In June of 2012, I deleted my Facebook account. After years of having one--I was a fairly early adopter, after all, having jumped on board in 2004--not having near-instant access to almost every single person I'd met in my life was disconcerting. I didn't have blow-by-blow accounts of break-ups, I wasn't aware of whose sports team was winning what game ... I even missed the birth of one of my best friends' daughter. I was in an information void. And it was lovely. I thought that I would miss Facebook, but it turns out that if I really needed to hear something, someone would call me or send me an email. (Or, gasp and shock, tell me the next time we spent time together.) I had more free time to build this new blog, to polish stories for publication, to visit family, to travel. I was living life. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to change, grow, and evolve without the constant supervision and/or judgement of my social network.
Sometimes, we forget that we all just need to step back, relax, and let life happen. Goldfish don't grow if they stay in the same-sized fishbowl; how can we expect a different outcome for ourselves? In order to evolve, we occasionally need to take a break from the world and tune in to ourselves.
I'm now back on Facebook, and I'm finding that I appreciate it more. I enjoy being able to catch up with some old friends, but I no longer feel obligated to partake in pages-long conversations. If someone is generating annoying notifications in my feed, I unfollow them. I spend a few minutes a day connecting with a handful of people 2-3 times, and that's it. I now have balance and perspective.
This post was modified on May 29, 2015.