This month I am supporting Give it Uptober to raise money for Invest in ME who fund research into ME. It is basically a group of ME sufferers from Facebook who have organised the event, the idea being that you give up a treat for October and donate money you save to the event. People have given up a range of things eg chocolate, alcohol, but as I already have a limited diet and don’t have anything I would consider a luxury, I have given up Facebook. A few other have joined me.
It might appear that I am making some posts on Facebook, but I am not it is ones that are done automatically such as, likes on Pinterest or updates on Goodreads.
I have a love hate relationship with Facebook and always want to use it less, so a whole month without is quite a sacrifice. You may wonder how it will save me money, in literal terms it won’t really, but I won’t be tempted by people selling things or by the advert at the side of the page or by recommendations people make. I am also hoping that from a selfish point of view that it will help me to feel better about myself. Facebook encourages people to share what they are doing and posts tend to be either bragging about something or complaining about something and it is so easy to get drawn into other things. It makes me feel useless as I can’t do many of the things that others do, or I get drawn into someones problems and worry about them.
I admit I am nosey and like to know what people are up to, but it’s not good for me and I end up feeling really down and upset for my family as I am not able to lead a normal life, or bad because I don’t work and we can’t afford things that others can. I am not a sociable person as I am very shy and don’t really speak to people in person, partly because of being shy and also because I can’t hear and it is exhausting, so being able to talk online is easier. Sadly it seems most people now only communicate on Facebook and relationships with people are very superficial. Sometimes you also find out things you would be better not knowing like get togethers you weren’t invited to or what other people’s kids have got, or what people think of people who are ill.
I am sure that people won’t miss my status updates that usually say how ill I feel or something equally miserable. I do miss being able to share funny things and photos, but after speaking to Emily last night about a talk they had at school about Facebook I did realise that some things I post I probably shouldn’t.
I won’t miss being told off for things I have said or having people disagree with something I say. I am very focused on my past and all the things that have gone wrong so being friends with people from the past reinforces that somewhat, but I also hate losing touch with people. It’s also difficult seeing what others have achieved and I feel left behind and useless.
On a more positive note there are many communities on Facebook where like minded people can chat and share ideas and support each other. I am part of several ME groups and have made some good friends through these groups, most of whom I have never met. I was part of some craft groups, but it started to get me down as I felt my makes weren’t good enough or that I was not productive enough. You do need to pick and choose what you take part in and decide what exactly you want from it.
I am hoping that once I have survived the month without Facebook I will be less addicted to it and spend less time on it as I know it is not good use of my limited time and energy and not a good example to Emily. But I also know that I gave it up last year and then easily slipped back into old habits. if you see me on Facebook after October feel free to tell me to go and do something more important or better for me.
During October money from any sales from my shop will be donated to the Give it uptober fund. Give it uptober is not to be confused by Stoptober which is an NHS campaign and Gosober a Macmillan campaign, although they are all good causes.