14 April 2018 – It has been a year now, I guess more than that may be. Today I have decided to break the silence.
The person you see me as today, I wasn’t the same around 12 months back. Let me tell you the story of how all that sweet bitter thing happened.
It was the summer of 2017. The summer heat was piercing everyone’s skin and the heat of pain was piercing my soul.
When the sun was roaring fire dry and my thirst was unquenchable, is when I decided to end it, once and for all. I had it all and I had it enough of the attachment, addiction which got me nothing but self-pity, jealousy, insecurity. Rather it cost me my valuable time and energy.
And so I made a decision. Though it was an extreme decision, it wasn’t so hard. I had prepared myself for that day. I went through bouts of disconnections a several times and getting back together. I had tasted the pain a few times. So by then I was partially ready for “The” day.
I decided to take the bitter pill, chew and gulp it down my throat, let it break down in my stomach, get absorbed in every tissue of my body and relieve me of the pain I had been enduring for so long.
I still remember those days. My day used to start and end with him. Whenever I felt lonely, he was just a phone tap away. But more than a relationship it had turned into attachment, addiction, dependency entirely from my side which was not even close to mutual.
It was like I was bitten by a leach, it sucked out happiness, peace from my life and by no means did it know to add love, compassion and security in my life. I always found myself comparing my life with other, expecting happy moments to knock on my door. Sadly, it wasn’t bound to happen.
Even then I was unable to get rid of the pain or rather I didn’t have the courage to do so. I felt this toxic relation is what I deserved.
I was a coward until I was in the free fall, but the day I hit the ground the small crack in my soul made the way for the sunshine to enter. And so finally I decided to restore peace in my life, to give my life a positive direction, get myself detached from the addiction and dependency for pleasure and feel-good moments.
I opened my laptop, logged in to my account and deactivated my Facebook account.
Yes, you heard me right, I de-activated my FACEBOOK account.
It’s been a year now I haven’t turned back (Though I didn’t delete my account because of all the photos that I got to download.)
The addiction to FACEBOOK was overwhelming. I find no shame in admitting here that I was amazingly addicted to FACEBOOK and the infinite scrolling of the FACEBOOK wall. I used to read several suggested web links that were “Good to know facts” but were better left unread.
I used watch my friends travel to exotic locations. They always had those perfect clicks which made me wonder if they took along a photographer as well. You see not every passerby, whom you request to click, can be good at it!
Some of my friends had moved to different geographic locations for their higher education. However for me sitting for even 1 hour and studying was quite demanding.
Every other person was getting into a perfect relationship which was feeding them eternal love, support and excitement. Every other school going kid had found their friend for “Forever” and I was here googling how many years or rather months does “Forever” lasts.
Some of my friends who were getting married had their pre-wedding photo-shoot done and some were gearing up for their post-wedding photo-shoot too. Facebook profile picture, cover photos (do they still call it cover photo?) were changed.
A few were celebrating 1month Anniversary, 6 month anniversary. There were some innovative minds who were celebrating 50Days or 100days of togetherness. And I was always curious if they took the working days-non working days in consideration of the count.
There were few wives who had “the world’s best husband”. Somethings that I missed is “World’s best wife” post. Guess none of my friends got one! “Giggle”
Well the list goes on. While I was liking and commenting “wow”, “congrats”, “so cute” etc. etc. I was questioning myself what is this doing to me.
My mind compelled me to think and decide how this is contributing in my quest to success and a better life. While I was in the pursuit of the answers I was stumbled upon a couple of videos which showed how social media was affecting our brains and increasing the rate of depression. My brain was no exception here to escape the effect of it.
Facebook or rather I would say Social media was portraying an “Ideal life” of people who in real life weren’t living so “ideal” life.
When I spoke to some of my married friends I found that they had trust issues. They go holidaying, upload those happy couple pictures, but at the end of the day they had trust issues. Some who posted that they married the most beautiful girl were still admiring their ex-girlfriend’s lips.
Those who spoke about their strong relationship were often jealous, insecure and emotionally unavailable for the other.
The friend who was pursuing higher education was finding the syllabus tough to cope up and was gradually losing interest. However the pursuit had to continue considering the pressure of the big fat loan.
Few of the people travelling to exotic places did so because of the below reasons
- Enough money that enabled travelling
- To create memories (to click pictures, upload them, get the “wow”, “amazing”, “you lucky one” comments that add to the feel-good factor)
- Some distant friend or relative traveled to that location.
- There were just bored of the mundane life.
- All the above.
Few people travelled to discover the place, the nature, the culture, for photography and to discover their soul.
And while I was contemplating this, I ran into a college mate of mine. Her question startled me, she said “Do you work? I wonder when! Cause I every time see you travelling”
That question made me reflect on my life, rather my Facebook wall.
Well I do travel, to some non-expensive places, far or close within India. But that isn’t that often. Every now & then I used to edit and upload the pictures on Facebook with ever interesting caption (even though sometimes the places weren’t so interesting). So I place no blame on my friend for asking me that question. How would she know, right?
People see and believe the visual which is a far cry of the actual life. This leads then to the judgement of life – ours and the rest of the Facebook friends.
I don’t assert that we are oblivious to this. We are indeed consciously aware of what we are doing. But the fear of leaving FACEBOOK (the fear of being lost in the crowd, the fear of getting disconnected or becoming dormant in Facebook life, being forgotten by friends) is one reason that makes a person thrive and survive on FACEBOOK.
So getting back to the point. I found myself wasting majority of my time and energy in commenting, liking, replying to comments and liking the replied comments.
And more enormous amount of time was spent on reading unnecessary news and articles. So I decided. I put my car in reverse gear, went back a few yards, put on the 3rd gear and zoomed on a different road never to turn back to this so called “Socially enthusiastic community”.
I thought I will be missed by my friends and they will ask me why I left. But to my surprise some of them still don’t know (or until they read this article) that I don’t exist there anymore. I’m a distant lie on FACEBOOK now.
And while I’m saying all this, there will be few among you who will argue that they never felt self-pity or judged someone based on their FACEBOOK profile. But hold on honey, this is the story of my break-up and what all emotions I went through. If you never felt these emotions then “cheers to you” because “you are awesome”. Yeah, I mean it, no sarcasm here.
Deactivating Facebook was followed by few days of anxiety. Anxiety because of the ample of time at my disposal and not knowing what to do about it. But having the right people around me at that time, my universe was restored to harmony.
I used my “precious” time to do stuffs I wanted to, this time was filled with more focus because I no longer had the itching to “pick the phone, open Facebook and scroll”.
My focus shifted from the outside to the inside. I started reading voraciously, May it be online or offline, home or office or in the cab. Whenever and wherever I found time I read. I worked on my writing skills.
I resorted to Meditation, utterly grateful here to that friend of mine who introduced me to Meditation.
I joined swimming just to get over my hydrophobia. I joined yoga. I started studying and working towards my goals.
I became more positive and emotionally independent. I started valuing my time and my priorities.
I started living in the moment (with no check-in to do on FACEBOOK followed by checking likes and comments on that check-in)
Life now is devoid of unnecessary emotional clutter.
You might ask me “all this cause I left FACEBOOK?” Well then my naive buddy! You didn’t get the essence of this subtle act.
When I left FACEBOOK, the unnecessary emotional and social jargon left my brain thus creating space for creative and peaceful ideas to build a peaceful life that I have now. I’m extremely happy about this change I got into my life. Who knew then a breakup could bring shining stars in my life? And who knows now if another breakup (Instagram??) will light up galaxies in my life?