My heart hurts.
It’s been been 3 months since quitting Facebook. Normally, this is not a big deal. I don’t miss it: the scrolling, the negativity, the addictive behavior I’d formed around it. Scroll, feel bad, get off, get back on, scroll, feel bad, get off, get back on, scroll….
It was bad. I’m thankful to have a spouse that helped me quit when I asked for help. Thanks to the directive episode of Smashing Security, we followed the steps, one by one, together on our date night, pressing the “Delete My Account” button at the exact same time.
Romance, for me, reached a whole new level.
I was glad to be gone. Happy to not have the pressure of accepting friend requests, feeling badly for unfollowing people, or feeling like I had to respond to every fire that has ever blazed in someone’s mind spilled over onto their feed. It feels good to be free. I no longer make up statuses in my head. I’m re-discovering the people in my life as they are and not in a stream. The FB link has finally dropped from my browsing options. And, I get to choose when to tune in to the fires. NPR is still my favorite news source even if it’s the wash up from the week known as Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.
Things are good.
Sometimes, it’s hard to feel like I exist. Granted, I’m not entirely off social media. Twitter is still a thing and it’s okay. Connections feel harder to make but I feel more free to post or not post. Respond or not. I can follow someone for a while and then unfollow them. It feels like there is room to figure things out.
But, I still know, that if I quit Twitter, the exact same thing would happen when I quit Facebook.
No one would notice.
And, it’s not meant to be. The human soul was not meant for this. It’s hard to realize that in the grand scheme of social media, a person could drop off as silent and as quick and no one would know. One of my dearests didn’t realize I had quit FB and only found out last week. I wasn’t mad at them but it did prick a little.
No one noticed.
At least, that’s how it feels.
It’s not true, by the way. But that’s how things come off.
Quitting Facebook revealed not only my behaviors toward it, but also revealed who my present friends are. And, they aren’t many. There are 5 that won’t let me die. They won’t let me sink into the void of obscurity They check in. They see how I’m doing. They share their thoughts, podcasts, stories about their lives and their kids, ideas and sorrows. They are my friends. And, I love them for helping me to exist.
Because, sometimes, I wonder.
I’m admitting this to you because I wonder if you feel the same way at times. That if you put your phone down, really put it down and walked away, would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Do you exist beyond the black screen, quick-witted words and the liked responses?
I want to tell you that, you do.
You really do.
And, I’m so sorry that we live in a world that makes you feel like you don’t.
You are a treasure.
You have a glory all your own.
You are a light.
You are the salt that this world needs.
Your voice is necessary.
Your voice matters.
Your perceptions, your experiences, your thoughts, your understanding of the world – all of it – all of you matter.
Lies are being shoved at us every day.
We don’t have to believe them.
Please don’t believe that you don’t matter. You don’t exist. You don’t make a difference.
Because here’s the thing. Facebook won’t last. Twitter, SnapChat, Insta – all of those things will probably be gone in 40 years. But, you, we need you to be around. You are what’s important.
Because you are loved.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call this number if you are feeling in distress and need help.
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