Facebook Deactivation: Take One

February 5th I deactivated my Facebook account. First time. Really need the break from the constant chatter. Let’s see how this goes. Selfishly…I’m all about me right now. And I have no problem with that.

self-care

For anyone following over here (or even at Facebook…) you know I’ve been feeling ALL THE FEELS. Crowded, chatter, too much noise. Too much conversation. Too much everything.

I need everything smaller and quieter please.

Over the last two years  I allowed my account to get out of hand again and I found myself with over 1,300 people in my feed.  People I know, people I’ve met, people I want to know, people I connect with for this reason or that through this group or that. But it was too much. Facebook does a TERRIBLE job of selecting what they think I want to see in my News Feed despite me unfollowing or interacting with people, so for the FIRST STEP I went through and deleted 800 people.

That felt a little better for a few weeks until I realized that even with 400 people, I needed a break. I find myself scrolling through the feed aimlessly several times a day for what, to see if maybe someone posted? The Facebook app on my phone was showing me different content than Facebook on my laptop anyhow. And all the things I want to see, like pictures of my friends and their families? I somehow was still missing DESPITE BEING AN ADMITTED HEAVY USER.

How does it work that I see one of my friend Jen’s pics of her kiddos only when another one of my friends LIKES the photo and I see the “Stephanie likes this photo” announcement in my feed, but not the photo itself?

How does it work that I see one of my HUSBAND’S posts only after he says to me “didn’t you see what I posted on Facebook?” and I click to his profile and scroll down to see what he is talking about, DESPITE BEING ACTIVE ON THE NETWORK ALL DAY?

Boggles my mind.

MY SECOND STEP was to get rid of the phone app, it takes up WAY too much battery and I didn’t want to give them all the permissions that the Messenger App required anyhow, YET STILL DID BECAUSE EVERYONE MESSAGES THROUGH FACEBOOK instead of email or text. Myself included. And even crazier? Facebook message has become the default way I connect with HWMMS when he is (living) in his workroom downstairs. (His phone screen is currently cracked and not sure why he hasn’t got a new one, but…well, stubborn or something.) So we message through FB. Plus he can hear the BEEP from his main computer speakers no matter where he is downstairs as opposed to the wee beep of the phone notification.

I’m 1000% guilty of messaging over Facebook. In fact I would say I contacted most people, even for professional reasons, by message instead of phone or email. It just happened. But why? Why do I spend time on Facebook having a conversation that ALL THE FACEBOOK PEOPLE have access to (including advertisers) between two friends when I can do the same over text or email? I hate it.

AND THE THIRD STEP was preparing people by posting I wanted to text more and not go through Facebook to interact. And then just not posting as much for a few days. Using my BLOG and Twitter to get my thoughts out there instead. I mean for real guys, it’s not like I don’t feel the need to share things.

All this Facebook annoyance aside, the plain truth of the matter is I need quiet right now.

Every time I log into Facebook I have conversations with bubble notifications filled with numbers waiting for me. I have links people have shared with me. I have comment threads sprouting up over things I didn’t even post about. I just can’t right now. It’s not the same as “hiding friends from your feed if you don’t want to see THEIR posts.” All these posts become MY posts to manage. And while I love everyone, I really do…I can’t even log on one more time to 27 messages and shared links of recipes people think I should try or dogs I should adopt or invites to events for nail parties I wouldn’t ever consider attending. Not right now.

My own doing, don’t know so many people, don’t have so many friends, don’t be so social…yada yada yada. But that’s who I am!

HOWEVER I also am an emotional sponge, empath personality and I’ve been sitting around taking in ALL THE THINGS and FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS including my own things pushed way back into the tiny dusty corners and pretty much waking up with headaches in the morning until night. Day in and out. The stress isn’t even mine and I feel it. And I don’t expect anyone to understand or try to understand. I just know it is real, it is who I am and every once in a while I need to seriously hibernate and hide from interacting with people, even once I love. dearly.

I really, really started to notice the physical manifestations of my “oversensitive” personality last year at this same time when my cousin learned her wife was (holding back my tongue) leaving her. I swear to God I felt the pain as acutely as I was going through it myself.   I started reading, researching realizing maybe I wasn’t exactly crazy and with a friend going through a similar awakening these things started to make more sense. I just need to learn to block the negative energy from becoming my own.

How to Stop Absorbing Other People’s Emotions!

me

I haven’t learned how to do this quite yet.

Just for fun, take this test: Are you an Empath? My score? You scored extremely high on the overall results. You are definitely an empath.

You are a wonderful and loving person. You are also what is known as an “out of control healer!” You would benefit immensely from energy work and empathic tools for releasing guilt and responsibility.

I’ve documented these things time and time again on my blog, but finding this post while cleaning up the archives the other day felt, well EXACTLY SPOT ON. March 2008: My life as an emotional sponge.

Oh and then there’s the pesky funeral part. I can’t even with death and funerals. I’m not kidding. It’s painful for everyone to go through of course, but when I go to one I swear I feel debilitated and out of commission for days following. Everyone I’ve ever known who died dies again in my head and I go through all the emotions…and there has been a pretty significant amount of loss in my life, trust me, I’ve talked to professionals who have tried to “map” these things out with me while working though creating the “family tree” it ain’t pretty.

I don’t even have to KNOW the person, and I still FEEL GRIEF. And then there’s the fact that if someone I’m close to loses someone, my entire being exists to try to make THEM feel safe and loved.

Funerals. Suck. Period. But for me, who somehow has been blessed with feeling too much and being over sensitive, funerals REALLY suck. (I found this little article while browsing the topic and OH MY GOD IT IS ME. ME. ME. Me.)

So attending the funeral of my ex’s dad a few weekends ago, crushed me. I was crying all over the place when I learned of his passing. And then made me feel GUILTY because, he wasn’t my father-in-law, I shouldn’t have these feelings. Seeing Mark and his family after all these years brought me back to a loving family environment that took quite a long time for me to get over once we were no longer dating. And his papa, ah man, he was one of the greats. The good, kind-hearted family loving patriarch of a big extended family. It hit me harder than I thought.

And not gonna lie, seeing Mark, in pain, was WAY harder than I thought. We didn’t break up because we didn’t love each other…we just weren’t right for each other.

Add in the fact that I felt guilty feeling all these feels because I didn’t properly have the chance to get to know HWMMS mom before she passed away? Guilt. Sadness. Grief. Also, huh? Where is this coming from? Aw shit, it has to do with losing MY DAD TOO?  But, but that was 25 years ago! (As I posted back in 2003: Warning: Emotional, Sad Blog Ahead. )

I’m a mess, what can I say. A therapists dream. Grieving over a life I had with someone I loved and his family that I no longer had on top of the loss of a good man. And then feeling guilty about it. Yep. Quite a handful I am, eh?

Days later? Same situation, but with my own family. My mom, brother and I went to the funeral for our cousin.  For the first 15 years of my life I only had ONE BIG (ridiculous and sometimes dysfunctional) family. Both my mom’s side and my dad’s side always came together as one. Our house was the house that hosted all the family “reunions” and all our extended families and neighbors would come together. The Lahnen family were an important part of our extended family growing up, so many cousins, so many good times.

Of course as time goes on things change…and when my Gma Smith passed away and then my dad a few months later and we had to sell the family homestead and my mom remarried into another family, a year later, well, those extended cousins became distant cousins, it’s just how it goes.

Tough one again. One of the best men to walk the earth, salt of the earth, an honest, good Christian family loving man. Seeing all the cousins and family members took me RIGHT BACK IN TIME.

And then reminded me how much time has passed, and walked me back through the sadness and grief that led to all the changes.

Aside: Since the beginning of 2015, 10 friends, people I know, lost someone they love. 10. Parents. Close friends. Grandparents. Uncles. Cousins.  That seems like an awful lot, no?

And as I posted before, at the same exact time CIRCLE OF LIFE because 8 people I know gave birth.

I myself not one of them, nor one step closer to being one of them. I’m happy for everyone of course, but I’m also torn inside over MY future unknown role as a mother. Even more so in the weeks following attending funerals of large loving families who had kids who had kids who had kids. People I loved and admired and someday hoped to be able to set the same kind of example for my own family. My dreams on this particular situation have been very vivid this past week as well…a lot on my mind.

One more post about another death or another baby or another mindless anything or a question or a conversation or an invite all felt like too much.

So, I deactivated. For 27 days.

I had to log back in because I realized I did want to have access to my Facebook Blog Page to share posts. Not that Facebook shows them or people even follow, but I wanted to put it out there anyhow. So I created a simple page for just me to be the admin of my All Things Jennifer page. (And to communicate with HWMMS…)

Of course evil Facebook has now been posting this new page to “people I may know” and asking them to “be my friend” which is sort of exactly the opposite of what I wanted Facebook to do, so of course. Of. Course.

I’ll be back. But in the meantime people know how to get in touch with me. People have my number. People know my email. I’m on Twitter. I’m on Instagram. I very specifically wanted to cut out the constant chatter of Facebook not all things social. I have MUCH more control of what I see and hear and follow on these other platforms and for some reason, I don’t stroll them aimlessly for hours, I just post. Interact quickly and leave.

All I need right now is some more Peace and Quiet.  Oh and by the way, as if I needed another reason to cite why Ron Hawkins is my ultimate favorite singer/songwriter, how timely that this video for this song was released at this time? Thank you Universe.

They lie pinned beneath their memories
A million colliding destinies
Stain the street, pierce the silence
The sweet peace and quiet

This too shall pass…


Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?