Social Question

Zakat's avatar

What is your opinion on removing yourself from social media websites?

Asked by Zakat (415 points ) January 12th, 2013 from iPhone

I recently went through a terrible break-up because the woman in question wasn’t over her ex. The guy emotionally torments her and gave her an ultimatum that confused her so badly that she decided she needed space to figure things out.

In the end, I found myself desperately wanting to strangle him for his actions—and as I was staring at his Facebook profile page, thinking of messaging him and giving him a piece of my mind…I just deleted my profile. Not deactivated, deleted.

I initially did it in anger but it has since been one of the most liberating things I think I’ve ever done. Ha.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with removing themselves from social media? And why do you think it’s so liberating?

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18 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I think a lot of people lack the ability to just walk away from things that involve their ego. Giving up on social media in the midst of an argument or an emotional battle feels like an admission of defeat, both to ourselves and to those with whom we are struggling. Walking away, however, reminds us that everything looks small when viewed from a distance. Removing ourselves from social media gives us perspective on what we once thought was so important, which in turn unburdens the ego from having to worry about it.

ETpro's avatar

@Zakat Welcome to Fluther, and thanks for a Great Question. As you grieve and heal, just keep telling yourself the old truism, “This too shall pass.” I’ve grieved enough by know to know it is true.

I have not ever killed a profile page, but then I have been married for 35 years and will soon be 69 years old. Of my three children, two boys are still alive and don’t live with me any longer. My oldest, a girl, died right after giving me a granddaughter that is her spitting image today, and now has three kids of her own. I now have not only my two surviving boys, but 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren to keep up with.

For those doing the math, the first two children and all the great grandchildren descend from a previous wife who died after my first two kids were born. Keeping up with the surviving brood would probably be a full-time job if it were not for Facebook. And I have a business I still run, so I already have a full-time job. Also, my business pretty much demands I have Facebook and Twitter pages for it.

That said, I can understand why some people might decide to not play the social media game. It does have its land mines buried here and there.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I think that @ETpro brings up a good point, albeit indirectly. We often use social media as a bizarre means of self-harm by accepting friend requests from people whose “friendship” really cannot do us any good, and we often refuse to cut out people who have proven themselves to be nothing but poisonous. Perhaps a more judicious rule of friend acceptance is in order if you decide to try again.

Shippy's avatar

Yes totally. Recently I hooked myself back up with Face Book, I added a few message systems to my phone and regretted it immediately. I did it because I wanted to be visible to my son at this time. His dad was very active on Face Book.

When he died 5 weeks ago, we could all see the last things he posted, comments he had made on our photographs. It was an inexplicable feeling. It was as though he was still alive. Plus friends started to put his face on their profile. I would get a shock, when I saw a post from “him”. Now when I search his profile it says “No such person exists”.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, I deleted myself from FB over 2 years ago after a year or so of having an account. Partly because the whole thing bored me, I could care less about reading about others little daily life blips and petty, self absorbed babble. I also dumped a friend at the time and all things considered, yes, time to jump the FB ship and set out for new horizons. Enter Fluther, far more fun, informative and stimulating than FB.

Zakat's avatar

Thank you all for such wonderful responses. I hated giving everyone the backstory, I just feel like perhaps the whole failed relationships thing is a common factor for others as well.

Personally, I’ve caught myself playing the comparison game with other people’s lives and experiences, and it often brings me to the edge of depression. I’ve felt it many times—a dark, laughing cynicism that I just sort of brood in for no reason other than because I feel like a lesser person than so many other people. I’ve always struggled with self-doubt…and I think Facebook has exacerbated many of my problems. Although of course it is ultimately my own fault.

I accept, however, that it will always remain a wonderful way of keeping in touch with friends and family. For me (and I think others) it becomes little more than a game of vanity and clashing egos. That’s the danger.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
—Steven Furtick

Zakat's avatar

Wonderful quote. In any case, the removal is a healthy one for me…because, well, now I don’t have everyone else’s highlight reel in my face all of the time.

I hate my insecurities…but I’d imagine a person without any of them would be nearly intolerable.

I think getting off of the Facebook train is helping all of my insecurities and chronic problems with doubting myself to dissipate so that I can live more normally. As someone in my mid-twenties, I’ve always had the Internet and have always been hooked in to social media. It’s funny to me that I guess I forgot what it was like before I had a FB account.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Well I think this recent question of mine sums up my feelings of being on social media sites and such.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I can’t say I’ve ever deleted myself because someone I barely knew made me mad, no, but if you feel liberated, go you.

I would certainly survive without Facebook, but I don’t think it inconveniences or interferes with my life enough to do so.

I think I’d be bored more often, that’s for sure. Facebook comes in real handy when I’m sitting outside a classroom for an hour waiting for a class to start. Staring at a wall probably wouldn’t liberate me. :)

I had plenty of bad experiences in high school that flowed over into social networking sites, but I haven’t had any issues since leaving Hell.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@livelaughlove21 It seems that checking Facebook has replaced staring into the refrigerator as the new go-to activity for when we have nothing else to do.

Zakat's avatar

Eh, I think it was less about the particular situation and more about what I was doing to myself. I didn’t delete it to keep myself from acting a fool…but because I felt like it shed some light on a deeper issue for me.

Being as real with myself as possible has always been one of my chief goals. It makes me seem irrational and crazy, but…well, if I didn’t do all of this reflecting I’d march around with an extremely damaged and unstable psyche. Haha

Zakat's avatar

And…yes. I’d like to think that I’m a functioning, rational adult now who doesn’t pick fights with other men when I feel slighted. High school and college weren’t like that for me and I certainly don’t need to start now.

I do a lot of driving aimlessly about when I have nothing else to do. My refrigerator isn’t fancy enough, nor does it typically have much in it. Haha

Aster's avatar

@Coloma I could not dump Facebook because I am again in contact with dozens of high school and elementary school friends plus my long lost nieces and nephews. That is what really matters to me; not the silly little day to day posts made by strangers. By themselves, what jokes and remarks strangers make would bore me. I now have old friends wanting to get together for reunions. I think that would be fun.
Besides; I have made new friends on FB. Not what you’d consider friends but what I consider friends and my social life. HA. Fifty million plus members can’t be wrong? Or they’re like me: too lazy to get dressed and drive to be with people. That’s the real pull of Facebook I think.

bookish1's avatar

I’ve found it pretty liberating. I removed myself from FB three years ago when I came out as transsexual and was facing a lot of harassment from relatives and false friends. It also has removed a source of massive procrastination from my life.

Fluther is a much more satisfying kind of social media for me.

wundayatta's avatar

I think dumping a social networking site probably depends on what you use it for. If you are tightly connected to lots of people and you share a lot there, then is would be debilitating to dump all that. It’s a significant portion of your social capital.

On the other hand if you really don’t have anyone who is important to you on Facebook, or if there may be a few important people, but they don’t do much on Facebook, then you might not notice the loss. As it is, I go on Facebook about once or twice a month, and I usually find even that to be a waste of time. So for me, deleting my Facebook would hardly be noticeable in my life.

That’s how I’d make the decision. It sounds to me like all you need to do is unfriend a few people and you won’t even notice the people you don’t want to run into. They just won’t be a part of your Facebook life. You can design your Facebook experience to be what you want. And I’d suggest you do that, instead of making some all or nothing decision that would throw out the baby with the bath water.

billdavis's avatar

hummm is it ironic that you dump one sight for another and then ask a question about dumping social media?!?!?!

I am FB challenged. FB sucked. Then it got worse.

ETpro's avatar

@billdavis Welcome to Fluther. Did Wundy give up on FB too and come back here?

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