My Month Without Facebook

My Month Without Facebook

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If you had told me 2 months ago that I would have gone a month without Facebook, I wouldn’t have believed it. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just something that sort of happened.
I’d gotten annoyed with it before and deactivated my account only to reactivate, out of boredom, a few hours later.
However this time was different. I had a weekend of being annoyed with people. I deactivated on a whim and the next day deleted the app.
I wouldn’t have considered myself addicted to Facebook by any means. I opened the application a few times a day during down time, scrolled a bit, checked notifications then went back to my day.
At first I thought, “I’ll just take a few days off till I’m less annoyed.” Then at some point I gave myself the challenge to go without a month.

What did I learn?

Other people notice your absence more than you do
The first day I found myself grabbing my phone to open the app every so often out of habit, but that quickly passed. Within a day I started getting text messages, “Did you delete your Facebook?” “Yes.” “Why?” …Because I wanted to! I even had a co-worker I haven’t seen in years contact me slightly angry because she thought I deleted her.
I got a number of messages inquiring why I’d done it and I was really surprised. One of my best friends even said to me, “How will I know what’s going on with you?” I told her, “You can text me like you just did or I can tell you when I see you like I normally do….”

I reconnected with self-validation
I didn’t need Facebook to confirm that I enjoyed things. We let social media confirm the validity of our lives and experiences. The phrase, “Pictures or it didn’t happen” has become too common. I can go to an awesome bar and have a great time without checking in on Facebook or posting selfies with my friends. I had an amazing month full of adventures. I went to the symphony, I saw John Legend in concert and a whole list of experiences I enjoyed even without announcing it to the world.

[bctt tweet=”We let social media confirm the validity of our lives and experiences. #SocialMedia” username=”Diadoll”]

I didn’t need it to communicate

Twitter is people you don’t know and wish you knew, Facebook is people you know and wish you didn’t.

I’ll admit I didn’t cut out all forms of social media. I have always been a self-proclaimed Twitter whore. I love getting 140 character knowledge of my favorite celebrities, random jokes and uberfacts. I don’t use Twitter to communicate with my friends and after a month off Facebook I realized I don’t really use Facebook for that either. The people I speak to on a regular basis stayed the same. A friend of mine sent me a text telling me the plans for her birthday because I’m “not on Facebook.” Yes it was slightly more work to text me then to just add me to the invite list on Facebook, but she wanted me there so it wasn’t an inconvenience.
(Side bar if your “friend” is too lazy to call or text you to invite you to something then they probably aren’t worth the uncomfortable heels and cheap shots birthdays usually inspire.)

I was less annoyed

Scrolling through a feed of hundreds of people I don’t communicate with is overwhelming and can cause negative emotions. It was refreshing to not be constantly bombarded with information I really don’t want or need to know. Its everyone’s prerogative to post about their lives. That is what most people use social media for; sharing and venting. But subjecting myself to ill-informed political rants, over exaggerated life event announcements, T.V. spoilers and stressful social expectations on a daily basis can be exhausting. The truth is most people’s friend list are filled with people, they hardly know. A good third of my Facebook friends are the results of parties and school projects, people I haven’t seen in years or met only a handful of times.

I completed my month successfully and still haven’t reactivated. I’m sure I will but right now I feel no urgency to do so. I whole heartedly recommend taking the occasional break from time to time just for perspective and the opportunity to clear your head.

15 comments

  1. Sara

    Great post! I’ve also noticed a huge improvement in my mood when I take social media breaks. Disconnecting is a great way to clear your head and improve your perspective.

  2. Dia

    Thanks! I couldn’t agree more with how it improves your perspective! It’s so important to remember what your life is like “off screen.”

  3. Mwheel

    Great post! I’m addicted, as you know, and considering starting with a one week break soon and going from there 🙂

  4. Dia

    I promise you if you do one you get past the first day you probably won’t miss it. It may have been easier for me since I typically only used it on the app and I can’t really do it at work.

  5. 6 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

    […] higher level of self-worth (or whatever nonsense I was thinking, you can read about it in my article My Month Without Facebook…that turned into my months without Facebook) that I didn’t need to use it to help me reach […]

  6. Dia

    I really recommend it. I personally stopped missing it within about a week now I pretty much only use it for blogging purposes. Another thing I noticed is I’d have friends feel the need to update me on stuff they saw about mutual acquaintances and I found myself so uninterested and aware of how much brain space I was wasting keeping up with everyone instead of focusing on myself.

  7. GiGi Eats

    I wish wish wish I could not use FB for a month + but for blogging purposes I have to!

  8. Just Plain Marie

    When we moved to where we are (waaay out in the boonies), we went 17 months without internet. Obviously, no Facebook. It was interesting because I’d talk to family members about stuff that happened and they’d say “Oh, didn’t you know? We posted it on Facebook.” Being off it so long stopped me from getting caught up in the drama because I realized just how much it didn’t matter. My life won’t end if I block a conversation, even a person. I read what I want now.

  9. Dia

    The funny thing is I gave it up about a month before I launched my personal site. I will totally admit having a Facebook page and sharing it with my friend list has been great for my numbers but even now I rarely enegage in the social aspect of it. The few posts I do make are shared from instagram for the most part. I don’t have the application on my phone and I check it in the morning to upload to my different blogging communities, check it at lunch if I don’t have a lunch appointment (so I have less to do after work) and then spend about an hour at night finishing all my reciprocations while I watch tv or relax. That way I get the benefit without all the hassle. If you really want a break I would try either taking weekends off facebook (or a day when you feel like you get less activity) or just restrict yourself to only certain time periods to check it.
    But I TOTALLY AGREE it is still too relevent to not use if you are trying to brand yourself or blog.

  10. Dia

    Right! Thats what I was just saying to another commenter I normally just use it for blogging purposes and skip the other stuff. It is hilarious to me people think putting something on Facebook is the equivalent to picking up the phone and telling someone something lol
    It’s hard for some people to remember but there was life and communication before Facebook.
    Thanks for stopping by Marie!

  11. Georgiana

    I deleted FB for several years once and didn’t miss it much. The majority of my time on FB now is for the groups, everything else…meh…it’s okay to see everyone’s awesome-lives-that-make-me-jealous when I have extra minutes to scroll. But the groups? I would be sad to lose those, lol.

  12. Dia

    That’s literally the only reason I’m back on lol

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