I deactivated Facebook and thankfully, the world did not end. In fact, it helped me to reduce my anxiety levels because nobody knows where I am.
I first got Facebook in 2008. I created an account when I went to International Science Camp which was held in Sydney (why I went I don’t know). The participants were from all around the world – US, Singapore, China, India and so the organisers suggested that we should keep in contact through Facebook rather than Myspace because they predicted Facebook is going to take off like no other. They were right.
I used to use Facebook like everyone else. Sharing photos, chatting to friends, and stalking people with some apparently valid excuse. But I realised that my time spent on Facebook was a little excessive and my behaviour was a bit worrying. For example:
- I would be scrolling through Facebook feed at the speed of light – consuming in quantity rather than quality.
- I would be refreshing my browser to see whether I received any notification or messages.
- I started to compare myself to my friends who would post photos and status about their perfect lives.
And the more time I spent on Facebook, I realised I spent the whole time worrying. For example:
- Why wasn’t I working at Google and making money and have ping pong competitions at lunchtimes?
- Why didn’t I just quit my job and travel all around the world?
- Why wasn’t I in an indie-folk band and famous already?
- Why wasn’t I at the beach drinking beers with my hot, rich friends?
I was sick of worrying. So on 20th May 2015, I deactivated Facebook (gasp). It has now been over two years since I deactivated. And you know what? I am so glad that I did because I feel a lot less anxious now. I compare myself to my friends a lot less. I spend less time scrolling through people’s stupid feed.
The biggest upside to quitting Facebook? Nobody knows where I am.
When I had Facebook, I always felt like I was being watched. I posted where I was and what cool thing I was doing. Or, if I didn’t do that, I was tagged by my friends in photos and statuses. But now, nobody knows where the fuck I am and what the fuck I am doing (except Google I suspect). I cannot stress this enough, it’s such a liberating feeling. This was especially the case when I was travelling around in Nepal and Iran. Nodoy knew where exactly I was. I was invisible to the world! No more trying to prove to people that I was having a great time. Stuff them. I do what I want.
Downside? I missed a few parties where I would have otherwise been invited had I been on Facebook. I missed some people’s big moments such as graduations, or marriage.
But to be honest, I don’t really care. I’m actually glad that I am not forced to make up an excuse for not attending. When my friends really wanted me to come, I was invited personally via message. When people want to share their life story, we do it over coffee or phone and they can tell the story
Nowadays, when my friends really wanted me to come, I get personally invited via message. When people want to share their life story, we do it over coffee or phone and they can tell the story themselves.
Of course deactivating Facebook won’t solve all of your life’s problems (like anything). But I highly recommend deactivating Facebook for those people who want a bit more time to themselves and to feel more liberated from being watched.
Some tips on deactivating Facebook
- Make a list of friends you want to keep in contact with
- Find out your friends contact details and birthday before you log off
- Stop worrying about how people are going to contact you – if they really need to get in contact with you, they will find a way
- Consider making a fake Facebook account for certain apps which requires Facebook login (such as Tinder…)
Free yourself from people’s crappy feeds and do whatever the fuck you want.
## The picture was taken in Kathmandu, Nepal. I found a cafe with amazing views overlooking Boudhanath Stupa and I ate sandwich and drank coke.