One of the reason why I fucked off Facebook in the first place is how it made me feel.
But first, let’s back-up a little.
When I became a stay at home Mum of three boisterous beings (all born within four years. Shut-up. Keep your ‘sausage-up-an-alley jokes to yourselves) one of the things that drove me insane was the monotony.
Don’t get me wrong.
Not the monotony of the kids. Kids are anything but dull. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they switch gears, leaving you scrambling to catch up.
Being a Mum rocks. And I should know, I’ve had a few jobs in my time. I’ve been everything from a Carnie, roaming California, sleeping under the stars, to working at a private bank, where the minimum balance for an account was 10 million.
Yet none of the jobs I’ve ever done have even come close to the trip of motherhood.
There ‘ain’t nothing like it.
But the staying at home part, when the kids are really little, is the epitome of humdrum city.
It’s the groundhog day shit like laundry, dirty dishes, and the incessant fucking housework, that no matter how hard you try and keep up, swamps you.
And before you know it, the isolation, the lack of communication with any one other than your children, beautiful as they are, becomes overwhelming.
You need contact. Human contact.
For many mothers (or indeed any one caring for small children on a twenty-four hour basis), it can stifle their soul.
Heck, it’s why in the 1950s, many housewives got hooked on a glass of wine, or valium, a.k.a “mother’s little helper” in order to deal with the tedium:
But in the new millennium, we don’t just have pills to placate us. We have social media. Social media is the new valium. I’m not the first one to think so. Mom blogger, Mary Tyler Mom even wrote a post “Facebook is the New Valium” back in May 2013:
In our modern age, instead of turning to a little bottle of pills to chill us out, mothers across the globe turn to our screens. We log on and check in to see how many people responded to our status updates on mundane days.
But the truth of the matter is this: the internet is not real company.
Sure, you may get a rush when you see that a whole bunch of your friends ‘liked’ your photo, or commented on something you wrote, but that feeling doesn’t last. It’s no comparison to sharing a conversation in real time with a good friend; swapping stories from the Mummy trenches, accompanied by a good belly laugh.
That realization that the internet is NOT real company was my epiphany this week.
The husband has been away for almost three weeks and so the day-to-day running of our loud, busy and rambunctious family has rested solely on my shoulders. The hardest part is not having someone at the end of the day to reflect with, to vent with, to laugh with at the fuck-ups.
So one evening this week I logged into my Facebook account. I was feeling lonely and craving company.
All those pictures of my family and friends a world away, did only one thing.
They made me feel even worse.
But guess what, I’m not alone. In fact, according to a Fox news report, many people find that looking at Facebook makes them feel depressed:
Cos’ let’s be honest, most Facebook posts are all about the big brag, the dream vacay, the new promotion, the skydiving trip.
No one ever writes about the shit bits, or posts pictures of themselves looking like a member of the zombie apocalypse.
But the good news is, since I’ve had this Facebook hiatus, I could recognize the ‘symptoms’ immediately.
So instead of drowning in a Facebook fear-of-missing-out and self-loathing creep fest, I did something about it.
I called my friends. I saw them. I laughed raucously and made rude jokes. And the truth is, the rush of endorphins from being with others is the best mother’s little helper.
It doesn’t compare to peering at a screen, passively watching the edited snapshots of peoples lives.
I’m so pleased that I began this journey, abandoning my computer screen and trying to get more out of life.
Sure Facebook is a way of connecting, but so is meeting in person, firing off a letter or picking up the phone.
Yifof is the way forward, for me at least…would you try it?