It’s official. I’m off Facebook.
Yes, I see the irony. If you’re reading this blog you were most likely directed to it by my Facebook page. But I’m jumping ahead of myself. Explanation later.
It’s hard to admit it but I’m one of those typical males who doesn’t talk much about their depression. I consider myself a quiet guy. When I get in a funk, my wife Linda always asks “are you okay?”. Somehow that makes it worse. Maybe what frustrates me about the question is that I don’t know why I’m quieter than usual. I will tell you that going through “blue” periods is quite normal and I will “snap out of it”. But if she asks me the question now, I know how to answer…
Over the years this social platform has become so polarizing that I’ve discovered it’s detrimental to my mental health. It’s fascinating how bold people can be when posting. Much bolder than they would likely be in a face-to-face conversation. It’s also depressing to read a friend or family member’s views when they are the polar opposite of yours. I am guilty of posting polarizing memes and news articles as well. You have to ask yourself, what’s better: Knowing that you disagree so completely… or putting your hands over your ears and singing “la-la-la-la”? I don’t know the answer, but what I DO know is that it’s not good for my mental health.
I’m generally not a stressed out person. Calm is my middle name. I once had a client confess that she liked talking to me on the phone because I always calmed her down and made her believe everything was going to be all right. A graphic design/therapy one-stop-shop. But nowadays, I feel so uneasy scrolling through my newsfeed. My needle tips toward pessimist, so when I see all of the division, judgement, shaming, and meanness on my newsfeed, it doesn’t help. I’ve always viewed Facebook as a giant party with family, friends and acquaintances in attendance. People mingle and talk respectfully to each other, share photos and jokes. But when partygoers become combative, preachy, or start shaming others, that’s a party I need to leave. Here is an interesting article from Psychology Today titled “Is Facebook Destroying Society and Your Mental Health?”
I want to be clear that abandoning my profile page and newsfeed is a personal decision and I am not calling for a Facebook boycott. Facebook CAN be and is used for the greater good. There are pages that offer help and support in our community such as Pandemic Partners-Bend, United Way of Deschutes County, NeighborImpact, and our wonderful clients Mind Your Mind Central Oregon and Transition Network.
So why will you continue to see me posting?
Mind Your Mind Central Oregon works to promote daily mental health awareness. Transition Network supports young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and helps them transition to live independent lives after they graduate high school.
If you haven’t already, please like their pages and share their posts. Help them support our community and spread positive messages!