When I think of Facebook, I automatically want to hop on my phone or computer and pull up that popular social site. Some how it has always felt alluring. When I’m bored, it’s there. When I’m thirsting for information, it’s there. It felt like it was too big a factor in my social-ish life. That’s why I decided to delete it. Facebook was always a distraction to me. It felt like I was required to socialize. It’s also filled with many companies and small businesses promoting their own content. It was time to cut the information feed.
On January 1, 2015, I deactivate my Facebook page. It was an impulsive move that I hadn’t thought about or planned before doing it. I just did it! A month went by, and I didn’t think of going back. Then another month passed, then another. I just decided to try not to log on for a whole year.
What happened and What I learned
In that time, I noticed a lot of things changing. I read more than I had the year before. I was less anxious. Whenever I had a stray, funny thought, I didn’t turn to share it. I just smiled and enjoyed the moment. My hands didn’t feel the need to pick up my phone or login on my laptop to see what’s going on. I felt free and less anxious.
I spent the year doing things to fill my time and attention. I became more productive and also felt that I can accomplish anything. In my free time, I took some online courses. I finished several books. I even started walking around the neighborhood. So what did I learn from this experience? There are plenty of benefits to leaving behind the social site.
When I Returned
It was strange. The world kept moving and people kept changing. I was down because I felt like I was in the same place. I came back to new and interesting happenings with most of my friends. I felt like I’d missed out.
I stayed longer than I had anticipated, but learned a lot of things about myself. I returned to my old habit of reading all of the news that I found interesting. My browser filled with tabs every day! I felt like if I didn’t check, I’d miss something from my favorite pages.
I didn’t want to interact with my friends as I used to do. The conversations seemed like a rhythmic banter that would be too hard to figure out. If I’d comment, I felt like I’d walked up and interrupted a group discussion that I had no business entering into. Not to say that those friends were horrible; they are all great. I changed, and they were still all the same great people I once knew how to chat with. Now, I’m an outsider who is focused on other sections of my life.
So, I had to leave once again. Seeing how everyone changed, I knew that I still had many goals and Facebook didn’t contribute to that personal growth I desired/desire. Instead, it is what it has always been: a distraction.
I Decided to Deactivate Again
It’s now February and I’ve been back for an entire month. I deleted my page on January 31, 2016. While it’s a great tool to keep in contact with others, it’s just not for me. It interferes with real life and may contribute to some of my unsocial tendencies. If it doesn’t contribute, it may not be good for my social issues.
I would definitely delete my page again. I’ve considered deleting the page all together. The thing I would do differently is keep in contact with everyone and keep them up-to-date with my changes in my contact details.
Regrets and Doing Things Differently
The only thing I regret is how I left. I didn’t warn anyone and I stayed gone for a year and barely kept in touch with anyone. People missed me. Disappearing for a year with no warning actually worried some people. While I did this for personal reasons, it did come off as selfish because I didn’t inform anyone. One friend even remarked, “I thought you died!” So, I felt selfish to do this so suddenly.
This time, I gave a warning. I gave contact details. I promised to return. When I do return, I hope to have more to discuss and a better handle on interactions on social media. I will continue to grow and thanks to the riddance of that distraction, I will have a routine conducive to that change.
I’m happy for all of the people I’ve met. I’m happy to see a way to keep in contact with those I I know and love. But it’s just not for me. Plus, I want to see what another year will teach me.