What I’ve learned from quitting Facebook after the first week

DeathtoStock_Desk1For sometime now I’ve felt that Facebook has been a huge time sucking black hole for me. I’d check it first thing in the morning, spending 30 minutes before I got up scrolling through posts and links and stupid you-tube videos. I’d end the day also checking Facebook, after checking it numerous times during the day. More often than not I’d get sucked into clicking into things I couldn’t care less about, posts that just linked into viral webpages that were designed to get you clicking on more links. The last straw for me was when I found myself scrolling through photos of “horrible wedding dresses.” Reading the negative commentary of people who looked happy and celebrating wanting to share their lives with somebody that was special to them, I felt dirty.

Giving up Facebook has not been easy. It’s actually been much harder than I expected. And this is what I’ve learnt.

1. I’m not missing out on anything important. Other people’s lives goes on, and so does mine regardless of it being shared online or not.

2. ‘Liking’ something isn’t the same thing as actually engaging with somebody. For me it’s the equivalent of small talk via text messages. It’s an empty substitute for real conversation and interactions.

3. If somebody wants to contact you they will. It’s still possible to make plans for drinks or coffee with somebody without the help of Facebook.

4. Facebook is an addiction and going cold turkey has been really hard. Facebook had clearly become a habit for me. It has amazed me how often I have reached for my phone to check Facebook without even thinking what I was doing. The only way I could stop checking Facebook was to delete the app from my iPhone and delete the link from my browser forcing my to actively think about logging onto the website.

5. I have time. By not constantly checking what I am missing I have time to do things I have been meaning to do for some time. While most of the things I have been doing have been study related, I’ve somehow managed to be able to get more done. I’ve also found more time to write too.

It may have only been a week, but I think I’ll continue my self exile from Facebook. In the interest of keeping myself accountable and also in the interest of honesty – I have logged into Facebook three times since taking a break. The first was to see if anybody actually missed me (no, they hadn’t) and the second was to link this blog to my Facebook account and the third was one night at 2am when I couldn’t sleep.