I finally quit Facebook!

Facebook is great. And Facebook is horrible.

If you’re on it, you probably know what I mean. It can make you so happy one minute, and make you feel worthless and unloved the next.  I’ve had a love/hate relationship with FB for years. I’ve tried various ways to either make it more useful to me or reduce the time I spent on it, none of which worked out.

I was never one of those people who “friended” hundreds of people; I only friended my family and people I really knew and wanted to be in touch with. That only added up to 35 people, a seemingly manageable number, right? But even with such a small list of people, I was often disturbed or upset by things that appeared on my newsfeed. I found myself often thinking, “What is wrong with him (or her)?” or “I really didn’t need to know that about you.”

Nevertheless, I tried to hold up my end of the deal, always keeping up with posts by my friends and family, either commenting or “liking” their comments, as my way of letting them know I was paying attention to them.  But when I saw my own posts ignored at least half the time, it hurt my feelings and made me feel like I wasn’t important to anyone. And that really made me feel pathetic. I hate feeling pathetic.

Today I decided I’ve just had enough. I deactivated my account. My family and friends will just have to call or email me if they want to talk. The one thing I’ll really miss is being able to participate in the Birding Ohio group though.  And getting news from some of my favorite conservation organizations and charities. But FB never really deletes your account, so I could always reactivate it again if I really really can’t live without it. But I’m going to try HARD not to get pulled back into that stupid time-sucking site. And at least for now I feel liberated. It’s about time I focused on my own life anyway!

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16 Responses to I finally quit Facebook!

  1. Hi Kim! I came looking here when I saw your facebook account was gone and I am so glad you are still here! 😀 I feel the same way about facebook. Glad to see Cindy on here as well. Hi Cindy! 🙂

    I have a love hate relationship with it as well–so I don’t check it often and then I wonder if by only seeing and liking other people’s posts occasionally if I am hurting their feelings. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings by being so sporadic like that. I am almost always disappointed when I post anything at all so I don’t post very much. My online life is so rich with my highly sensitive blog friends and clients (many who do not use facebook) that I have been thinking of deactivating my facebook too because it feels so “insensitive” and “not deep or caring or real” in comparison. I tried to change the situation by creating the community page Higher Ground Haven and associating it with my new blog– but I haven’t had time and energy to devote to it because I been pursuing writing songs again–and overcoming my stagefright…which is coming along slowly but well. You have a great thing going with this blog, Kim. I am officially following this blog now–I will miss you on facebook…if I ever check it again.

    Your friend,

    Roxanne

    • Kim says:

      Roxanne, I’m glad you’re here!! I was pretty sure you knew where to find me off of FB. And no, no, you didn’t ever hurt my feelings on FB. It’s pretty interesting that by quitting FB, I’m finding out who wants a real relationship with me and who doesn’t really miss me.

      I listened to your karaoke video the other day — you’ve got a beautiful singing voice. And you clearly have a talent for songwriting; I’ve been reading some of your lyrics occasionally too. So glad you’re subscribed to my blog, and I just subscribed to yours as well so we won’t lose touch again. Can you believe it’s been 33 years?? (And that we both married unrelated Smiths?)

      By the way, if you could recommend any highly-sensitive bloggers that you like I’d appreciate it. My occasional searches haven’t turned up anyone I feel like reading regularly. You can just email that to me privately if you want.

      Take care, and thanks for getting in touch! Kim

      • Haha great! So glad all is well between us. Thanks for the kind words about my singing and songwriting! It means a lot to me. I will think about some blogs I think you will like and email you sometime. I wish I had more time for nature and things like photography like you but I am so busy with my coaching and my two kids and husband that I rarely have extra time now for the blogging. And now Christmas is here. My son is in Chicago but my daughter just moved closer to us (Ball State) for grad school so I get to see her more often. Yay! We are a very close family–the four of us–they are amazing people (also highly sensitive but in all different ways–it’s pretty fascinating). 33 years sounds like a long time. How is that possible? And both “Smiths”–pretty amazing. 🙂 Take care and talk to you again soon. Roxanne Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 22:48:55 +0000 To: roxanne9smith@hotmail.com

    • Cindy Opitz says:

      Hi Roxanne!

  2. Cindy Opitz says:

    Hi Kim, I´m glad I started to follow your blog before you quit or I would have lost you completely! I sure hope I didn´t add to your distress with FB. I usually try to stay distanced on the thing. I could never write a blog because I do not feel good about letting people know my opinions unless I can trust them or talk one on one. I decided to write posts about what I´m thankful for this month, but that was an exercise that on the one side did me good (being thankful) on the other very difficult to let so many people know things about me. One part of me is very open and the other very private. I would like to keep in touch with you. I´m assuming you´ll find my e-mail because of my registration?

    • Kim says:

      Cindy, I’m so glad you came here to give me your email — I was just telling Eric yesterday that I wished I’d gotten it before I got off FB. I can track down somebody here in the States easier than I can find you over in Germany! And don’t worry, your FB posts were not upsetting to me at all. I really enjoyed seeing your thankful posts this month too. I’ll send you an email so you’ll have mine too. Kim

  3. Rebecca says:

    Do agree and often wonder how FB decides what posts I see. Personally I just don’t do much there except to be a fly on the wall and do a few likes here and there. It really can be draining…

    • Kim says:

      Rebecca, I’ve wondered if I could just use it as an information source rather than participating in the whole “status update circus” — being a fly on the wall as you put it. But I fear that if I go on the site at all, I’ll feel compelled to post status updates and then get upset when nobody pays attention to me….sigh. If only it was possible to *only *see my birding group and not have a newsfeed at all…now that would be a FB I’d like!

  4. drbobsbirds says:

    BTW, FB “deals out” to the newsfeed based on their own algorithms, so often people will not even see you messages. (I hate that! I have missed so many good postings from people who do not regularly post! Have to go to each friend to see what they posted …) And, often – even when I saw your posts – I did not “like” or comment. However I did like them!

  5. drbobsbirds says:

    Interestingly you started with “Facebook is great. And Facebook is horrible.” It reminded me of “God is great …” etc…
    I totally agree! I have a son-in-law who – even after the elections – will not let go of the hate and daily postings of unchecked forwards. Yet, I love him and would not want to miss a few “real” postings (SO few!).
    But even if I do choose to “unfriend” him (possible), I still have FB as my main real communication with my own biological family (true treasure!!!), I watch my grandkids growing up!
    I will surely miss you on FB because it was a place where you could get “chatty” about yourself and family. And as you know I tend sometimes just to chat … (hope I was not one who was offensive …) A different forum …
    Again, I totally agree about FB! It makes me feel as if I need to post something. On the other hand, I know that many of my friends are “lurkers” and really contribute nothing … And those who “share” crap might be even worse. Yet I have many friends who share great stuff! (think Kenn, Kim, Ohio Birding, Janet Hug – and many more I have met thru FB …)
    I do not know the solution!
    I do know it eats my time – and I despise that filtering part about it! Yet I truly love the good contacts that offer me views I would not have elsewise. Yes, I have better ways to spend my time (maybe keep my own blog up???), yet I would hate to miss a treasured photo!
    I truly despise the FB mindset that allows anyone to “go thru” any of my “likes” or friends to get a post on my page!!! Yes! I want out!!! And yet, I do not want to miss anything from my real friends! “Catch 22!”
    Anyway I will miss you on FB, but yet I am totally cheered that I follow your blog (much more well maintained than mine …) and can keep up with at least part of your life!!!
    — “Dr. Bob”

    • Kim says:

      Dr. Bob, I’m glad you still know where to find me outside of FB. (And no, your posts were never offensive to me at all.) As you mentioned, I did enjoy using FB to stay connected to other people who share my interests in birds and environmental issues (like Kenn and Kim K. and others in Birding Ohio, especially). I’ll miss that most I think.

      But for family communication, it didn’t really work as well as I’d hoped. It was great for sharing photos, but other than that there wasn’t really much *meaningful *communication. It seems most of my family prefers to communicate via text messages these days. I can’t even get most of them to read their emails anymore! Before texting became popular I used to love exchanging long detailed emails with people, and even copied many of our emails into a file as a sort of family archive. Those seem like the “good old days” now, lol.

      I’ve been keeping notes on how I feel each day since I quit FB. I’ve definitely been more productive these past two days, that’s for sure. Who knows, maybe this will just be a time-out rather than a permanent quitting of FB….we’ll see how I feel in January. In the meantime, hope to see you soon at an Audubon meeting!

      Kim

  6. I also have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. The thing that probably keeps me on though is the fact my kids are on it. But I cringe at some of the stuff I see posted. Just this morning my youngest son’s girlfriend had a joke that was so rude and mean on her wall I honestly felt like crying. I think that is part of the problem. When you encounter the awful side of Facebook there isn’t a thing you can do about it.

    The commenter before me had a good idea. What if you went on and only joined the couple of organizations you like and see if that eliminates the bad stuff?

    • Kim says:

      Oh Kristie, the teenagers are the worst! I actually blocked one of my teenage nephews because of the embarrassing (sexually explicit) things he’d post. And just a few days ago his sister shared a link to a photo that was similarly shocking. It just makes me sad to see that sort of thing show up on my newsfeed, and to know those “sweet” kids are talking about those things.

      And as an animal lover, it always upsets me when relatives proudly post pictures of their murdered deer or turkeys…..I don’t want to be judgmental, but when it comes to animals I can’t help it, I hate hunting.

      I agree with you and Lori, as you’ll see in my response to her below. I very well may get back on for my birding group (eventually), but I won’t be participating in the broader aspects of FB anymore. And I feel like I just stepped out of the mud and got a nice fresh shower…it’s wonderful.

      Kim

  7. littlesundog says:

    Kim, I always felt the same way. Hurt, upset, dissed and sometimes addressed rudely, I got worked up almost every time I looked at the newsfeed. I deactivated my account 2 different times, then deleted it finally (yes, you can delete it). Then, like you, I got to missing my Japanese Chin rescue friends and a few deer people, so I got back on for just that group. For some reason, these people don’t play crazy games and make comments that family and some friends tend to make. I’m just fine with the small group of people who care more about animals and love of life, than sharing idiotic information, making rude and thoughtless remarks, or intentionally hurting people. And to be fair, I am a highly sensitive person. Noise, chaos and drama have never suited me. I really had no business on a social media forum like FB.

    • Kim says:

      Lori, you’ve summed it up perfectly — as a highly-sensitive person, I really don’t have any business on Facebook either. I’m expecting that eventually I’ll want to get back on for the birding group, but I’ll probably delete most or all of my “friends” to eliminate the distractions and upsetting things. After my first day post-Facebook yesterday though, I can report that I felt fantastic knowing that I couldn’t check my newsfeed multiple times during the day. And I was more productive than I’ve been in months!!

      • littlesundog says:

        I only check FB once a week now, just to see if there are any new fosters, needs or fund raisers. In fact, sometimes I completely forget to check for a few weeks! Most people know to email me if they really need to contact me. I haven’t missed the “old” FB one bit!

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