I want to quit Facebook, but I can’t.
Facebook is my main traffic source for my blog. It’s also the greatest venue I could ever find to connect with other bloggers in the several Facebook groups I am in. I absolutely love the various communities I have the privilege to belong, learning huge amounts of information about blogging, publishing, creating content, connecting, freelance work, and endless opportunities for growing both my blog and my friendships with seriously talented folks. I am in different groups for varying reasons, and I benefit greatly from each one of them.
Facebook is my connecting place, my refuge, my classroom, my counsel, my door that walks me through all the opportunities I need and desire as a writer. I spend a lot of time there. A lot.
I can spend hours on Facebook, engaging in so many of these fine groups of writers and bloggers, and I even contribute to one special group as a moderator- which consequentially lands me there for administrative duties and communication with the other fabulous moderators of this group of hundreds of women. That takes time. A lot of time.
If it weren’t for Facebook, I would be an isolated, lonely blogger. I wouldn’t be able to engage with and share my work, connect with editors and publishers, and develop amazing friendships with gifted writers. If it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t be able to share such incredible articles these bloggers write with the rest of my friends, my fans, and my followers. If it weren’t for Facebook, I truly would not have made the lasting friendships I have online.
There’s a big world of opportunity out there, stretching across the globe. I have had the honor of having access into brilliant minds and passionate hearts. Their gift, their work- has benefited me greatly, all through Facebook.
So I enter into this wondrous land of global community with the goal of diving into these amazing groups and engaging when and where I can. They are endless wells of nourishment that saturate my hunger for knowledge, opportunity and support. And as I slip into the main feed of Facebook to try to catch a glimpse into my friend’s personal lives, I can barely find a friend’s name amidst the random videos, rants, pleas, Ad posts, and hideous hate, lashing out among the masses of people I don’t even know. I get sucked in, gasping at what I see, what I read, what I experience, and I finally pull my eyes out of the trance of atrocities and click out of what seems to me to be an endless black hole of disturbing madness.
So dark, I can’t see the flickers of light anymore.
I want to see the light.
I need to see the light.
I think that’s why I keep diving back in to the raging waters… desperately searching for the goodness in humanity. I know it exists. But lately, I have to work really, really hard to find it. And the sacrifice of my mental health and emotional well being is taking a toll through this unending desperation and twisted grip Facebook has on me.
I regularly relinquish all hope and leave the social media platform depleted, dejected, and utterly defeated. Now I’m left with the aftermath of soaking it all in-
Anger. Upset. Sadness. Broken-hearted.
Exhausted. Empty. Sick.
I decided late last night, while stewing over my latest traumatic dive into the war of words on Facebook, that I would set new limits for my own health.
I need to be involved in these writing groups. I want to be involved…My passion is words, and I find the exquisite power of them through these groups. I won’t quit that. I simply can’t.
So from now on, I will go directly to them and not enter the main feed, unless I am sharing my posts or someone else’s amazing work that deserves to be seen. I will continue to add to the feed, only positive posts full of grace and acceptance and love. I won’t stop doing that. Good Lord we need more of that. But I won’t be around to see my friends’ updates, to which I am deeply saddened to accept. Please know that I want to read your updates! I just can’t go into that traumatic territory for now. I simply can’t handle the hate.
I need a breather. I need space to fill my heart and my eyes and my mind with good stuff.
And Lord knows, I won’t find Peace on Facebook.
Bonnie Lyn Smith says
Love you, Girlie! This really resonates with me! Totally get you. I try to just shine light, only look at newsfeeds once a day, and interact with folks to stay in touch. Sometimes we need to get off and rest our hearts and eyes. I sometimes only get on for my blogging feeds. Thanks for a great topic!
I am going to do just that, Bonnalade! Resting my eyes is now necessary. I realize I have my limits… setting them NOW. 🙂
Anita Davis Sullivan says
I echo so much of this! My heart literally hurts from things I see some days. But I do see much goodness too.
I do too, Anita. I truly do. It’s just that the pendulum has swung far to one side, and the balance is so ‘off’ that I can’t stabilize my own heart. Does that make sense? I have felt it bubbling up in all kinds of anxiety when I get on FB lately, and scroll through my feed. I finally realized it is too much for me right now. I’m ridiculously sensitive… I can only take so much hate. I’m seeing too much of that and not enough love. 🙁
Janine Huldie says
I am with you and actually have backed off Facebook in the last week or so myself as it was truly consuming my time and upsetting me in more ways than one. Like you I want to write, but not upset myself over nonsense on Facebook. Here is to hoping we find more peace now collectively with this.
I’m glad I’m not alone with this, Janine! Here’s to limiting our time on FB and investing it in much more worthwhile options. <3
My Inner Chick says
It’s about boundaries and limitations and space.
You are abundantly compassionate, empathetic, and so much more than that…
you feel -“You must save the world!”
Only God can.
But HE also wants you to take care of yourself.
GOSH, I wish you lived near me.
We could have some wine right now!
I feel like I just received the biggest, longest hug from you… oh, how you comfort me so. <3 Thank you, love. You always say the right things.
I am at the same point as you are. I just joined CWBU and love it I have it and my FB page up so that I don’t get caught up in the bells and whistles on FB. I have set a certain time that I look at the newsfeed and stick to it. Glad that I’m not the only one that struggles with FB.
Bonnie, I’m just so happy to see you here, my new friend! Yes, setting time limits is imperative! I have failed at this too many times, because I have been too caught up in all to watch the clock. No longer going to happen here! I do struggle so much with it all… there are amazing people out there to connect with, and I believe that was saddens me most. I often can’t get to them, because I get so wrapped up in the feed I scroll through. Sigh. Time limit WILL be set. Thanks for that encouragement and advice, Bonnie!
Shannon Alford says
AMEN SISTER!!!!! 🙂 *Hugs*
Maybe it’s the main reason why I am not on Facebook Chris. I think I would not be able to handle half of it. It’s too much. Too much pain and sadness and anger and threats and danger. I think it has its good sides. It seems to be fabulous tool for bloggers and writers. But it scares me.
So I am looking at it from quite far away…
Take care Chris. You’re right, you ought to protect yourself.
Oh Marie, I do understand where you are coming from!! It’s a scary world out there in social media- but BUT there really are some amazing things going on too. The balance is just completely teetered off to one side lately. There are some really beautiful connections I have made and I have learned a great deal from Facebook’s reach too. So there’s that. It’s just not worth the pain right now. I do hope things calm down sometime soon. If you ever do decide to be on FB, just let me know and I will help you navigate the waters to find some breathtaking ‘fish’!!! 🙂
Kelly McKenzie says
I truly am with you on this. On all of it. What you can do is pop in on your pals’ sites every now and then. Those that you’d like to read about. Sure you’ll forget some and then miss their posts but maybe you could ask folks to message you directly. I’m doing that. It’s too depressing and angst provoking otherwise. Here’s to hanging out with you in the most positive of ways! See ya there.
I love that you are in the same boat I am, Kelly! I like how you are handling it all, my friend. Thanks for giving me some great ideas! See you in the POSITIVE ways indeed!!
Julie Jo Severson says
Hi Christine, your perspective is a breath of fresh air. You and I connected in a recent Finish Your Sentence Friday link-up, and I’ve been meaning to get over here and connect with you again. I can really relate to your thoughts on Facebook. It is becoming so noisy and political. A dumping ground quite frankly. I’m in search for others who are telling stories with the goal of lifting others up, and I have found that in you here at The Mom Cafe. So, thank you for being a ray of sunshine. I hope to connect with you again.
Oh Julie, what a wonderful comment to receive from you!!! You just made my day, and I’m so grateful for that. 🙂 I love that we have connected. You are such a gifted writer, and I really look forward to reading more of YOUR words and encouraging you as well, my new friend!
I agree with ALL of this. Bring on the road, I promised myself let FB go and it’s been lovely. As for the groups, they sometimes overwhelm me, too. I wish we had a different vehicle to communicate with.
Oh I DO TOO!!! I DO TOO!!! I literally feel my anxiety rise when I try to read all the posts and all that others are doing in some Facebook groups. Oh Allie, I totally get that. Yeah, I’m thinking I really need to go through with this. AND limit my time (Which I actually already due, because I just can only take so much stimuli) in the groups too. ENJOY YOUR ROAD TRIP!!! I can’t wait to hear all about it!!
Download Firefox and AdBlockPlus – voila – no nasties or ads.
I actually use firefox, but will look into AdBlockPlus. Not sure that will take away all the negativity though… it’s out of control.
Gina B says
I have to agree. I always stand back although I’ve dipped a few toes in recently. But I won’t enter the wars, although it’s true on Facebook, you can merely say something innocuous, like the “sky is blue today” and you’d be called out for being a rain hater. It’s gotten so silly and harmful, but for those of us who need to be there, Godly actions are the only ones we can take.
Oh Gina, what an awesome response to read my friend!! It’s SO true about merely saying something innocuous…. and it being taken to an entirely different purpose. I just can’t even engage anymore. And yes, o yes oh yes… When we do need to be over there, “Godly actions are the only ones we can take.”
Every day I have this conversation with myself, but for me, I have friends that I would miss and, and we would probably lose touch over time.
I wish I could easily limit my feed to just them, especially on my phone. They have lists, but it doesn’t default to your list, and it doesn’t work on the phone.
I feel I would be much happier the less I knew. I liked people better before I saw everything they thought. And don’t even get me started on the news.
Add those things to the fact that we have so little control over the newsfeed. I constantly get shown people I ask to see less of and practically have to stalk friends since it rarely comes through my newsfeed. It’s like it applies the say algorithm to personal profiles as it does pages. The more likes and comments you get the more people who get to see it. This works out great for the drama people, but not so much when I’m trying to see a sweet friend without a lot of fb friends who rarely posts. Facebook pretty classifies them as nobodies. This makes me sad. It’s just like you said. We want to come on here and see our sweet friends, and we are bombarded with negativity, rants, and craziness.
I guess I need to start using the unfollow thing, but it’s not that I don’t want to ever, ever hear from some people, just not the constant drama and negativity every day. I’m just not sure what facebook means when it asks if I want to see less, and if what I am seeing is less, just HOW much are they posting???
Pages were nice once upon a time, and there was a lot of community building until they decided we had to pay to be seen.
I’m in a few photography groups with old friends, but since most of us aren’t in photography anymore, we just message back and forth when we talk and rarely use the groups.
Wow. As I read this, I’m just not sure why I’m there at all. I would just like it more if I could control my feed instead of facebook doing it for me without having to completely unfollow friends. I guess I am going to have to start unfollowing. I won’t unfollow you, though. 🙂
Oh Topaz… I totally get EVERYTHING you wrote!!! I don’t get to see the people I WANT to see in my feed… the balance of FB is completely skewed. How you described the crazy ways FB is managing people’s feeds is why we can’t find our actual friends!!
I’m so glad I’m not the only one exhausted and upset by this!!
I know. I know. That’s why, about 6 weeks ago (maybe more) I downloaded the Facebook News feed Eradicator. Now I don’t see the newsfeed. Instead I see a motivational quote. While it doesn’t work on mobile phones, when I am working or trying to be creative and need a quick peek at a group to ask a question or get feedback, I’m not sucked into potential negativity. In, out, done. Try it. Xoxo (for Chrome)
THANK YOU!! It’s just such an encouragement to know you have struggled with this mess and found an effective way to avoid it, Cristina. I will definitely look into this Eradicator.
Kristi Campbell says
Wow I’m so sorry that your feed was clogged with so much ickiness Chris! Maybe I just slack on facebook, am too overwhelmed to really pay attention to the main feed, or something but I rarely see any hate at all there! What am I missing? It’s weird that I just used the word missing right?
It’s a GOOD thing, you are missing the stink over there. It’s awful. 🙁 It’s been that way for a while, but erupts when bad things happen in the news… now more than ever with all that’s going on. Really, I just am amazed at how ugly people can be.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oh my goodness Chris! Seriously, a few months ago I did this. I do not look at my main feed at all! It is disgusting. At first I was just hiding certain people’s posts but then I decided I just couldn’t manage it. I handle my own page, I may visit a couple close friend’s pages, and then visit writing groups. The main feed is exactly at you described it… a black hole.
Social media can make people nasty. It’s unfortunate that something that unites can also very quickly tear apart.
Great, wise words here my friend.
Wishing you a lovely weekend.
Oh Jennifer, I just am so encouraged by your comment. I’m so glad you came by to share your experience and how you handle it, my friend!! That helps me tremendously!!
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I hear you, Chris. The main feed is tough. I feel like people can’t have a dialogue without being mean, and I find it disturbing that many people no longer speak up anymore because so many are so venomous. It’s sad really. A lot of times I want to comment, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
Michelle- EXACTLY!!! I’m too afraid to speak up too, for fear of just feeding the monster more. And I can’t trust that my words won’t be misconstrued. So much I see, gets me so angry or upset… it’s just horrible. I am always overwhelmed and completely disturbed whenever I scroll through it all… it gets too ugly for me to handle. And I surely won’t jump in the ring, as much as I sometimes want to. Sigh.
I’m hardly on Facebook, but have noticed that the feeds I see are positive ones, mostly from Blobby Bloggers, Mamapedia and Mom Babble. All the cream rises to the top there.
I can understand where you’re coming from though – so much of our news now is polarizing, and the noise levels rise and don’t seem to subside very easily. I even feel it on NPR.
Yes, I’m certain the news is the greatest trigger of all the hate. It tends to spiral out when awful things happen. Those lovely groups you mentioned are all sources of GOOD, I gladly soak in!! It’s a good thing you are hardly on FB, Eli. Your character doesn’t need or deserve to dive into that madness!!
Oh my sweet friend… do not ever venture into a land called Tumblr. It’s Facebook on heroin but with more hate and guttural terror. like seriously how some can go at one another over there. You go looking for something to boost your creativity or spiritual sense, or just a nice laugh: nope – Porn! even though you have the strictest filters set. It’s like you said, you have to go straight to what it is you ARE there for… and not get distracted by the train wrecking happening in the other lane.
I’ve been TERRIFIED of Tumblr, every since you wrote about it on your blog, Leslie!! That sounds like a nightmare… a horrific one at that! I hate to think of you diving into that dark hole, honey!! Be careful and cautious, okay? We don’t want to lose you now… not with all your writing juju going on!!! 🙂
Btw- I can’t wait to go over and catch up tomorrow!!! Anxious to see what ya got!! (Oh, how I just love reading YOU)
Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says
I have a real love/hate with the FB. It’s good for so many things of the blog world – connection, advice, support and I’ve fostered some real friendships there.
FB sucks. A lot. And every few weeks I find myself completely overwhelmed and disgusted by it and I have to bail. So, I understand where you’re coming from.
Enjoy the peace. I’m off to find some of my own. XOXO
I love that you get this, Lisa. I’m right there with you on all fronts.
Kenya G. Johnson says
I clicked over from Facebook so that something 😉 I know how you feel here. I am fed up with some of the stuff I’ve seen lately. I wrote an article about it on Medium just yesterday. I didn’t feel like writing it on my own blog. It’s feel easier to vent elsewhere. I’ve thought about quitting FB many times but I’ve just unfollowed some people, unfriended obnoxious others and retracted some likes. It’s how I keep in touch with family and friends because we live away from everyone and it sure made going to my 25th high school reunion easier because we had all been reacquainted. For that reason I hold on but we all have to do it our own way and I totally understand yours. For the people I’ve unfollowed I check in with one eye open something just to acknowledge a post. That may be a little deceitful but that’s what I do 😉
I love your way of handling FB Kenya!! I’m so glad you came over to read this… and give me such great input! It’s so good to know there are some ways to get around the nastiness. It’s such a great social media outlet, I hate to see it turn to madness over there. It feels a little bit like that these days…
Ashley Prendergast says
I understand everything about this post! I am with you, Facebook is not a good place for me to be right now, apart from the blog stuff I do on there…
It’s just so hard to not want to see my friend’s updates… and I can’t follow ALL of them! I used to love scrolling through FB to catch so many people’s life moments and connect with those I am just getting to know. Now, it’s just pages and ads and people I may not even be following .. just makes no sense.
For me, the blurry line is between blogging and friendships- because so many of my blogging friends are the friends I WANT to connect with over there. Those relationships are important to me…
It’s just messy. That’s all. I’m glad you get it. And sorry you get it too! 🙁
Hi Chris! I think that as blogger and writers, we can’t be chained to things that drain our energy. It takes SO much effort just to write and edit! The social media thing is wonderful and rewarding, but it can also be a life-robber. I say good for you! Do not attach yourself to things that make you crazy or negative or unhappy. Not only will it effect your mood, it effects your writing, family life and faith. Not worth it!
I hope your pulling back on Facebook helps you in SO many ways.
Thanks so much for your encouragement, Ceil!! It is helping me greatly… I pick and choose when I go on and what I want to see. It’s just sad, because I really used that platform to connect with so many new people and interact with them. I’m unable to do it as much now. 🙁
I’m so sorry, Christine! Sometimes I want to chuck my computer against the wall after reading some Facebook posts. Social media can create a terrible freedom. I’ll miss you, my dear. I like to see your likes. But you take your time and your break.
I know!! I hate HATE missing out on your pics and your updates as well as so many of our dear friends! I am peeking in and out these days… but taking LONG big big BIG breaks from it as well…
It’s helping. 🙂
Amen! I have to go on a facebook fast every now and then, when I’m feeling bloated from the yuck. I also thin my newsfeed often. Hiding anyone who posts lots of political or divisive stuff. I don’t need the hate and holier than though attitude.
Best wishes to you as you attempt to cleanse your palate!
I need to learn how to hide people… I didn’t know I could do that!! I’m starting to tweak my settings on some pages and people so that’s a start! I am going to start hiding things that are too much for me to take. Thanks for the encouragement, Robin!
Oh my gosh, this! You have expressed exactly how I feel about FB. It is such a paradox. The ulgy side of FB is one reason I love Instagram so much…it is mostly beautiful and uplifting images. However, it lacks the community I have on FB.
Headed over to FB to share this! Ha, the irony!
I love that you get this, Stephanie! I signed on to instagram and never did a darn thing with it. I shouldn’t have added one more social media outlet… I just couldn’t keep up with one more!! I feel bad I have totally neglected that one… it sounds like it’s a really lovely place over there!
Thanks for sharing this one!!! Ha! Whatarewegonnado? 🙂
Facebook is certainly not a place of peace, is it? I suppose it never will be, because.. people.
My main feed is pretty decent, actually. I do notice that people actively “like” when I post stuff about kittens, kids and food and they have said it’s because it’s a welcome break from the arguments, clickbait and other such things. It doesn’t get to me for some reason, but I can certainly understand needing a break – or permanent one – from it.
I could never leave it permanently… I love too many people over there!!! I just have to sort through the weeds of what FB spits out at me- and I’m trying to tweak my settings to filter more of the junk. Still in ‘construction mode’ over there with my involvement!
Facebook can be so addictive I must concur. As a new blogger, I have also began setting boundaries. Like no browsing when my husband is back from work etc. U are right on point..
Good for you for setting boundaries early on Matilda! Smart woman you are! 🙂
This is so true. Everybody has a strong opinion, but with so much going on in the news at the moment, people can’t help getting yucky.
Social media can bring us together, but it also tears us apart. People feel a freedom to become nasty in their comments.
I need to take a break now and again too.
I use my own writing to express myself, hopefully without resorting to judgmental rants.
I like FB for connecting with friends and also for writing purposes, but I love blogging and my own blog to stay focused and that is where I run to for comfort and peace.
Hope you can find some peace from the madness.
That is such a great way to handle it all, Kerry. I really appreciate your response!
I know a number of folks who removed the regular FB app on their phones, and instead just have the Groups and Pages apps. Helps to cut down on mobile News Feed time suck. 🙂 Hope you find your happy place!
That is a great idea. I’m tweaking my settings on FB, which may help a bit, and I rarely go on FB from my phone when I’m out. That is a boundary I try to uphold… when away from my computer- I dive into real life and let go of the screen. For the most part, I’ve been successful at this! The main reason is I stink at multi-tasking! LOL
Jennifer (MomCaveTV.com) says
I do the same! Looking at the newsfeed is getting too depressing. But I love the writer’s groups!
Writer’s groups are AWESOME, aren’t they? Oh how I love the support and friendships we can have through them… not to mention SO much information. I could spend hours in them and learning and reading the articles they share. There are some amazing writers out there, and I’m so honored to know many!
Oh, I so get this. There’s a lot of negativity and noise on facebook.
Too much… and I hate that I can’t control my feed. Hate it! If I could simply have all my friends status updates and posts they share- it would be fine. But it doesn’t work that way any more… 🙁
another jennifer says
I hear you, Chris. I’ve made it a point to rid my newsfeed of people and pages who are too negative. I also don’t accept friend requests if I don’t know the person at all. Facebook can be a great place, as you said. But we all need a break from it sometimes too!
Yeah… it’s been such an important hubb for me to connect with people and grow relationships! It’s gotten out of control, or maybe FB is showing me all the nastiness in my feed in place of the great people I WANT to see in my feed. Sigh… it’s a mess out there.
Melissa Imp says
I so hear you.
Right? Yeah… sigh.
FB is a slippery slope, for all the reasons you mentioned, Chris; sadly, it messes with my head and heart far too often. I understand your conundrum and respect the boundaries you’re putting up. I do.
For me, there’s peace in being a more isolated blogger. Sure, it would be great to have legions of fans and people dying to back a novel, but my sanity, space and self-care are worth more. They really are. For now anyway…
GOOD. FOR. YOU. Dani! I see you as a hidden treasure… deep beneath the mayhem. I believe you are one of the best writers I have yet to read out there. Your words are exquisite and your soul’s embers light them up. NO need for you to sacrifice at such a cost. Your treasure will surely be seen… your glow is too beautiful not to. You have a gift… a rare gift, my dear friend. I’m blessed to be your fan. <3
Tasia Boland says
I LOVE this. Sooo good because I was just thinking how now on my tablet facebook notifications are the first thing that pops up. I have to SWIPE away facebook just to get my tablet open to the main screen.
HOW CAN FACEBOOK DO THAT?
They have soo much control.
For that I hate it.
I hate how women want to feel connected and go to Facebook but are opened to the wounds of comparison. It’s like an open invitation to the enemy for me sometimes. I wanted to quit it too but like you so much of my traffic to my blog comes from my Facebook groups! I can’t go through newsfeed as much either but it is a constant fight to not scroll down… I am right there with ya. I totally felt all of your words to the core in this post!
It IS a constant fight not to scroll down… that’s it! YES!!! I love that you get this post, Tasia. 🙂 I hope we both can manage our boundaries and keep our peace!
Yes!! I find myself not getting into the mix, keeping my mouth closed. I’m not naive. I know most people don’t want a discussion, even those who say they do. Most people want to talk, shout, scream. They have no interest in hearing or listening. Unfortunately, my silence doesn’t mean I don’t engage and say the things I want to say… in my head. I may not end up in the throws of it, but it is still robbing my of my joy and my time. I’m trying desperately, like you, to only go to the places that nourish me and meet my needs, but it is not easy.
Oh Vicky, you expressed this so perfectly! I am RIGHT there with you. Exactly what you said.
Stacey Gill says
I KNOW what you mean. I can’t tell if FB is a blessing or a curse. I periodically have to take a break from it, too, when it gets to me & gets me down. But whenever I see something hilarious or uplifting, I’m reminded FB has a good purpose, too.
You are SO right, Stacey! There are times when I am SO glad to have been on FB- for those very things. 🙂 I can’t quit it! But I must pull away more often. It’s just too much.
This is a great idea. I may need to try this when I get overwhelmed.
It’s helped me greatly, Abby. I am still attempting to keep my boundaries throughout the summer. It’s been very helpful in keeping peace of mind!