Leaving Facebook

Two people I deeply respect left Facebook earlier this month, and I although I liked their reasons for leaving, I was in no way ready to follow their lead. I heard them saying things like, “I’m going to deactivate my account so I can activate my life”, and “I feel like I am putting my work on hold as I spend my time on Facebook watching others do what I want to do in the world”.

When I heard them discussing their bold departure, I was not yet ready to face the hold that Facebook had on me. I could hear these messages circulating in my brain:

I need it to stay in the loop (ha)
I need it for my work (ha ha)
I need it to stay connected (ha ha ha)
I can quit anytime I want to (ha ha ha ha)

The truth was that it was an addictive habit that had a hold on me. I’d been feeding this habit for much too long and it was a seductive place to distract myself from what was really going on around me, my work, and real, authentic connections. It was also sucking the life out of my creativity and my ability to hear my internal cues.

I had to really dig deep to find the courage to even begin to examine the reality of what was happening. Then suddenly as if a breeze of change just caught me at the right vulnerable moment, I knew it was over. Out of nowhere, I suddenly realized that I too needed to deactivate my Facebook account. I realized that my work, my creativity, and my intuition were more important than my distracting addiction.

When I finally made the decision, it was over in a heart beat and the drama of it all felt so silly. It reminded me of something I once heard Tony Robins say about change. He said change is not hard, all it takes is deciding, and deciding can happen in a second. He said that is is the lead up to the final decision that is the hardest part. This is exactly what I experienced. It felt familiar, and it reminded me of the moment in my life when I decided to leave my policing career many years ago. It took tremendous courage to listen deeply to the voice that was clearly telling me to move on. When I truly listened and acknowledged that inner wisdom, my decision was made and I was done. I didn’t look back, I didn’t fret, I just acted from a deep place of knowing.

I gave it a few days, not the full week I orginally thought I would because I felt compelled to get it over with. I got ready to “deactivate” and surprisingly felt quite a bit of tumultuous energy in my body. It was just like that feeling of getting ready to break up with someone you are just not into anymore who really likes you.

Facebook got all dramatic on me after I hit the deactivate button by showing me photos of friends who would “miss me”. The manipulation left me feeling confused: should I confirm my deactivation or go back to my “friends”. After all, I don’t want to make them sad. I almost fell for it and had to stop and focus once again on why I was doing this. I did some deep breathing and the discomfort quickly passed. I confirmed my deactivation and felt liberated. I felt like I’d suddenly woken up from life in Lego Land and it was time to get some real furniture.

Facebook fed me for a long time, but not the real me, the insecure part of me that was hooked on external validation. Now I’m feeling a deeper sense of internal focus, more than I have felt in years.

I know that the cookbook I’ve been talking about producing for so long is now just around the corner…as is the ebook I’ve been working on for a little too long. I’m opening up to more speaking engagements, workshops, cooking classes, retreats and more. It’s the first time in my life I’m not planning the entire journey, instead I’m making space for it to unfold organically. This would have been impossible for me even six months ago, but the acceleration of openness and growth I’m feeling right now is astronomical, and it has created the space for so much more — for being instead of doing, and for trusting deeply in who I authentically am.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Ruth Steinberg

    Deb, a beautiful and thoughtful piece. So glad this move has re-energized your creativity and passion! Much love

    • Deb Gleason

      Thank you Ruth! Much love right back – and Francis sends a special dose of love to you.

  • Vibeke Vale

    I love that you have left Facebook. I think about doing it too and just really concentrating on my business as a promoter of a plant based diet. Until now though, I am still there.

    • Deb Gleason

      I can tell you a week later I am more thrilled than ever with my decision. It’s funny but I don’t even think about Facebook anymore even though it was such a big part of my life for so long. I just it was just truly time to go. I am so excited that you are brining your light and energy to a place that the world, the animals and people need so much right now.

  • Michael Calvert

    Any plans to be in the Ottawa area this June? Veg Fest is June 4-5. Let us know.

    • Deb Gleason

      Thanks Michael, I will certainly keep that in mind and if the stars align I will let you know!

  • Rachel Heft

    Deb, I’m thrilled for you. This was definitely the right decision. However, I came searching for you on your blog because I missed seeing you on Facebook! So Facebook isn’t totally misleading you when it says that you are missed. I know, I know, how counterproductive of me to tell you so! But it’s true! I think the one benefit of Facebook was a regular reminder of your work and great ideas, whereas now I have to go looking for it. I wish there was a way to upload your blog posts directly to a Facebook page so that others could see it without you being sucked in to the time-energy-life-sucking force that Facebook can be. (Well, other than seeing cute photos of my children, which is the only other positive point of Facebook. Right? Right? Bah ha ha! OK, not really…) Miss you!

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