I’ve stopped using Facebook and I feel strangely liberated! It was beginning to get on my nerves, all that scrolling through nonsense and other people’s opinions.
When you have a chronic illness like MS, I feel it’s important not to go on about it all the time, so I never mentioned it on Facebook. I didn’t want to be “that” person who wears their condition on their sleeve and never talks about anything else. It’s a myth that people like that raise awareness as all people do is scroll quickly past whilst yawning and raising their eyes to heaven!
I also didn’t want to be defined by MS as there’s so much more to my life than that! I’m a wife, a mother, a professional and a friend. I have so much more to say and have dignity and integrity so don’t want to wallow in public misery!
The problem with this though is that friends on Facebook presume you’re doing ok and don’t need any support. The life people present on Facebook is a false representation. Only the best selfies and check in’s get included on newsfeeds, so we all end up feeling envious and inadequate. This can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness as no one really knows anyone anymore and I worry about the impact this is having on our mental health.
If people want to know how I’m really coping with MS, I want them to call me or send me a text. I want to see people, hear their news and catch up properly. Not being able to see everyone’s news feeds will also encourage me to do the same and I’m hopeful my social life will improve as a result. I wonder how long it will take people to figure out I’m not on there anymore!
I also resent things being marketed at me just because I’ve looked at their website once on my phone! If I look at a top and decide not to buy it, showing me endless pictures of it on Facebook is not going to change my mind!
I’ll miss some of the closed groups on there though as they can be a fantastic, private support for MS and I learned a lot from other MSers.
I prefer Twitter as I can talk freely about MS due to the anonymity. I’m not following many people I actually know so feel I can be more honest and open. This has led to writing work and being invited to participate in MS workshops which has enriched my life.
So, if you want me I’ll be on Twitter or you can catch up with me in the old-fashioned way!