26 Feb How I Lost My Self on Facebook

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JUAN SAYS: Sisa Zaragoza shares her life on and off facebook and how being on social media has changed her life for the worst. Yes, even the best fall down sometimes. Even those whom we think has it together falls apart. And that is perfectly fine.

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By Sisa Zaragoza

A recent bout with depression has made me decide to take myself out of social media. “It is not helping,” I told my friend as I hurriedly deactivated my facebook account just like that. It has been a good number of years that I have made myself active on the biggest social networking portal in the planet today. Every day, I posted, photos of myself, quotes that I liked, and the activities I do. Every day I developed a habit of scrolling down my timelines to check on what other people are doing, saying and posting. But on that day, with hands trembling and my heart racing, I did the unthinkable. I went off the grid so to speak.

“It was liberating,” I exclaimed as my two partners in JUAN asked how was I doing considering the depression and being off of social media. I no longer felt the desire to stalk other people’s timelines, I no longer felt the need to update myself with exes and check until when will they fuck up their lives, and I no longer felt the urge to post. As one of my cousins have pointed out in my recent conversations with her, “NOBODY CARES!”

Nobody cares about our drama, our thoughts, what we think about life nor what we think about other people’s lives. Nobody cares about what we do, what we can do. And really nobody cares about what we think is right or wrong.

The Things We Post

Let’s be honest, the very core of our postings on facebook is to show the world who we are. It is to share with the world what we are up to, what we can do, who we are today and what we have “accomplished.” As I turned 40 in 2016, the glimmer of showing the world “my stuff” has already lost its shine. It is not as enticing as it was, say when I was in my 20s when I still needed to prove something to people – frenemies, family and yes, even to myself. The posting then was a constant reminder of who I have become and where I am at that point. It served as a marker for people to remind them that hey, I fucking exist. At 40, I guess, everything changed. I wanted to be free. I wanted to do things because I wanted to do them, not because I had to prove something to other people. Posting on facebook has lost its shine.

I am no longer bounded by the number of views nor the number of likes nor comments that I get for every post that I make. I am no longer bothered if people had a different opinion of what was in my head, and I no longer need the validation of people by their constant stalking of my timelines.

And so I thought.

As stable as I thought I was, being off facebook has taught me one thing, I have lost my self (yes, it is spelled correctly), on facebook. I became addicted to the number of likes, the number of views on my videos. Indeed, as one of my editors has lovingly mentioned to me, I have let my posts of the things I do, the things I say, define who I am. And it has triggered much of this episode of depression that I am going through.

I have started to compare my life journey with others. Heck, I have started to compare my performance on the things I love to do with others, and indeed succumbing to this social media culture has fucked me up… big time. I have lost my marbles. I have lost the essence of why I used to love the things that I do – my writing, my dancing, my life’s passions. I needed to be reminded that this was my story, my journey, and I will take whichever road I wanna take.

Posting videos on facebook have reduced me to a social media whore, refreshing my timelines to see how many have viewed them, how many have liked them, and sadly, I became particular on who took the time to press the like button. I confined myself to the approval of others which clearly, I was not that, to begin with.

We wait for other people’s approval thinking that they have become higher authorities on our lives. And them, not hitting the like button, said something is definitely wrong with us. And that, as I took a step back from social media, is indeed the MOTHER OF ALL FUCK UPS.

I have believed that my sharing of my opinion on facebook was to give another perspective in life. Reading other people’s thoughts, I thought, gave me a fresh perspective in mine. But really, who has a grip on life? NOBODY. We are all mere travelers, and how we process perspectives is NOT exactly our core competence. We already know the right perspective. We have been brought up to know what is right from what is wrong, and that is our moral compass. Other people’s opinions have sent our moral compass to different directions, thereby we have lost our true north.

Take the case of the Leni Robredo’s alleged cheating during elections. We have seen people saying that it is okay if Leni cheated because the victim was Bong Bong Marcos. If we got a grip of our true north, we all know that CHEATING IS CHEATING regardless who is the cheater and the cheatee.

The same sun rises and sets on the good and the evil. The same rain falls on the just and the unjust. Yet we have adjusted our moral compasses to accommodate other people and what they thought. But the truth is wrong is wrong, it is not subjective, it isn’t relative. CHEATING IS CHEATING. KILLING IS KILLING. BULLYING IS BULLYING. KABIT IS KABIT. PERIOD.

I am not a business, I don’t need to rub it in other people’s faces what I do, what I think and what I believe in. I don’t sell myself for a living. I don’t sell my thoughts for a living. I have turned out to be that very thing which I have always been totally against – yes, I became that social media whore that needed validation from others. And as I tried to look at myself in the mirror, facebook has turned me into something that I never even liked before.

I felt lost as I continuously scrolled down my facebook timelines. The deafening voices of people who didn’t actually make sense have started to evade my thoughts. And I was silenced, for the first time in my life I was silenced. Nalito ako kung ano na ang tama at mali. Nalito na ako kung ano nga ba ang acceptable at hindi. My voice was slowly drowned out because other people were louder, and more and more fanatics were believing in what they said. I lost my voice, my mojos. And that to me was heartbreaking.

People are loud on facebook. People feel the need to comment, to respond to every comment and to give their piece of their minds, just because they think they can. And the louder it all screamed, the more confused I got. True, it gets the better of us sometimes. But when I took myself out of facebook, I have realized that not because other people’s voices are louder, does it mean that it is right. Louder voices are oftentimes the more insecure ones. I know, because once upon a time, I was the loudest voice on facebook too.

To air what I think and feel was a façade, a make-believe edifice of what my life ought to be – well balanced and happy. But truth be told, I was deaf to my own voice, my own loudness that I have failed to see that I was miserably unhappy with the things I do. Thus, it triggered the inevitable bout of depression.

My Life Off The Grid

 Today, I continue to live a free life away from the influence of social media. I no longer feel the need to post on my personal social networking sites. If people wanted to get in touch with me, they all know my number. If they want to read my thoughts, I have my website for that. And if they want to see my legs on spread eagle, I apologize but that is reserved for the man I will marry. I am done with being a social media whore. I am done with posting on social media for now. And today I understood fully what someone dear to me has pointed out: “hindi lahat ng bagay kailangan ipangalandakan.” OO nga naman.

I do not wish to compromise the freedom that I enjoy by looking at other people’s timelines and seeing their comments on my wall. Really, I don’t need that. I do not wish to spend another sleepless night just digesting what other people meant by their posts. My life is none of their business, and their posts are theirs. I have better days now. I have more time doing the things that I love to do. My creativity is no longer dictated by what trends on facebook. I am back to my normal untainted self-righteous fucking bitch self. But then again, who the fuck cares!

I have more time on my hands to write pieces that need to be written, to focus on my work, and to run after my dreams. I am no longer bounded by other people’s opinions, I have my own, and I think my voice is enough. Loud or soft, it is enough.

I no longer have the urge to check other people’s timelines, nor watch them as they fuck up their lives from year to year. Who are they convincing anyways? Us, the audience, or themselves? It no longer interests me. Their lives no longer interest me. Life has become free-er, better. And being off the grid has done its wonders. You should try it, just to see if you can stop yourself from being another social media whore.

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