My Experiences

Why ditching Facebook was the best thing I ever did for my mental health

This post is a bit of a personal one. Throughout my mental health journey, I have made changes to my lifestyle in an attempt to improve my state of mind and generally make me a little bit happier. One of the changes I made was deciding to deactivate my Facebook. I last logged onto my Facebook page on March 20th 2018. Before I deactivated,  I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without my daily habitual hour of aimless scrolling. I initially set out to go without Facebook for a month. Then this month turned into six months, then a year. I thought for this post I could explain some of the personal benefits I’ve felt to my mental health from making this decision. 

I have more time to conduct other activities

Since quitting Facebook, I have spent time doing other activities to fill my spare time. Instead of scrolling every night, I’ve taken a keen interest in reading novels. I’m finding this new hobby to be of great benefit to my mental health, as I find reading a great escape from the stresses of daily life. Having no social media also encourages me to spend more time away from the computer screen, which can only be a good thing in my opinion.

I can focus more on myself

Reading the statement above may make me appear a tad narcissistic, but I think everyone should spend more time on themselves. I used to spend most of my time on Facebook feeling sad, because my life didn’t appear as glamorous and exciting as the lives of my peers. In reality, it really doesn’t matter if you’re married, have kids or go on exotic holidays, as long as you are happy in yourself. By removing Facebook, I couldn’t make social comparisons, which lead me to focus more on my own life and how I could live it in a way which made me happiest. I think the biggest lesson I learnt was that It’s not selfish to show an interest in your own life instead of the lives of other people.

I could address my obsession with likes

When I was a regular user of Facebook, I would post a status or photo and then sit there waiting for people to like it. Reflecting back on this behaviour, I realise how unhealthy doing this was for my own mental health. If a photo didn’t get many likes, I would take this personally and it would create anxiety. But I’m now living my life to get ‘likes’ from myself. It’s so liberating to let go of the feeling that I need to live my life  in a way that gets approval from others. This has allowed me to enjoy the process of actually doing things, instead of anticipating the number of likes I will get from announcing I’ve done it on Facebook.

It changed my views on birthday messages

Another thing I got obsessed with was the number of birthday wishes I received on my Facebook wall each year. I would actively compare year upon year and it would have an impact on my overall mental wellbeing. I would get worried if I was receiving less messages and it would make me feel like something was going wrong in my life. Reflecting upon this made me realise that my feelings were completely unreal, but they felt so reasonable to me at the time.

Since quitting Facebook, I have not missed receiving all those extra birthday wishes on my birthday. There’s something lovely about receiving a good old fashioned card or even a text, it just feels a bit more genuine to me. I was definitely a lot less anxious on my birthday last year, which allowed me to enjoy and live in the actual day.

The thought of disconnecting from social media can be enough to start a panic attack for some people. I’m not telling you all to quit your social media accounts right now, as for some this may not be feasible or beneficial, but I’m so glad that I did. I truly believe that setting limits on the amount of social media you expose yourself to can only lead to positive effects on your mental well being.

So how often do you spend on social media? and do you actively gain anything positive and beneficial by spending time scrolling through each day? If the answer to the latter question is no, then maybe a lifestyle change could be just what you needed.

4 thoughts on “Why ditching Facebook was the best thing I ever did for my mental health”

  1. I keep my social media use very focused; I don’t spend a lot of time on it, and I’m very selective about who I follow. That’s made social media mostly a positive experience for me.

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  2. Kudos to you -I find myself getting more anxious the more I scroll but some days I just can’t seem to stop. I’m glad you’ve used the time away from social media to self-reflect, it’s such an important part of self care to get away from the noise and listen to your own heart.

    I appreciate social media’s power to connect us and to make positive change, however Facebook has definitely taken us the other direction IMO with all the advertising so I’m starting to shy away from it more and more. There are social sites like the Mighty which are specifically for facilitating connection and you can always curate your Instagram to see more posts that benefit your mental health.

    Thanks for the well written content, you rock 🙂

    Best
    Maria

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

      I’m definitely thinking of sorting out my instagram at some point, I’ve had enough of seeing photoshopped pictures of people I don’t even know seemingly living their best life. I have started to follow some more positive instagram people though! Particularly liking @howamifeelingg at the moment 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! I follow @howamifeeling too 🙂 I also recommend @thegoodmvmnt which is a really great (and inclusive) body positivity insta that’s helped me tremendously.

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