I recently deleted my Facebook account.

I did this for a variety of reason, but to summarize I just felt like it was a net negative on my life. It drained so much of my time and emotional energy, and didn't really give me anything in return. It wasn't an impulsive decision, either. I've flirted with the idea of quitting Facebook for a while now, and have suspended my account on several occasions. What I consistently found was that my mood in general was improved after being away from Facebook for a few days. But, in each case, I eventually logged back in to catch up on what was going on with friends and family.

Then in November of this year, around Thanksgiving, I was feeling pretty low again, and found that I was falling into this almost neurotic pattern of checking Facebook and other social media accounts every few minutes. I felt numb and enslaved. Every time my phone would vibrate, I'd hastily check to see what was trying to get my attention. To break out of that, I did a few things. First, I just signed out of all of my social media accounts, so it wasn't trivial to look at them. Second, I turned off all notifications on my phone except for phone calls and SMS text messages. I resolved to just not look at or think about any of it for a while.

Within a day or two, I felt calmer. I started reading actual, physical books. I was paying better attention to my surroundings. It felt good.

Fast forward a month, and I was slowly slipping back into the neurotic habit of slavishly checking my messages and news feeds. I was starting to feel low again. I won't go so far as to say that Facebook made me feel low. Maybe there are other factors, and the slippery slope back into social media was a coping mechanism. I don't know. But, I did know that whether or not it was the cause of my poor emotional state, Facebook was doing nothing to improve it, and was probably making things worse.

So, I decided to go a step further than suspending my account. I went into Facebook and downloaded all of my data. Every post, comment, photo, video, like. Anything I had put into Facebook, I saved, using their download account content feature. Once that was done, I announced to everyone on Facebook that I was leaving. A day later I deleted my account. It was surprisingly easy to do, once I had committed to it.

I'm a busy person in general, so I wouldn't say that eliminating Facebook has given me huge amounts of time, but it is freeing me a little to direct my focus at more constructive activities.

I don't want to completely divorce myself from the digital world, because it's the sphere in which I do my work. It's beneficial to my career to remain entrenched in the digital. But, what I do want is to have more control over my digital presence. I still want an outlet, which is the purpose of this blog.

It's still nascent, for sure, but I have an ocean of creativity simmering inside me.