This month marks 1 year since I left facebook. For one who joined shortly after the site began and encouraged numerous friends and family to sign up, this is kinda a big deal. For over a decade with facebook, I’ve taken a hiatus here and there. The longest may have been 40 days for lent. *Disclaimer* I still have a facebook page for the blog and I have the same for instagram and twitter. What I no longer have is a personal facebook page, and I believe that makes a big difference. Here’s what I’ve observed with having gone a year off facebook:
- I don’t miss as many important updates as I worried that I might. When it’s really important, someone still tells me about it.
- I have experienced a decrease in anxiety from being away from the site. Sometimes my husband will share a rude comment that a family member or friend made on someone’s post and I think, THANK GOD. Thank God that I no longer sign in to facebook and see this sort of thing. (In this regard, Instagram has been a breath of fresh air.)
- While still a little too comfortable with checking my phone (anyone else have phone checking OCD?), I believe that I’ve spent less time online over the past year than I would have if I had a personal facebook page. Now a days, I find when I check instagram, I leave it in a short amount of time. There’s no way that I spend an hour at a time on instagram (something I did with a personal facebook page).
I want to be clear here, I’m still someone who has room for improvement in regards to use of social media. But the difference after a year of being off of facebook is this: for the first time, I believe that I’m using social media as a tool rather than it having a ball and chain around me. I can use it without it using me up (my time and emotional well-being). I think most importantly, it’s the fact that it has taught me that you can set boundaries, you can leave….you actually can.
Do I think I’ll return to facebook? Never say never but at this point in time, I can’t see it. I have tasted freedom and it’s good, it’s so very good.