As I mentioned in a comment, I had returned to Facebook for a while. I was on there for a couple of months, during which time I felt obligated to stay in touch with family and friends due to being overseas serving as a missionary. I thought that I could control the addiction and only use it to share pictures of my young daughter. While I did an alright job of controlling what I said and how much I posted, I found that I still wasted too much time on the site. I also found that the site had changed quite a bit since I had used it last. Being away from Facebook shows one just how much the site changes versus if one just uses the site consecutively for years on end.
I found that, in order to see what my friends were up to, I had to scroll for ten minutes, past news stories and shared articles to see a few meaningful posts. Most of the posts there were just political in nature, and a huge percentage of them were depressing. I found myself feeling drained and empty after logging off. I hated the feeling, and I found that it really affected my day.
I felt dirty for using the site. I have invested a lot of time in this website and I constantly was reminded of what I was getting into by using Facebook. I wondered if I was getting anything good out of being on Facebook. I was less homesick using the site and felt that I could reconnect with some of my close family members and that was nice, but I also felt that there were old tensions arising between some of us. In fact, much of what I said was read the wrong way. I realize that when a person speaks and when a person writes the same thought down, more is taken from the writing. In fact, I have come to realize that much of my arguing with family over the last decade or so stems from things that we have written on the internet. Had, instead, we just called each other once in a while or talked when seeing each other, the amount of arguments we had would have been far, far less.
Like I said above, my biggest gripe with Facebook was the pure depressive nature of the site. One moment I would see people freaking out about some political issue and another moment everyone was literally obsessed about Kim Davis, Cecil the Lion, Sharia law, Obama conspiracy theories, and other such things that I did not want to really have a part in. I came back to be with family and friends, not to tie myself up in how horrible life could be. All people seemed to want to discuss was politics. I was told it was due to there being an upcoming election cycle. Yet, that's over a year away! Are people really going to spend over a year arguing about politics on Facebook? And, if so, are they going to say it's alright to do so because there's an election next November?! Of course they are, but it won't end when the next president is elected - there will always be political arguments on Facebook. It is not good for the brain. It is not good for our mental health and well being. It is not healthy. It really does nothing for you - yet most people seem to not be convinced. Facebook is, largely, a part of life for most, and one that I felt that I was drug back into.
A lot of my readers tell me that they leave Facebook, and I think that's great. I also know that many will go back to the site to find out again that it is not the best place for them. We are, in short, recovering addicts. Facebook is addictive. It is a long process to get away from such an addiction, and sometimes we slip up and make the same mistakes over and over again. Hopefully we learn from those mistakes and can take the time to step away and reflect over what we learned in the process.
Serious about giving up Facebook? Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.