Often times when we are feeling down on ourselves, we compound the issue by comparing ourselves to others.
Social media, especially Facebook, only makes this worse. While Facebook has the benefit of keeping one in contact with family and friends, news feeds are often a waste of productivity and paint an inaccurate picture of what is actually happening in people’s lives. However, it is possible to deactivate Facebook itself, while maintaining valuable contacts through the Facebook Messenger. This is a why and how guide to doing just that.
Does Facebook have any value?
When we scroll through our Facebook news feeds, we see pictures and updates on everyone’s seemingly perfect lives. Of course, we’re happy for our friends and their successes in life. Their beautiful families, homes, their careers.
But when we’re feeling down on ourselves, we tend to start wondering why such success has passed us by. Why couldn’t I make my marriage work? Why am I still living in this rented apartment or with roommates instead of owning my own home? Why has my career sputtered? Why did I get in trouble, while they can keep clean? Why can’t I be as happy as them? What is wrong with me?
If you’re like me, you’ve been down that rabbit-hole of self-doubt many times.
But think about it: when you share or post something on social media, it is generally something positive about yourself. Most of us refrain from sharing the negative, even when we’re going through something serious. No one likes a complainer, right? This is called our self-presentation. The perception we give of ourselves on social media is one of positivity. Everything is perfect, my life is awesome. You probably do this, and if you are doing it, your friends are probably doing it too.
Now think about that for a minute.
If everyone is giving off a positive perception of themselves on social media, where is the negative stuff?
It exists for everyone. No matter how perfect their self-presentation is on social media, there is still negativity in their lives.
That said, many of us tend to forget this when we use social media. If you have trouble with this, try disconnecting from Facebook for a while and see what happens.
One great thing about Facebook is the messenger feature. However, this can be separated from Facebook itself. Users can actually deactivate Facebook, but stay active on Facebook Messenger on their mobile device.
How to deactivate Facebook but keep Facebook Messenger
- Log into the Facebook site on your computer; go to Settings, General and then select Edit in the Manage Account section.
- Select Deactivate Account.
- When prompted, enter your password.
- Next, you’ll have to give Facebook a reason; select any except for “This is temporary” as you’ll be forced to automatically reactivate your account in seven days in that case.
- Close the pop-up guilt-trip, and then ensure that “Opt out of receiving messages on Messenger” is NOT checked.
- Select Deactivate, and you’re done!
Note that these instructions are current at the time of this posting (updated 4/3/2018). Facebook doesn’t want you to do this, so they change the process often.
See how you feel being free from your Facebook newsfeed.
Chances are, you’ll start to feel better almost immediately. You’ll find yourself more productive, and you might start to communicate more directly with the people you care about the most. After all, when you don’t see what’s on their Facebook timeline anymore, you have to ask questions, listen and share in person to know what’s going on. Many of us are more likely to share both positive and negative in person with trusted individuals. This helps with the perception issues, showing that everyone balances with both.
Personally, I have found this to be true after deactivating Facebook and Twitter. I kept Instagram because I enjoy pictures, but even there, find myself not posting as much. Eventually, I went back to Facebook and Twitter, but found myself much less likely to even open them except to update pages and accounts related to my writing and business ventures. My personal feed? I don’t even look at it.
Give it a shot and see what happens.
Note: these steps were revalidated and updated as of April 3rd, 2018.
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