I recently took a 3 week break from Facebook. This was brought on by the fact that I could not be separated from it for more than 10 minutes. Literally. Whenever I would refresh the app on my iPhone I would see that it was last refreshed exactly 10 minutes ago, almost every time. It was uncanny.
So one afternoon I got up the courage and just did it. In the three weeks I was “off” I had a few observations, so I started making notes. Here’s what I know about not being on FB.
- You have real conversations with people when you see them, because for once, you actually don’t already know what is going on in their lives. It is so great!
- You find out who your real friends are. The people who email you and say, “Where did you go!?” Or people who still text and email you to find out how you are, what you’re up to, and keep in touch, even though they have to make that extra effort.
- A night out to dinner and drinks involves actually taking in the experience, interacting with the people you’re with, and having a good time, rather than spending the night with your nose stuck to your mobile because you are checking in/posting pics/ or more interested in what your FB community is doing than doing what YOU are doing!
- Like any good addict, when one addiction is taken away, you replace it with another. My twitter addiction has grown since being off FB, and my number of tweets has about doubled. Moral of the story is you can ditch one addiction, but it doesn’t make you addiction-free or necessarily give you any spare time. You just spend your time elsewhere.
- It’s actually really inconvenient NOT to be on FB. Meaning, when you’re planning a party, or you’re a guest of a party being planned, MOST of that is done via FB messages/events, etc. So when you’re not on there, you have to actually figure out how to contact everyone or they have to figure out how to contact you, and then REMEMBER to update you on information. I know it is sad, a little bit crazy, but these are the times, and people should adjust.
- You miss out on a LOT of things by NOT being on FB. You miss out on pictures that you otherwise wouldn’t see, announcements – new jobs, babies, weddings. People don’t actually think to notify anyone outside of the generic FB status/message, so if you’re not on there, chances are they’ll forget you don’t know. Maybe it means you’re not that good a friend, maybe it just means they’ve succumbed to the Great Black Hole that is Facebook.
- Just as you miss out on seeing updates/pictures from family and friends across the world, so do they miss out on your updates. I did have a few people contact me and tell me they missed my updates and pics of Nick. It’s especially hard on family who live so far away, unless you are going to send them frequent emails with pics and news.
- People are either surprised at what you have done, and think perhaps you’ve completely gone off the deep end, how could anyone live without FB?! Or they are jealous. I wish I had $10 for every time I heard, “Oh I wish I could do the same thing!”
- Housework gets done, dinner gets cooked, books get read, and generally everything is right with the world, when you do not have the distraction of FB.
I actually really enjoyed being off FB. I have since reactivated my account but have made a lot of changes. I have unliked, unsubscribed and unfollwed a lot of pages and people who I never interacted with and vice versa. It clears out the timeline, which I found I had to read every single thing that had been updated since last I was on.
If I’m going to have a mutually beneficial relationship with FB there are some ground rules I’m going to have to implement.This list may get added to along the way.
- No Facebook in the mornings before taking Nick to kindy or before Nick’s bed time.
- No Facebook before showering/house chores etc.
- Unsubscribe/unlike/unfollow any page/person I do not interact with
- App on phone to be used for uploading pics only
How much time do you spend on Facebook and how do you regulate it? Are you addicted?
Linking up with Singular Insanity for Things I Know