Just under a year ago, I quit Facebook. Yup. After a decade of using it frequently, with over 10,000 posts and 7,000 pictures.
It was the best decision I made.
The original premise of Facebook has always appealed to me: connect with others you know in real life, but online, in order to share pictures and information to keep current. But it also has a lot of negatives:
- It often becomes your main method of communication to others.
- People who are manipulative in your life use it to be more so.
- You often friend others you don’t know.
- You end up spending tons of time scrolling through posts, and check for new ones frequently during the day.
- You are constantly seeing posts from outside your friend network that are specifically crafted to influence your thought process.
So, what happens when you quit for a year?
- You feel like you’ve regained a much healthier relationship with the world around you.
- You spend less time using technology, and the time you do spend is not wasted.
- The people that matter keep talking to you (yes, actually talking, and not stalking).
- If you need to text someone, you actually text their phone number (that they gave you in person) instead of using Facebook Messenger, or send them an email.
- You become more perceptive when talking with others (subtle nuances are appreciated, and so on).
- You leave your phone at home or in the car before going to social events, because you prefer to give your 100% at the event.
- You notice people checking their phone in line at Starbucks and feel pity for them.
- You realize that “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer - you’re the one being sold.”
Have I quit all social media? No. There are some other social media that I still use for very short periods of time during the day. I still use LinkedIn to build my professional reputation, and Twitter to follow fun people in my professional field. The quality of what I read on these two sites is well worth the very small amount of time I spend on them. And I still post the odd picture I want to share with others on Instagram.
So, if you’re thinking of ditching Facebook, here’s my honest advice: Don’t ask anyone whether you should do it. Just do it. And be in control of how you communicate and when you use technology. It’s quite liberating.