A year ago I told myself I would quit spending so much time with online socializing and start blogging more. A few months ago my Facebook account was deleted and my private information was revealed to thousands of people. I have no idea why but for some sick reason I continued to socialize on Facebook. I’m not sure if it was my desire to show that I could live a functional life online in the midst of being a digital stalking target or if it was something more deep rooted and psychological.

Did I not have any friends in real life? Why was I relying on my social network as a support group? Was it the immediate gratification of receiving a response as opposed to the back-and-forth-texting? Whatever was going on I was obviously in some type of crisis. I had real life friends but they were spread throughout the country due to my constant traveling. They were isolated like me and plugged into the world of online socializing themselves. I felt like very few people wanted to see me in person because my digital output was easier to deal with than my physical output. Whatever was going on it was definitely not healthy and I was headed down a very lonely path. Did I have to give up socializing online to find myself again?

Absolutely. I deleted my Facebook account after a few episodes that involved my ex-husband relentlessly using my social network as a vehicle to get me back with him. I refused to sit around and watch him play these games with my community. This was the final straw in regards to deleting my Facebook and it took far too long for me to arrive here. It is often hard for me to see what is around me and I will need a drastic event to take notice of the truth. Most people in my position would have left the Internet ages ago with so much adversity. So what kept me socializing online? Why so much masochism?

I believe that it had to do with my impatience. I often had issues of burning importance and could not wait for a friend to text me back about them. Phone calls were a thing of the past. I did not have a family that I could turn to for support. In truth I did not have much of anything. I socialized online out of desperation. It was all that I felt I was capable of. Real life involved navigating a physical space that I was at constant war with. I didn’t need to worry about dropping objects online: about interrupting conversations: about breaking things: about navigating: about accidentally cutting someone in line: about not understanding my surroundings: about clearing a room. Socializing online was my defeat.

I am done being defeated. I need to accept that while living online may be easier than living in real life it is not a solution. It can become a point of no return. In deleting my Facebook account I decided to get back on my feet and give real life another try. I currently feel a bit unequipped but at least I am trying. There must be a way that I can develop a real group of friends: move past all the verbal abuse from my family: start attracting nicer people: feeling generally content. At this point I might even say that I have a better chance of making it in real life than I do on the Internet. A walk on the beach is much nicer than a digital conversation about one. Even if I trip and fall in the sand a few times.

Rachel Haywire