“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.” —Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Confession: I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with Facebook for the past few years. Like dating someone everyone else thought was cool—but I never did. I ignored it, ranted at it, abused it, abandoned it, and occasionally I actually liked it (albeit fleetingly). Yes, all of the qualities of a dysfunctional relationship.
Earlier this month, I decided to end the relationship once and for all. The energetic space I’ve since freed is nothing short of liberating.
It all began at a writing retreat in early 2013 where the pressure was on to join the Facebook revolution. “Build your platform and they will come”, I was told. “Seriously? Through Facebook?”, was my reluctant reply.
Trusting my fellow nascent writers, I buckled. Against all obvious internal messaging, I became a part of the Facebook status quo.
And it felt icky.
Our relationship never flourished. For 2 1/2 years I struggled to make it happen.
But it never did.
You see, I don’t care about “building a platform”. I care about building the foundation for REAL relationships grounded in respect, integrity, and reciprocity.
With that in mind, I had to leave. Platform, shmatform, it was time to reclaim my life.
I will admit that Facebook has been an interesting social experiment however, and I’d like to share a few observations that struck me over the years.
- Facebook has shown me how starved we are for connection, and how terrified we are to be real.
- It has shown me how desperate we are to be “liked”, and how fearful we are to be frank.
- Facebook has shown me how fickle human behaviour is: 100 “likes” for the cute puppy video and tumbleweed for truth.
- I’ve seen how happy moments are flaunted while painful moments remain locked away in the shadows.
- I’ve witnessed more displays of cyber-bullying, ignorance, narcissism, racism, speciesism, and arrogance than I care to admit. I’ve been shocked at how brash some people become when armed with a keyboard and screen. My thought is this: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, why say it at all?
- I’ve seen how Facebook has become yet another distraction in a world that is desperate for our truth, our hearts, our souls.
- I’ve heard more admissions of soul-sucking, guilty distraction than I care to count. At the same time, I’ve heard innumerable empty reasons to “keep on keeping on” with the Facebook status quo. It always amazes me how we can convince ourselves to stick with what we know in our hearts is so wrong.
- I’ve watched “friends” compulsively post inspiring meme’s on their walls with no intention of living up to them in real life.
- In the same vein, I’ve seen the mindless “liking” and sharing of posts, videos, and articles that I know damn well were never watched or read. Compulsive “liking” has become yet another social disorder under the guise of politesse, but not authenticity.
- I’ve witnessed how the facade of who we pretend ourselves to be instigates envy and FOMO, leaving us feeling more worthless and empty in the end.
- I’ve seen how Facebook has complicated lives, reduced self-worth, destroyed relationships, and engendered jealousy, anxiety, and depression.
- I’ve seen how Facebook has disconnected us from reality at a time when the planet is begging for our unbridled attention.
- I’ve seen how our addiction to a plugged in, “always on display” way of life has damaged our relationships to ourselves, each another, and the Earth.
Facebook, aka Fakebook. The land of cyber-illusion in a technology obsessed world gone sideways.
I realize that there will be some who read this post seething in disagreement. Being the instigator that I am, I’m implored to then ask:
Has Facebook enhanced your life in ways that have created meaningful relationships, expanded your authentic voice, plugged you into purpose, elevated your self-worth, and propelled you towards a greater expression of your calling? Does Facebook nurture your soul?
You see, we can’t access the fullness of our inner guidance, truth, creativity, and purpose if we’re always seeking content. When we fill ourselves up with externally-sourced noise, we block the quiet voice within that knows that we are so much more than who we allow ourselves to be—on Facebook, and in life.
Facebook is not an obligation. It’s a choice. It’s your choice.
Call me old-fashioned, but real, intimate relationships are the pinnacle of my existence. It can be as simple as a personal email, phone call, or Skype. It can be a meaningful conversation over dinner. It can be a smile, a gaze, or a few kind words shared with a stranger. It can be you and me sitting quietly together watching the sun set on another day … without feeling the need to post it for all to see.
Bye bye Facebook. So long Zuckers. The Earth is calling. It’s time to reclaim my life and give myself fully to her. She needs us. All of us. Now.