Life Without Facebook

A month ago, I said “Oh, I’ll just delete it off of my phone…then I won’t be checking it as much…” “I’ll just check it once a day…” I firmly told myself.

That lasted about a week until one evening I started thinking as I spent my token 20 minutes browsing through friends’ postings from the day…commenting on things I didn’t really care about – interacting with people who weren’t necessarily my actual “friends.” I thought – why am I doing this?? What benefit is this bringing my life or my happiness? I found myself getting more irritated with my friends’ inane postings and wondering why I had felt the need for such complete connectivity with everyone. Why had I let Facebook turn into some creepy drug where I felt like I HAD to stay caught up with everything and everyone? Did I really need to check for updates while I was in line at Trader Joes? At stoplights?? (Don’t gasp, mom) The over-connectivity had me burnt out and exhausted and not spending the quality time with the people I cared about most.

And believe me, I was never one of those anti-facebook people (like my husband) because I do see the value in being able to connect with old friends and faraway family. There ARE positives about it. There are even things that I occasionally do miss about it.

But for me the positives are just outweighed by the negatives at this point.  It reminded me of when I decided to become a vegetarian (well, pescatarian) some 5-odd years ago.  I always knew once I took the leap that I could probably do it – even though I told myself it wasn’t possible. All it took was a few PETA articles and I was done.  So here’s a few interesting facebook articles to ponder:

Why Facebook is Making People Sad

Jake Reilly’s ‘Amish Project:’ 90 Days Without a Cell Phone, Email and Social Media

Facebook is Making Us Miserable

Some other things I’ve learned:

  • You will not miss out on things. At least not important things. Facebook fosters this idea that if you don’t login you will ‘miss’ something. You may miss out on some petty self-satisfying banter, you may miss out on that one friend posting another “Look at me” status update but I promise you will not miss out on the important things. People who want to spend time with you will make the time, and people who don’t, won’t.  It’s as simple as that.  I know that was something I wondered about – after my entire fall was filled with party and get-together Facebook ‘events,’ I wondered if I might miss out on things. But so far, people that have wanted me to be at something have called or texted me to make sure I knew about it. And those that didn’t…did I really want to be a part of those events in the first place?
  • You will realize which friendships were “facebook bolstered.” I am not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing or that those friendships are BAD friendships but it is helpful to recognize which friendships are which.
  • You will find the time to do more important and worthwhile things.  I spent three hours cleaning out my closet last week.  I also am halfway through my second book of the year. I may have fallen prey to spending too much time on Pinterest but thanks to that, I have also managed to cook many more meals than I previously made time to. My house is cleaner and the already short time I get to spend with my husband is better utilized.
  • You will be happier – again, see “why facebook is making us miserable.”  I can promise that being less connected to people will make you a happier person.  And if you are happy you will have the capacity to make others around you happy as well. More to come on that and The Happiness Project book that I am currently reading.

Now this isn’t to say that I will never go back to facebook.  But who knows, maybe I won’t?  Either way, it’s a wonderful experiment in being mindful in our usage of time in cyberspace, and in our lives.

Would/could you give up facebook??

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3 Responses to Life Without Facebook

  1. Karen says:

    🙂 Nice links! Now I’m feeling guilty for going back to facebook after deactivating. (To be fair, I don’t check it at stoplights! haha)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Love this thoughtful and timely blog post. I too, have really been grappling recently with what role FB should play in my life. Increasingly I am realizing that I need to take a big step back. What I crave and have time for are meaningful, enriched, MUTUALLY benefiting relationships. Thanks for pointing the way Kellie, and showing I likely will not whither up and die from distancing myself/removing myself from FB. As all addicts know, however, I’ll have to replace it with SOMETHING and I see the true appeal of Pinterest….I read a blog recently where the author called Pinterest the new FB, without all the whining! lol See you on Pinterest, and hopefully IN PERSON soon for coffee and true girlfriend talk!

    (As I log in to post this comment, to my amusement, I see it is currently easiest for me to long in using my FB account….a wee bit funny, eh?)

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