I did it.
I quit all my personal social media platforms.
No, this wasn’t a first or final stage of a nervous breakdown.
Or a rebirth.
I didn’t join a cult.
Or leave a cult.
I didn’t suddenly get woke.
I just needed… space.
I’d been exploring the idea of simplifying my online presence and scaling back my social media activity for quite some time. The presidential election (and the heated and often vitriolic fallout that surrounded it) focused my attentions more intensely on that exploration.
My burning desire to continue and expand a decade’s long practice of social and political activism at a more personal, intimate, grassroots level focused it even more.
Realizing that more often than not my children’s requests for my attention were made from the other side of my laptop or phone screen added to that focus a constant tugging at my heartstrings.
I have a message worthy of spreading.
The work I do is important, so I was willing to continue to place one foot in front of the other, always wobbling along the tightrope of work/life/guilt/reward balance.
After all, my family should see me doing the things that set my heart on fire. They should see me dedicating my time to my passions, creating sacred spaces online, hosting healing workshops in my home.
Because I have a message worth spreading far and wide. Because they do, too. Because seeing me do it gives them permission to do the same.
Those statements are truer than true. And though I felt them at my core, they confused me.
If I want to effect change, shouldn’t I be connected in as many ways and to as many people as possible?
That was just one question (read: justification) that kept me hooked to social media—desperate, scattered, all-consumed, and unfocused. And none of those states can exist in the same space as confident, determined, objective, and effective.
Fuck that noise.
If I’m here to create real change, then I have to take real action. If what I’m doing is real work, then I need to create real space for rest.
This all requires practicing something called mindful intention. But for many hours, every single day, I was engaged in a practice that looked anything but mindful or intentional. Scrolling, replying, and tapping like, love, sad face, angry face (the angry face reaction, by the way, being a whole other issue for another day).
Like I said, I’d been thinking long and hard about a strategy on how to do this. And though the desire started making itself apparent to me a while ago, it took a series of signs (the last being a post from a business colleague I admire a LOT) to lead me to an out loud morning conversation in bed with my husband.
We talked about hopes and dreams, setting rules on fire, and our burning desire to live life on our own terms. Then we talked about how we were dangerously close to unconsciously backing ourselves into a corner of convention and mediocrity, feeling trapped in the very boxes we used to think were only built for other people.
I couldn’t shake how the conversation made me feel.
By the early afternoon, I was convinced I needed to make the change. And on a short car ride to my sister’s house, he said, “Why not just do it today? What are you waiting for?”
He was right. What had I been waiting for?
So I made a very straightforward announcement on my personal profile (one that boasted more than 8 years of daily posts, thousands of pictures, and over 4000 “friends”—so many memories). I shared my intention to make the shift, I explained my reasons why, and I made my exit out of all my personal platforms and into an electronic space dedicated to the business of service.
(Because I still feel the Internet is a magical space in which incredible work can be done and epic change can be sparked.)
From my post:
“I am incredibly excited to share that I’m deleting my personal Facebook account and shutting down my personal profiles on all social platforms to make room for all things bigger, better, and more fulfilling.
This marks the beginning of a new business structure for BexLife that will be more focused on grassroots, in-person engagement for the purposes of leadership through personal development and social activism.”
It’s like I had cleaned out a decade’s worth of energetic clutter in an instant.
I started to feel the positive effects of my decision right away. Just talking about taking action felt like an uncovering—revealing new excitement, motivation, and long lost purpose.
In less than 24 hours, I started to feel lighter and more focused. It was like I had cleaned out a decade’s worth of energetic clutter.
I immediately put my head down and got to WERK on allowing more happiness to flow into all the glorious empty space that was being discovered.
Empty space… ahhhhhhhh.
Now, I want to be clear. Deleting my personal social media was something I needed to do for myself. It was the right move for me. I know a lot of perfectly happy, productive people who spend gobs of time on social media.
It was important to me to figure out if I was one of those multi-taskmaster unicorns or if I was just another willing supporter (read: mindless participant) of the social media industrial complex, defending a socially-accepted addiction.
If that scares you, you have an issue.
If you’re curious about what finally convinced me to take the leap into action, it was two comments on this video, featuring a TedX talk by Dr. Cal Newport, posted by the aforementioned colleague:
Comment 1: “Bad news – You should delete Facebook and every social media app. If that scares you, you have an issue.” – Ace Fury, YouTube user
Comment 2: “The best way to describe the use of Social media in today’s society is exactly how they describe New York in the film My Dinner with André. If you haven’t seen the film, I have copied the dialogue below but edited the subject from New York to social media. […] ‘What social media platform do you use?’ And I said, ‘Facebook.’ And he said, ‘Ah, Facebook, yes, that’s a very interesting site. Do you know a lot of Facebooker’s who keep talking about the fact that they want to leave, but never do?’ And I said, ‘Oh, yes.’ And he said, ‘Why do you think they don’t leave?’ And I gave him different banal theories. And he said, ‘Oh, I don’t think it’s that way at all.’ He said, ‘I think that Facebook is the new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing that they’ve built—they’ve built their own prison—and so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners. And as a result they no longer have—having been lobotomized—the capacity to leave the prison they’ve made or even to see it as a prison.’” – James Fairburn, YouTube user
Now take a deep breath (and maybe a leap) with me.
You’ve stuck with me this long, so you’re interested in the topic. Maybe you think I’m full of shit. Maybe you see yourself in my experience.
I want to talk more. You know, like, engage—for real (online).
If you’re curious, or you’ve been thinking about setting your own social media on fire, I invite you to join the conversation I’m leading in my private Facebook community here: Blissed In by Rebekah Borucki
Or, if you’ve already given up Facebook, congrats on your loss!
We’ll just keep connecting here…
Rebekah “Bex” Borucki, founder of BexLife.com and the Blissed In® wellness movement, is a mother-of-five, TV host, meditation guide, author, speaker, birth doula, fitness and yoga instructor, and popular social media personality. Her first book, You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life (Hay House 2017), is available now, wherever books are sold.