I spend my working days tethered to a computer so it’s not something I can avoid completely but I have made inroads into removing some of the distractions that impose on my leisure time.
In fact, a large part of the shift to minimalism was the amount of time I was wasting on Facebook and not only was it taking up my time, it was making me feel bad.
According to Facebook, everyone I know is wildly successful, happy, cool, and is constantly on an amazing holiday or having a fabulous adventure somewhere. But we all know this isn’t true.
Facebook is in essence a marketing tool for your life, through which you can cultivate an online brand and curate a life for yourself that from the outside can seem perfect.
Even though we know it’s not a reflection of real life, just a show-reel of the best bits, it can get you down. I felt like my life didn’t match up, that my job wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t get invited to the best parties, and that everyone else was somehow more satisfied with their life than I was.
I realise now what a nonsense that it and also that I don’t want to live in perfection and lies, where people communicate in ‘likes’ and trite comments.
I want to live in a world where I see the people I am genuinely friends with (whose number are just a fraction of the ‘friends’ I have on Facebook) and talk to them about their real lives, not their fake online lives.
I’ll admit I was too chicken to close my Facebook account down completely and instead asked Frank to change my password, which he has since forgotten. I haven’t looked at Facebook since July last year and I can’t honestly say I miss it.
The friends who send out invites via Facebook groups invite me by email or fill me in on the details, I don’t feel I have ever missed out.
Any pictures they take of our days out they email to me so I have the fun memories without the rigmarole of going online and scrolling through everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives.
I left Facebook and my social life didn’t collapse. Indeed the opposite.
Instead of spending mindless hours scrolling through Facebook I am cultivating a life that I really want to lead, not ‘Brand Michelle’. I am spending my time intentionally and with the people I care about most, the ones who like me in real life, not the ones who ‘like’ me online.