It’s been three months since I signed off Facebook.
I really expected I’d be sharing more updates on how things were going. But it hasn’t felt necessary. There’s been nothing to share. Life has gone on. Aside from a short experience of “missing out” that lasted about a week or so, I haven’t missed it at all.
I feel like I have my life back.
I’ve realized that without Facebook I’m more present in the moment. In my Facebook days, I often found myself thinking about how I could share what was happening in my life with my virtual friends. I’d be on a run and would have an inspiring thought and immediately my mind would start thinking about sharing it as soon as I got home. Kind of a buzz-kill of that inspiring moment in the moment. But I didn’t see that at the time. I only see it now that the act of posting has been removed from my life.
I remember last November when I took my dogs to dog beach and we were snapping photos. One of my first thoughts was I’m going to post these on Facebook. And again, I was removed from the moment of just enjoying that time in the sun with my dogs. Oh, not completely removed of course, but the moment was affected to be sure.
Yesterday my husband texted me with some news he’d seen on Facebook.
It was about someone we both know in the success industry. He shared how what he saw had prompted some negative feelings within him. I was surprised by the news so I took a quick peek at this person’s fan page. Which then led me to read a blog post written by this person sharing the very news my husband had texted me about.
And something very interesting happened within me.
I felt extreme gratitude. Gratitude that I was no longer in that world. That world where it’s all about posting pictures of all your success. Of all the people at your events. Sharing photos of your VIP clients with status updates about how successful their businesses are (indirectly promoting how great of a coach you must be to have such successful clients).
I felt nothing.
In my Facebook days I most certainly would not have felt nothing. I would have felt a pang of envy. I would have felt like I needed to work harder so I could match their success. I might have wondered why they got to have the business with all the clients and the million dollar paycheck when I was probably working just as hard, if not harder, than they were.
None of those feelings are positive.
None of them serve me. Oh sure, they may light a fire under me to work harder. But I now realize I don’t need to work harder. I don’t want to work harder. I don’t want to compete. I don’t even want to know what anyone else who does what I do is doing. I just want to do my thing. Live my life. Run my business. And I’ve discovered that’s exactly what I’m able to do now that I’m off Facebook.
I didn’t realize how big a role Facebook was playing in my life.
How much time it was taking up. And really, to what end? I always told myself I had to be there for business. That’s not proving to be true. Clients are still showing up (despite the fact I haven’t even been marketing because I’ve been taking time off trying to decide what I want to do next). Business opportunities are presenting (and they just so happen to be completely in line with the work I want to be doing).
But most importantly, I feel like I have my life back.
I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Life is more peaceful. More satisfying. More private. More mine.
About a month ago I did have to find a way to participate in a Facebook group for an online university I will be teaching for. Turns out their instructor group, where they interact with and support their faculty, is on Facebook. I was torn. I didn’t want to go back. But one of my goals has been to do more teaching and this opportunity showed up. So I was determined to find a way. And I did. I created a “stealth” Facebook profile with no friends and made everything private so only friends could see (get it, no friends and only friends can see?!). I don’t post on the page. I used the profile to join the faculty group and to administrate my business pages (which, quite honestly, I’m not doing much with either). I check the faculty group once a day. There’s no news feed to draw me in. No friend’s pages or photos to check out.
I’m staying in touch with good friends via email, the phone, and in person (imagine that?!). I can share my thoughts and interact with clients and followers on my blog or via my newsletter.
And you know what? It’s all working out just fine.
Last night I thanked my husband for sharing that news with me.
He thought I was being sarcastic and asked, Did it ruin your day? I told him quite the contrary. It showed me that I have moved on. I’m no longer angry at the success industry or at all the people in it for posting their “look at me” posts. Peeking back into the industry through the Facebook window showed me that I have indeed broken free. I realized I’m much happier with my life and business without the distraction of Facebook. I also recognize that it’s my choice and it may not be everyone’s. And that’s OK, because what matters most is that we all choose what works for us.