Social Media: Breaking Up is Hard To Do
Like many people, I have a love-hate relationship with social media.
Recently, I have been contemplating whether or not to remove myself from Facebook. In fact, I’ve even attempted to break up with them a few times.
After a few unsuccessful attempts to disengage, I had an epiphany! This is like leaving a bad relationship that you stayed in for far too long. You know the kind: Infrequent moments of happiness filled with the barrage of red flags that tell you to run like hell…but you don’t! The problem is that the longer you stay, the more pieces and parts of you fade away. You begin to lose yourself!
Why do we stay?
I believe we stay in a bad relationship because we are holding out hold hope that the other party is going to change. As if one day, you’re going to wake up and the other person miraculously changed overnight. They are now: more focused on your needs, less controlling, less selfish, less moody, less pouty, and less self-centered. Really?
We hold out because when they change (based on your pleading, cajoling, manipulating, and unconditional sacrifices), you will have the relationship of your dreams!
In most cases, bad relationships are bad for any number of reasons. Maybe it just doesn’t work, it’s not a match, it’s very one-sided, there is a low level of trust, it’s unhealthy, etc.
So what does this have to do with Facebook?
Well as you go through the termination process with Facebook, there are all kinds of warnings and questions popping up on your screen. They prey on your fear that you’re making a big mistake! It is as if you are not just deleting an app, it’s more like you’re ending a life…your Facebook life!
Do You Love Me?
There is a song from the movie Fiddler on the Roof entitled, Do You Love Me. Without getting into the details, it is a song sung by a couple who have been together for 25 years. He sings, “Do you love me?” She sings in reply “For 25 years I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, etc.” He sings, “Yes, but do you love me?”
The reality of Facebook is the same reality as a Health Club. As long as your giving them what they want (data, money, etc.) they love you. They will do everything they can to entice you to stay, but the reality is you serve a specific purpose.
Facebook is in business to do one thing and one thing only – sell ads by collecting your personal data. When you sign up, you basically enter an abusive relationship. It is all about them, no matter how much they attempt to mask their intention.
- Track you, they know when you are on it, when you are off, and when you are not on it they send you little notices to entice you to get back on so they can shove more personalized, tailored, ads in your face.
- Take from you what is yours (your data) with permission (you agreed to their 10,000 word disclaimers) and sometimes without your permission in subtle but sneaky ways.
- Steal your data (yes those little games about name the dog, the last thing you ate are really just collecting your data).
- Get up in front of Congressional Panels, lie and then apologize for a mistake they made, knowing full well they knew exactly what they’re doing.
- Tell you they love you, but you are simply a collection of data points with dollar signs on your head.
For the Children
When asked why people stay in a bad marriage, they will sometimes reply, “It’s for the children!” As if, staying in a loveless marriage is modeling the behavior you want to teach your children. Many times when I ask myself, so why do I stay? The truth, I DO like seeing what’s going on in other peoples lives. I don’t need to know what they are eating for dinner or countless selfies from a friend who is actually not anyone I have ever met. However, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, good news, births, etc. are nice to see.
BUT, and that is a big but, the main reason I tell myself I need to stay on it, is because of my business. I don’t have children, so in some ways my business is my baby. I say this knowing full well that I have never gotten a single dollar of business as a result of having a presence on Facebook.
So it is decision time, and I am going to take a Baby Step. One week from this Friday, I am going to deactivate my Facebook for 30 days and see what happens. Yes, I know it is like a trial separation before the divorce or the reconciliation. And I know ,that sometimes, the idea of doing something or buying something is better than the reality of it. I may miss seeing what my friends are doing, I have no concerns whatsoever about my business. That was and is a lie I tell myself to stay engaged in the site.
Are You Up For A 30-Day Social Media Cleanse?
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to test whether you are ready for a Social Media Cleanse:
- Do you find yourself wasting inordinate amounts of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok, LinkedIn, etc. and then regretting it?
- Have you ever felt like Facebook, Google, or Amazon Alexa were spying on you and you felt violated or it just infuriated you?
- Have you ever felt angry, depressed, frustrated, or worse after spending time on social media?
Well, if you answered yes to any of the three questions above, it just might be time for a Social Media Cleanse.
So are you willing to drop Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for 30 days? What would that be like?
What if we all dropped some form of Social Media for 30 days and focused on real relationships with people we really know?
Being in an bad relationship is never healthy for anyone? Knowing when you need to step back, regroup, or leave is the key to being truly happy.
At some point, you come to the realization that the pain of staying in it, far out weighs the perceived pain or fear of leaving. Even if it means you are alone.
So…. are you in?