction.
Particularly during the 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. time frame. That last hour of the day before Daddy gets home is the LONGEST and I was escaping via Facebook instead of connecting with my kids. I was checking Facebook before asking my husband how his day was. I was living through everyone else’s life instead of being present in the moment of my own life.
Why am I back?
Quite simply, I missed my friends. I missed seeing how y’all were doing, I missed sharing funny things my students said, the cute stories about my kids, and the recipe disasters I encountered in my own home (beef stew with sweet potatoes, anyone?). I missed laughing with you, crying with you, and sharing life with you. So I decided to come back. And I hope you’ll welcome me.