I wanted to do it for myself. The only reason why I deactivated my various social media accounts was to find peace. I was sick of the drama my life had become, frustrated with the friends who wouldn’t leave me alone with their silly problems, creeped out by that guy who persistently pursued me and embarrassed I was still cyber-stalking my ex. So at 3AM (not the wisest of times), I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter account.
1. People Thought I Was Suicidal
At 9AM, I started getting text messages from friends, asking why my accounts were deactivated, was I okay, was I alive? And the messages never stopped coming. I have never been active on social media, rarely ever posting anything. Yet, within a few hours, everyone seemed to have realied I’d disappeared online. I never expected this reaction. Given how silent I have always been online, I thought I could quietly slip out without anyone noticing. I was wrong.
2. The Ex Thought I Was Being Dramatic And An Attention Whore
To add on to the drama, I received angry text messages from the ex. I was accused of seeking attention and acting like a child. He’s sick and tired of the way I have been acting, could I stop acting out.
Why and how was it that a simple act of deactivating my social media accounts becomes a determinant of my emotional state? Since I could not physically escape from people, the least I could do was make an escape from my virtual life.
People thought that I had deactivated my Facebook account because I was depressed over the breakup and harbored suicidal thoughts. I have never had thoughts of suicide in all my years of life. The ex thought I was being dramatic and trying to create a pity-party for myself. Have our lives becomes so reliant on social media that when one chooses to leave it, a wave of reactions hit? Why is one’s presence on social media so important to who he or she is in reality? Is it that important to constantly be present on social media, even a silent one?
3. I Could Finally Get Work Done
Notwithstanding the chaos I created, I refused to back down. I desperately needed a time-out. I couldn’t stand being on Facebook or Twitter a second longer. I needed to get away from the place where most of my memories are stored. On Facebook and Twitter, there sits memories of late-night conversations and promises for the future, captured smiles and photographic evidence that it was all real once. And these will always be there to remind me of a once-upon-a-time. I needed to get away.
What initially began as a plan for me to find inner peace and escape from the chaos my life soon became the reason I could finally get work done. There was no more mindless scrolling of Facebook and Twitter in class or when I was supposed to get my assignment done. I no longer had a reason to procrastinate. For the first time in years, I did not have to rush to meet deadlines.
4. I Focused On The People I Was With
I was no longer interested in refreshing my newsfeed. I was no longer interested in being checked in. I was no longer interested in taking pictures or having pictures taken. I finally could have real conversations. I was able to enjoy my surroundings and the company of the people I was with.
5. I Appreciated Life
Facebook has always been an excuse to look busy when I am standing alone in public, waiting for a friend. Instead, now I found myself with nothing to do. I began people-watching and noticing my surroundings. I began noticing how people dressed and picked up a tip or two. I noticed that lone flower blooming in the deep of the winter.
Mornings no longer began with an update of the lives of people whom I no longer care about. Instead, I could wake up and concentrate on my tasks for the day. Or notice the tree outside my window that has begun growing new leaves. I also had time to begin my day with a prayer. I could also enjoy my meals and date myself, instead of mindlessly gobbling it down while scrolling through Facebook and Twitter.
6. I Found Peace
More importantly, I found the peace I had been looking for. I had more time for myself. I had more time to read books, listen to music and discover new bands. As I began to have more time alone, I began to love myself more. Does it matter if I ever go back to Facebook and Twitter?