August 16, 2015

Why I Quit Facebook

Sunrise in Umbria - Italy

I've been back from my family vacation in Italy for a week now. I've adjusted to normal life again, although my kids and husband still have time off from school and work. Of course with my own little business to run I started working again this week, but since I love my work it doesn't feel like a burden.

Italy was beautiful. A little too hot for my taste maybe, so if I ever decide to go back again it will be in Spring or Autumn. I mean, temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees Celsius are a little too much when you are the type of person that likes to see a little more than the swimming pool. We made a trip to Rome with the kids, but although the city was beautiful, there were just too many tourists around to really get a good look in this kind of heat. So if you ever plan a trip to Rome, don't do it in the middle of Summer season!

The heat had one advantage though: it forced me to do nothing and just enjoy the surroundings I was in. We were staying at an old farm house on the border of Tuscany and Umbria with my parents in law, my brother in law and his girlfriend and our own little family of four. The garden looked out over rolling hills and a big mountain and was full of animals that we usually don't see over here in the Netherlands. And since the internet connection wasn't the best, it forced us to live without being constantly online. And what a relief that was!

I thought I wasn't really an internet addict since I only had a Facebook account which I rarely updated. But I was checking it a couple of times a day to see if any of my friends updated their statuses. And checking news sites became second nature as well. All in all it does take up time. With not being able to check into Facebook as much as I would here in Holland, I began to notice how addictive these social media sites really are. And how much social pressure they actually cause (at least with me). 

While I told myself it was very nice and social to keep up with all my friends and acquaintances via Facebook I also felt the pressure of a site like Facebook. Most people only share their success stories on there, and with me being an introvert and not sharing much, it often made me feel like a dull and uninteresting person. 

I also noticed that I got annoyed by the posts of some people. You probably know a few of them yourself. The ones for whom Facebook is one big ME, MYSELF and I show. They share a status update with selfie at least five times a day. I was often wondering where they found the time to post these things while they were having such a busy life. But of course it's not their fault. I should have done something about it myself much earlier and during our vacation I realized I didn't miss Facebook at all. After all, the real connection to my real friends is in the heart and during real conversations and meetings. My life really got better without the constant background noise of social media.

So, I did a radical thing when I got home. I closed down my Facebook account. And I stopped checking news sites. I'm left with more time now which I hope to spend on things that are more meaningful to me, like listening to interesting pod casts or read all the books that are still on my to-read-list, or just plain old family time... 

If you've been a reader over here for a while you might have noticed that I never had a business Facebook account for The Dutch Lady Designs. I know that this might not be the best marketing strategy for my business, being absent from social media, but I want my work and business to feel exciting. It should never become a burden. And I know that if I have to keep up with a business account for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it would become one. And no one benefits from that, not me, but certainly not my clients.

Fortunately I don't worry too much about missing out on business opportunities. I have the strong believe that even if we choose to do things in another way than most people, things still will work out as long as we have faith. After all, there are more ways that lead to Rome, right?
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