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Facebook Detox

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am addicted to Facebook.

I deactivated my account a month ago.

Have I really quit? Is it only temporary? Who knows. But I do know that a month without Facebook has actually made a difference in the way I think and feel. It’s certainly made a difference in the cleanliness of my kitchen.

The Good

OMG I can concentrate again. I have more time, and more inclination to use the time I have to actually do things. The feeling of mindless compulsion to check my phone is evaporating. I feel like I am operating from a place of intention more often, and that’s definitely a good thing. I also feel more emotionally stable, less affected by the stream of content coming at me from my Facebook feed.

The Bad

Well, not necessarily bad exactly, but more like difficult. I’m starting to notice feelings like loneliness and boredom. The awareness that I’m not fully engaged with what I am currently doing; I need to cook dinner, but I would rather read my book. That sort of thing. Thinking that there are people I am connected with on Facebook that I am not very well connected with otherwise who might be posting about things that I will be missing out on. The friend from elementary school who I am barely in touch with – has she had her baby yet?

The Ugly

The knowledge that I am unaware of important things happening in my community and in the world at large. The memorial service for a well known local cafe owner was last week, and I only heard about it because I saw some friends going home from it afterwards. I might not have heard about the attacks in Brussels unless my friend mentioned it to me when we were visiting in person. I’d like to find a cheap armchair and couch to replace our worn out furniture, and I know the best place to find a deal is on our local Facebook buy and sell page.

I know that there are alternatives to Facebook for keeping in touch with friends and current events. People have been calling or writing to their friends to keep in touch for a whole lot longer than they have been sending Facebook updates. Even if we end up buying a full price couch and armchair, is it worth it in order to be able to concentrate and act from intention instead of mindless compulsion every day?

Maybe there will be a day when I can use Facebook responsibly. But I know that if Facebook were vodka, I would be in serious trouble. Right now, I need to abstain.

(The irony, of course, is that my blog still updates to Facebook automatically. So you might be reading about my absence from Facebook because of a post I published to Facebook. Oh, modern life.)

((also, Instagram totally doesn’t count as Facebook.))

(((and another weird thing? Now I notice how much of everyday conversation is about people’s facebook activity. People talk about it a lot! Which makes sense, I guess, but I just never noticed before.)

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Angelle Conant April 6, 2016, 10:13 am

    This is great! I’ve been Facebook sober for about 2 years now! I noticed a lot of the same changes as you. I had a big boost in self-confidence and productivity. I also noticed that when I got together with friends or family, we were actually able to talk about new things in our lives because I didn’t already know from Facebook. Yes, I did lose a lot of contact with ‘friends’ (really, acquaintances) but I found that the people I really wanted to stay in contact with I called, texted, emailed or got together with. It was a great way to focus my life and, as you said, live with more intention.
    I have since started a Twitter account (so I don’t miss important news) but that’s a totally different beast to me.

    Wherever your Facebook experiment takes you, good luck! :)

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