View this post on Instagram
Lately, I’ve noticed a few of my Facebook friends leaving the platform.
They’ve cited dissatisfaction with the vibe of the community, among other things. I don’t blame them one bit and applaud them for doing what is right in their experience. I’ve also considered jumping ship.
My reasons are mostly the following:
1. I don’t agree with the organization or its founder on, well, anything.
2. It seems to be a haven for trolls and people who feel they can say anything to anyone.
3. FB has become highly polarized and politicized. (But that speaks to how we use it as well.)
4. The drama is just too much. For instance, people posting cryptic notes meant to activate everyone to ask what happened. Or, posting their views with a challenge for everyone who does not agree to unfriend them. And then there are the angry comment debates. Who needs this? No one.
So why don’t I just delete my profile?
Over the last six years, I’ve built a good-sized community where I post my Elephant articles, daily-moon oracle updates, and built my business through these shares. I care for this community. I know I am of service and have put a lot of effort into connecting with humans who seem to genuinely appreciate my words. As much as it would be easier to post only on one app—Instagram for instance—I know that I would regret abandoning this work and these folks.
Last year I did make the decision to cancel another page I was running. I’m also allowing myself to gently ease out of a group I’ve run for several years. It felt good to draw in some energy and honor feelings of overwhelm and social-media fatigue.
I’m finding ways to make FB more friendly to my point of view. I’ve told myself that I will continue to listen to myself as to when it may be time to leave, but until then I will do this:
1. I don’t engage with anyone who wants to argue.
Conversation, yes. Differing points of view, absolutely. Agitated argument. No, thank you.
2. I’m careful about my “friendships.”
If in my body I feel something dissonant about an online friendship, I honor that messaging.
3. I curate the experience I am having.
This means I take responsibility for how I interact on there. I can choose what, who, when, why. No complaining about this or that person or situation. If I don’t like it…I move on.
4. I’m careful about posting only when I have something to say that I feel is meaningful.
I’m not going to post for the sake of algorithm or a sense of accomplishment. My page grows a little slower. But my emotional well-being is booming.
I don’t and can’t agree with everything that social media represents, but I protect my nervous system and thoughts while using it by being present to why I’m there and how I can make it a better platform. If my shares add to the community in a thoughtful way, if I take away what feeds me, then I have “used” the platform in a way that doesn’t drain me or others. That’s my intent anyway; I’m sure there are days when people scratch their heads and wonder what I’m on about.
Just like I curate my movie or YouTube watching experience, I curate my social media. No platform will ever live up to all our expectations. I don’t even believe they are meant to. I think it is up to us to create our own well-being within them. That takes practice, at least it did for me. Making these small changes has helped me to find my place in a time when we depend on online connections to work, learn, and make conversation.
Mostly, I feel into how scattered my energy is and consciously call it back to me. This is grounding for my soul and my human. Feeling unsettled after social time? Try sitting with eyes closed and imagining pieces you left in conversations or too much scrolling returning to you, clear and whole. Rub your hands together, connect with your body. Eat something yummy. Stretch your arms behind your back. This little ritual can bring much-needed balance.
I hope this is of benefit to you.