For nearly 3 months now, I’ve been off facebook. I went the route of deleting my facebook account (it’s too easy for me to sign back in again otherwise). I’ve given up facebook for lent before but this time was different. This time, I didn’t have an end date for the facebook fast. This time around, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back.
Here’s what I learned while away:
1. I hate to admit it, but I was living my life with, “I should share this on fb” playing in the background. When I was no longer on fb I realized how habitual this thinking had become. Spending time away helped me to learn to be OK with having funny or sweet or frustrating moments that aren’t shared on fb. Just because no one else hears about it doesn’t make the experience less significant.
2. I noticed my anxiety decrease within one week of being off fb. Social media is so comfortable for someone with anxiety and yet it’s also rather anxiety producing! It’s Catch 22.
3. I was touched by the number of people who went out of their way to tell me that they missed me on fb. Over the years, I’ve tried to make my time and presence on fb as useful to others as possible. The “miss you on fb” message was affirming.
4. I spent less time online when fb was deleted. Sure I still read blogs and the like, but the amount of time online decreased. I think this was due to the fact that scrolling through fb is less intentional re: time spent than say reading a blog or two. There comes a time when the blog ends. The fb home page never ends!
5. I did end up feeling slightly lonely and disconnected when no longer keeping up with people on facebook. This caused me to reach out to others more via text, phone calls, lunch dates, etc.
While I learned that I can live without fb, I’m going back (at least for a trial run). I miss the ease of getting in touch people and mostly, I miss interacting with people following my blog via facebook. But if it ever gets to the point where being on fb is no longer serving me well, I will leave. Experience has shown me that I can live just fine without it.
Have you left facebook before? Was it helpful? What was your take away from the experience?