- Posted May 16, 2012 by
Staten Island, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living without Facebook?
Social (Media) Anxietyy Disorder
In fall 2011, unemployed, overwhelmed and extremely depressed, I made the decision to axe my Facebook account.
At the time of amputation I had amassed around 330 “friends”. Incredibly, the night before deletion, I could not bring myself to message a single person notifying them of my imminent electronic departure.
I had increasingly felt that Facebook and its hordes of users were demanding something from me that I could no longer offer: an unquestioning compliance with a culture of invasive, offensive and aggressive “life-sharing.”
At a time in my life when I did not even want to confess my true feelings of guilt, shame and anxiety to my parents or siblings, Facebook demanded that I provide a constant stream of public dialogue in order to stay relevant on the news feeds of virtual strangers.
One element of my OCD involves frequent “checking” of my whereabouts and day-to-day activities to ensure I have caused no harm to myself or others. Naturally, I started using Facebook as a crutch for this disorder, conducting nightly reviews of my online posts, wall photos and comments to prove, for example, that I could not have pushed a stranger in front of a cab this afternoon, because look, right here, at 2:20 PM, I “liked” my friend Dave’s photo of his new bike. When my mental illness reached this extremely low point, I knew I had to quit social media.
I am slowly recovering, thanks to medicine and therapy. But even if one day my anxiety subsides completely, I do not believe I will ever rejoin Facebook.