When Facebook started pushing its new Messenger app at me every time I logged on from my phone, I finally decided enough was enough.
I had just delivered our fourth child and while Facebook had been my primary new-parent tool in announcing her birth and receiving well-wishes from family and friends, I also noticed something disturbing about my log-ons.
They were slowly taking over my life.
Of course, I was obsessed with posting pictures of our new addition and gobbling up the “She’s so beautiful!” comments, even though let’s face it — most newborns all pretty much look the same, gorgeous as they are to us, their mothers. And of course, I’ve always enjoyed the excuse of breastfeeding a baby to indulge in aimless Facebook scrolling into all hours of the night.
But considering that my baby did something adorable (in my eyes) approximately every 0.4 seconds and considering she also nursed approximately every 0.8 seconds, I was spending a lot of time on my phone. I’d wake up, stumble to the rocking chair to feed the baby and fumble my hand around on the dresser in the dark for it, I’d look at it first thing in the morning and I’d never not have my phone at my side during the day.
It had almost become a point where my phone was my lifeline to the outside world, an escape from the harsh reality of being the solo adult home all day in a house full of little kids. I knew, logically, of course, that I had become addicted, but I didn’t know how to stop. I mean, it’s not like I could sit there and feed my daughter and do nothing!
In an ironic turn of events, Facebook itself gave me the answer I had been looking for. Disgusted with myself for the repeated, “Mom, are you listening to me?” frustrations lobbed my way via my older kids and fed up with the repeated demands that I download some ridiculous messenger app, a radical idea occurred to me — what would happen if I simply deleted Facebook from my phone?
Could I survive without it? Would my fingers know what to do when I held my phone without automatically clicking over to the standard blue-and-white box? What did life pre-Facebook even look like? I blearily could remember signing up for my first Facebook account, way back when the site actually was for college students, but still, eerily could not recall how I spent my days without constantly checking Facebook.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. No more temptations! No more mindless scrolling when I honestly have better things to be doing! No more “who commented on whose picture” and “invite me to play one more Farmville game and you’re dead” throes of rage! I deleted the Facebook app and immediately felt a sense of freedom I didn’t know I was missing.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said I still wasn’t “connected” during the day. Social media is here to stay and I owe a bit part of my career to it, so I’m not complaining. But I finally realized that I don’t need to be plugged in all day, every day to still enjoy the good parts about Facebook or Instagram or whatever new app will pop up.
It felt so good to delete that app and no longer feel lured to click, scroll, comment and share endlessly. Because that’s the real draw, isn’t it? There’s always something fresh, something new and something super-duper exciting just around the corner.
Except of course, that, I was missing the real excitement that was right in front of me all along. And wouldn’t you know it? My baby really is as cute as I made her out to be in all those Facebook pictures.