You’re the reason I’m unhappy (an open letter).

sad woman
I know happiness is a choice, so I know I should be able to be happy regardless of what you say, but you certainly don’t make it easy. To be honest, sometimes, I can’t. Do you know how hard it is to be happy when you’re spewing hateful words at me? When you criticize my every opinion? When you attack me? When you insult the very core of who I am? I can’t help but be upset by that. I can’t help but get frustrated with you when you are blatantly disrespectful.

I can’t help but be ashamed when I compare myself to you – to your immaculate house, to your always-clean child, to your successes that bring to mind my failures. You celebrate your ability to make every meal, every ingredient, every household item from scratch. It’s not that those are bad things – it just simply reminds me that I’m not able to. I don’t see how you have time to do those things when I feel good about getting a shower and keeping my kid fed each day. I know competition robs me of my joy, and I know you aren’t try to compete with me, but I can’t help feeling like I’m falling behind you sometimes. Don’t get me wrong – there are some things about you I do like. I love watching your children grow up. I love celebrating with you when you achieve a goal. I love those crazy little random thoughts you have and the jokes you make. I like how you make me examine what I believe. I like how you bring connections to my life that I might not otherwise. And to be honest, I know that I can’t live without you.

But despite all those good things about you, the bad things are starting to win. I spend too much time with you – and I know it. I allow myself to get way too frustrated with you. I allow you to breed unhealthy relationships in my life.

That is why, dear Facebook, I’m stepping back. It’s not necessarily you – but it’s not really me either. It’s the people behind your screens. It’s the fingers behind your keyboards. You see, Facebook, you’re only a tool. You’re just a computer program. You’re not evil; you’re not good. You just are. And you are what is put into you. Because of that, I’m stepping back. I’m rethinking my approach to you. Before you, I only had relationships with people that I sought out to have a conversation – whether that was in person, through email, through instant messenger, or through text. The way you are designed, though, people can offer opinions (and hurl attacks and insults) when I never sought them out for their opinions. That’s not healthy for me. I admit – I have an unhealthy need to feel loved. I want everyone to like me. I want no one to be mad at me. Through you, I let those faults of my own take control to an unhealthy point, because people are going to get mad at me. It’s inevitable, given how passionate and opinionated I am! I shouldn’t care whether everyone loves me, because the people who matter the most to me love me.

So goodbye for now, Facebook. Oh, I’ll still see you around. I have to get on to check my work page, if nothing else. And I’ll come back to my personal page eventually – but I won’t be spending so much time with you. I won’t let those unhealthy relationships remain. I won’t let you drag me into an addiction that makes me ignore the people I love. These are my boundaries, Facebook. I hope that we can still be friends.

______________________________________________________

Do you ever feel like social media is taking over your life? I do. I’ve been thinking for awhile about stepping back from my personal Facebook page (and right now, I’m a little proud of the fact that the only social media accounts I have are for Facebook and Pinterest). I really have been letting it suck me in too much. I’m ignoring my loved ones while I’m focused on my phone, reading through my newsfeed filled with statuses and pictures of people I like, but who aren’t as important as the people I’m ignoring. I’m tired of the bullying that so easily happens through Facebook. (Why does the addition of a keyboard make it so much easier for people to be hateful?!) I’m tired of allowing myself to feel ashamed because someone else has achieved what I want but don’t have. Therefore, I’m unplugging a bit. I’m stepping back from Facebook. I don’t have a timeline for it. I may come back in a week and see how I feel. I may wait a month. I may never reinstall the app on my phone. We’ll see. All I know right now is that I’ve been hurt too much through Facebook. I grew up being told that if something is tempting walk away from it; if something is hurting me, cut it out of my life. Well, in today’s world (and especially because I have a Facebook page for my job), I know I can’t totally cut out social media – but I can certainly cut down it’s influence on me.

I encourage you to evaluate where you are with social media. Do you need to unplug for awhile too?

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