In September of 2019, I watched my stepdad (Joe) take some of his last breaths on Earth. His cause of death was Stage IV lung cancer. I witnessed others die while volunteering at hospice, so I certainly didn’t think that my stepfather’s death would have any more of an impact than the ones I already saw. After all, Joe and I were never really close.
But I was wrong.
Watching Joe die, going to the funeral, and the whole grieving process brought up the loss of my grandmother and the separation with most of my family that occurred due to her death. It brought up a sense of sadness that I never really knew this man that was the closest thing to a dad I ever had. And of course, it brought up all the painful memories that this man had given me through his years of addiction and abuse.
During this time of grief, loss, and even anger at times, social media felt very intrusive and cold to me. I didn’t want to have to explain to my ‘trading card friends’ why I wasn’t attending their events that I didn’t really care about and why I wasn’t responding to their messages when it was already clear to me how deep our friendship really was outside of cyberspace.
So I went cold turkey. And it felt good. No longer caring what people thought of what I was or wasn’t doing with my life. Not feeling pressured to perform or be this ‘influencer’ on social media.
And I have to say, months later, I still don’t really miss it. I re-opened my Facebook account about a month ago for purely logistical reasons (like checking out businesses who only have a FB account). But for the most part, I am keeping my private life private because I don’t need outside approval – and actually, I feel much better without it!