I am and have always been a social media fiend. And while I didn't get around to making a Facebook profile until 2009, I'd been on almost every other platform, online and plugged in 24/7. I had fallen into the trap of believing that the amount of friends I had and my overall online popularity was a sign of social success. Even when my usage of the site changed and I began focusing on promoting my modeling and art projects instead of my personal life, I was still tied to quanity over quality. Eventually, most of my interactions with people on Facebook became nothing more than a 'like', a three word comment, or a message here and there. I'd spend time watching the eruption of a heated argument between people I may or may not have known, and sometimes I'd get involved in it. I'd spend hours after hours grooming my profile to be perfect and impressive, and I'd spend just as much time stalking people that were no longer part of my life. Soon, it all started to seem like the place where I didn't really want to be.
I'd always been incredibly impressed by people who just didn't have or never used their Facebook accounts, especially when they were attractive, confident women with acute social skills. To me, they were a phenomenon, the type of person I could never wrap my head around. How could they not care about the approval from their online peers? How could they not feel irrelevant and isolated without the constant posts from people all over the country? How did they do it?!
I decided to make a pro/con list dedicated to how I felt about Facebook in general, and then how I felt about getting rid of Facebook entirely. After a great deal of thought and a little bit of research, I decided that it might be time to give Facebook a break. I temporarily shut everything down this morning, and I've yet to explode, lose any of my friendships or any vital information from people I care about. Already I feel more at ease, and my head has been a little more quiet than it normally is. I feel good about my decision, and about setting aside the silly idea that Facebook (and the way that I present myself on Facebook) is what defines who I am to others.
I hope that if you ever come to a point where any social medium is becoming toxic, unhealthy, or meaningless to you, that you are able to walk away from it with ease. I promise that even just taking a break is worth it.