This month marks 1 year since I left facebook. For one who joined shortly after the site began and encouraged numerous friends and family to sign up, this is kinda a big deal. For over a decade with facebook, I’ve taken a hiatus here and there. The longest may have been 40 days for lent. *Disclaimer* I still have a facebook page for the blog and I have the same for instagram and twitter. What I no longer have is a personal facebook page, and I believe that makes a big difference. Here’s what I’ve observed with having gone a year off facebook:
- I don’t miss as many important updates as I worried that I might. When it’s really important, someone still tells me about it.
- I have experienced a decrease in anxiety from being away from the site. Sometimes my husband will share a rude comment that a family member or friend made on someone’s post and I think, THANK GOD. Thank God that I no longer sign in to facebook and see this sort of thing. (In this regard, Instagram has been a breath of fresh air.)
- While still a little too comfortable with checking my phone (anyone else have phone checking OCD?), I believe that I’ve spent less time online over the past year than I would have if I had a personal facebook page. Now a days, I find when I check instagram, I leave it in a short amount of time. There’s no way that I spend an hour at a time on instagram (something I did with a personal facebook page).
I want to be clear here, I’m still someone who has room for improvement in regards to use of social media. But the difference after a year of being off of facebook is this: for the first time, I believe that I’m using social media as a tool rather than it having a ball and chain around me. I can use it without it using me up (my time and emotional well-being). I think most importantly, it’s the fact that it has taught me that you can set boundaries, you can leave….you actually can.
Do I think I’ll return to facebook? Never say never but at this point in time, I can’t see it. I have tasted freedom and it’s good, it’s so very good.
Facebook can be a landmine of triggers for those experiencing infertility or pregnancy loss. For some, signing into facebook and being hit with an imagine of an ultrasound photo or belly shot is a painful experience.
As an avid facebook user, I felt conflicted with whether or not to share with “the world” (i.e. facebook) about our pregnancy. At first, I thought it would be odd if I use facebook regularly and don’t share our news there. But I also thought about the fact that there could be someone (or a couple of people) who are struggling to conceive or grieving a pregnancy loss that may see our announcement post. I couldn’t think of anyone in particular but I’d be naive to assume that just because I don’t know = no one is struggling. Pregnancy struggles tend to remain very private even in this day and age.
So for our facebook pregnancy announcement, I decided to not share an ultrasound photo. This, instead, is what we did:
We have a special reason to be thankful.
Can’t wait to meet our little pumpkin in April!
As far as pregnancy belly shots go, I haven’t posted any of these to facebook. And I don’t plan to. People have asked to see belly shots and if I decide to share any it will be here on the blog. I figure that at least with the blog, people can decide to read something pregnancy related or skip along. With facebook, when you post a photo, it comes up in the news feed and people happen upon the photo whether they’d like to or not.
You may wonder if I feel like some of my pregnancy joy has been robbed by not sharing pregnancy related things freely and often on facebook. I’d honestly say that it hasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times where I’ve posted pregnancy items on facebook such as reaching 24 weeks/viability and how satisfied we are with our Midwife clinic. Also, a couple of times I’ve posted a link to this blog with a pregnancy related topic. And in those cases, I wonder if my sharing will sting (hurt others) or not. But overall, I feel satisfied with sticking to my no-ultrasound photos or pregnancy belly shots rule for facebook. And I try to reserve pregnancy related writing to this blog. If people on facebook wish they heard more about our pregnancy they can always come on over here!
Using social media and being sensitive to those currently in the midst of pregnancy trails can be challenging. I may not get it right every time but I will at least try to be kind and thoughtful. What about you? What are your thoughts on the topic or attempts?