Saying Goodbye To Facebook

On Sunday, I finally took a step I’ve been wanting to take for a very long time. I deactivated Facebook.

This has been a long time coming, but I kept making excuses. “Oh, it’s the best way to keep in touch with friends and family in the US” or “I am admin on a couple of pages so I need to have my account.” But I found that when I opened Facebook, connecting with friends or family, or administering those business pages didn’t happen. Instead, I was wasting hours upon hours of reading posts that varied from funny to meaningless to political. I found I was reading more from strangers than I was from people I actually wanted in my life, or knew in real life. I found I was drawn to political discussions and could not tear myself away from them, wanting desperately to share my opinion, and to persuade others to see my point of view. And so I was essentially getting into pissing contests with people I didn’t know, over things that people don’t just change their opinion on, and I was wasting hours to end up cranky at the world!

I used to think Facebook was great for connecting with people. But it seems to have turned into a political platform, or a place for people to show their highlight reel. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase now, “Don’t compare your worst day to someone else’s highlight reel.” Its all sunshine and fucking roses for everyone on Facebook. Fair enough, too, because who wants to wallow in misery, or read other people’s misery. But at the end of the day, literally the end of the day, it was the last thing I looked at, and the first thing I looked at every morning.

Facebook has enabled us to be a generation of Look-At-Mes. If someone goes on holiday but doesn’t share all the highlights on Facebook, did the holiday really happen? Look at me! I have a new job! Look at me! I have a new baby! Look at how clever/gorgeous/athletically skilled my children are! Look at me – I’m out to dinner! Look at me – my life is awesome! Is it? If you have to share everything with everyone on your friends list, every day, is your life really THAT awesome? Are you even paying enough attention to your life to know if it is awesome or are you too busy living life with your nose in your phone?

Oh look, I am not bagging everyone on Facebook. I am not bagging Facebook. I am bagging the way I let it take over my life, and the way I let it make me feel. But I know I am not the only one.

I have been a bit lost since Sunday to be honest. I can’t stop wondering what news I am missing out on. Because lets face it, no one sends emails or makes phone calls anymore. People communicate through Facebook, even to the extent that if you aren’t on Facebook, you might miss out on an invitation to some big event, like a 40th birthday party, a Christening, or a Wedding – yes, all events I’ve received invitations to through Facebook!

My goal is to be Facebook Free for 3 months. November 1st is the due date of my very last assignment for my Masters program. So for the next 3 months, I am going to concentrate on work, uni, my family and friends who are in my daily real life, and see how I go. Maybe November 1st I’ll be itching to get back on Facebook. Or maybe I’ll be cured of my addiction once and for all and will be able to say Goodbye to Facebook forever.

What do you think? Have you quit Facebook before, only to go back, time and time again? Do you feel like Facebook controls your life?

Linking up for IBOT with the awesome Essentially Jess,
who has been great while I’ve taken a break from blogging, Team IBOTing!

37 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye To Facebook

  1. Totally nailed it. I need to take a leaf out of your book, I don’t do the political stuff but I do waste time reading absolute crap that does not enhance my life. I’m going to try and stop aswell great post x

  2. I have gone around and around on this and feel the same way you do. I quit a couple of times but what I missed was the messaging with people who number I don’t have or are overseas. In the end I decided to very carefully screen my feed so I am only seeing the things I want to see. Instead of unfriending every annoying oversharer I just kept selecting the “don’t show me this” button until their stuff stopped showing up. Now I can have a quick scroll and check out articles and such that interest me. I also stopped commenting on anything, because like you said, engaging is sometimes just pointless.

    Good luck, I understand the compulsion we have to check it even though there’s never anything to see. And you’re right, there’s too much crap on it we don’t need.

  3. I’m attempting this in stages. It can be such a time waster. I’ve stepped back from the blog Facebook page and only head to the groups I’m involved with now. Good luck with your time away. Hopefully you will be more productive and be able to concentrate on your studies.

  4. Good on you. It’s a big step. I really try and limit my time on Facebook to the things I have to do. As my Facebook page is a big part of my blog community I will pop on three times a day and do that. Then any alerts from groups that I’m in for writing I’ll check out only if it is of value to me. It’s hard trying to limit it, as you do find yourself getting whisked away in the crap, but I think I’m pretty happy with the way I’m managing it. I do agree though, it certainly has created a ‘look at me’ generation and one that is more judgemental and self-hating. 😦

    • Definitely self-hating coming from Facebook, I have struggled with that too. I see other people doing great things and while I am happy for them, I feel quite harsh on myself then. It will also just be nice to see people I know and for once NOT already know what’s going on in their lives!

  5. I totally think of doing this often because I agree that it is a complete time waster and a ‘highlight reel’ situation. I just haven’t been able to do it! I admire you for doing it and will be interested to hear how you’re feeling at the end of the 3 months! πŸ™‚

  6. I wrote a post about this the other week (This is it if you want a read and haven’t already: ) Hopefully it turns out to be the best thing you did this year too! I only lasted 3 weeks and the first week I was actually anxious as it is truly like an addiction and takes awhile to get past that! Good luck with it, it can be a good thing and you make so many points that I also felt at the time. It is a good way to discover who your true friends are too because so many people A. Don’t notice you are gone, B. Don’t care you are gone; and C. Can’t be bothered keeping in touch with you now that it is not in the convenience of FB. Which I get but it’s nice to see who follows up and makes an effort. #teamIBOT

    • I have read that study you referenced in your blog and it is SO spot on! I can certainly see many benefits to FB, but when the negatives outweigh the benefits, or have more of an effect on you than the negatives, it is time to cut the strings!

  7. I would love to do this but I just can’t. For work reasons and keeping up to date. And yes like you I have found myself reading posts or articles on politics or whatever and I get myself all worked up wanting to type up a great comment and I chicken out. And I’ve wasted time doing so. x

    • I sometimes chicken out and don’t post it, but more often than not I *did* post it. I couldn’t help myself! Then I’d waste more time going back to find my comments and seeing what other people had said.

  8. Good on you Aroha – although I will miss Paige Wezner’s news. You are going to have to do a quick share at the end of your blog posts. Hope you can concentrate on uni and really smash this last term.

    • Thanks Kathy. I hope I can too. Although so far I’ve used the time to blog and tweet more πŸ˜‰ haha! Replacing one addiction with another. If only I could get addicted to uni work.

  9. I’ve closed my blog account down a few times as it only gets minimal interest anyway and I’ve tired of updating the page etc.

    I did however take FB and Twitter (Instagram and Pinterest) off my mobile devices so I can’t procrastinate on them in bed or when I’m waiting on stuff.

    Keen to hear how it goes.


  10. I had a friend from interstate call me this week to tell me that she was ditching her Facebook, but thought that she would actually call her friends and let them know, and she asked for my address so that she could actually send me a letter. Fancy that!

    • I texted a couple of friends and let them know in case they went to send me something and thought I’d defriended them! That is going to a whole other level writing a snail mail letter though. How lovely!

  11. OMG no! I will miss your smiley face! Seriously though good on you for making the break. I sure as hell couldn’t do it. I’m completely addicted. It has taken over and yes I hate how it’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last at night. I loved when we were on holidays last year and I didn’t look at it for three weeks. Loved it. I don’t want to make a permanent break though. My brother used to be a heavy user and he made the cut a couple of years ago. He’s never been back!

    • I have a friend who left and that was 2 years ago now as well and he hasn’t looked back. I am not sure I could leave permanently. I am sure I will be back. Hopefully somewhat reformed and able to control my addiction πŸ˜‰

  12. I had a critical moment about a month ago where I finally admitted that my FB usage had crossed the line from productive to counter-productive. I’m not willing to totally disconnect (my hat goes off to you!) but I stepped back from a lot of books and pages that were becoming too much of a distraction. It has definitely helped!

    • yep, it’s a lot of the pages that were getting me in the end too. And before I deactivated the account I went and “unliked” all of them so that when I go back it will be just people I know. Even that can be frustrating as I have a few friends who mostly just share posts, not actually post anything about themselves.

  13. Yes! I quit Facebook about 5 years ago for a few months … but then went back. Anyway it’s all good now, the break helped me learn about balance. And nowadays I manage FB pages for others and get paid for it! I still have to be careful when I go on there though to do WORK and not get sucked into the FB black hole LOL …

    • yes, there’s a fine line between WORK and the black hole sometimes though isn’t there? LOL I know I have logged in to do something and then an hour later turn it off without doing what I originally went to do.

  14. I gave up FB for lent back in February and I still haven’t reactivated. I have thought about it several times but I do not miss other peoples drama and if people really want you to know stuff they get in touch. It has made many aspects of life so much better. I am also forever being told “I can’t check in because I look like a loner” it only makes me giggle πŸ™‚
    Good Luck it will be the best decision you’ve made.

  15. Good on you.
    I don’t feel the need to give it up, and I can’t anyway with the blog. But I find it easy to walk away from when it’s annoying me, and political discussions are not my cup of tea. πŸ™‚

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