Why I’m Leaving Facebook

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Photo credit: Surlan Soosay

I haven’t changed my profile picture in nearly a year.

I’m just not that engaged with social media to remember, plus I like the one I have: where I’m in a dress and purple eyeshadow, blowing bubbles at a toddler.

I want you to see me and find me beautiful, gentle, guileless, like a child watching bubbles as big as her eyes float into the sunlight.

But a more accurate picture would be a Picasso, where my eye is where my nose should be, and I’m missing an ear, and my mouth is a cube. Something that can’t give even an illusion of being three-dimensional, preferably in obnoxious colors with abstract borders, kinda like social media itself.

I want you to see me and find me flesh and blood.

Six months ago, I took a break from Facebook because the information overload splintered my heart and spread it too thin. I had to keep reactivating it for logistical purposes, but every time I logged in to answer a message, I could feel the current of drama trying to sweep me up again.

My heart was insistent that I delete it permanently, but I couldn’t bring myself to do so. I wanted all of it, one foot in the door of social media, most of my body in the outside world, so I wouldn’t miss out anywhere.

Plus, who would read my blog if I left Facebook?

I’m lending my new bedroom at Penn House to my best friend until she leaves Minnesota. We’re sharing groceries and furniture and money and, soon, an adventure in Hawaii. My old housemate, Jen, gave me chairs for the new house and a key to her side door “just in case.” (I now have keys to five different houses, so I’ll never be homeless.)

My roommates want to have the kind of home that has an open-door policy, hosting dinner in the evenings for our friends, hosting a sanctuary for the Spirit, hosting hearts for people to come in and rest.

I’m ready to leave the social media world and create a real space for anyone to come and socialize, but more than that, live.

I guess what I am most afraid of in signing off permanently is the suicide of my “writing career.”

The gurus in that world tell you that you must have a social media platform to be successful in writing. Have a readership, in other words, which translates into attracting agents and publishers, and sells books later on.

That is accurate.

There’s a pattern in my life, however, where I never followed the beaten path. In the lyrics of Jason Upton, “I grew up in this disco town but the rhythm never hypnotized me.” I’m not worried that God will forget my words, or my desire to share them with the world.

I am afraid of not being seen.

My posts get 13 times the views when I link it to Facebook as not. Somewhere along the line, I started measuring being known by the number reading my words, when in reality, I encounter so many friends during the day that want my heart, I can grow weary of repeating myself.

I’m going to be working and living with them in a breathing, 3D reality where they will find my heart in all its guileless abstraction and, often, cubism.

Really, blogging is an easy way to feel seen without having to engage another person’s heart, their pain and longing and struggle. I want you to validate me, but stay on your side of the screen.

It’s not loving.

So I’m leaving social media, apart from this space, but you can still find me if you call my phone, or better yet, show up on my front stoop.

I’d love to make us coffee and share an adventure.

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3 thoughts on “Why I’m Leaving Facebook

  1. We sometimes do need a break from certain social media platforms I deactivated my Facebook too recently.Look forward to reading future post.Check out my post when you get the chance :)

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  2. I can definitely relate to your post. Facebook has made me so angry and cynical towards people to the point that loving people who have different opinions has become a chore. So I’ve given up Facebook until after the election (except for logistical reasons, which btw I loved that caveat on your post!).
    As always, great writing!

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  3. Michael Lamptey

    Sad to hear you’re leaving. I can understand the Facebook thing though. There’s one thing you can use Facebook for though. It’s all i do and it’s of immense benefits. I use Facebook Advertising. If you use any of the advertising networks on your blog, the traffic that Facebook brings is highly profitable. If for nothing at all, you should look at using FB for this, trust me. If you need any tricks to succeed in that area, don’t hesitate to email me. Until then, enjoy the time with ‘real’ people as you suggest. Cheers!

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