“Why would you do that?”
“Don’t you need it for work?”
“How are you going to know what’s going on with your friends?”
“That’s tough, man. Not sure I could do that.”
This is a short list of the responses I get when I tell people that I have quit using Facebook. In my pursuit of minimalism / essentialism, I made the decision to step away from the hustle-and-bustle of many social media platforms (Facebook being the largest). So why did I decide to delete my account?
I had many personal reasons for deleting my Facebook account (And the list below does not include them all):
- It took up too much of my time.
- Every lull in my day was filled with needless / ‘zombie-like’ scrolling through my newsfeed.
- I would spend far too much time updating my status, trying to strike the balance of meaning and wit.
- I would be constantly interrupted / distracted by Facebook Messenger. (Group Chats were the WORST)
- It was not genuine.
- ‘Friends’ became: ‘That person that I talked to that one time who added me on Facebook.’
- Memes and shared links are not ‘connecting’ with friends. Scan your newsfeed right now. What percentage of posts are personal? What percentage of posts are ‘connecting’ you to your friends? When I did this assessment, I found that around 5% of posts I viewed in my newsfeed actually contained personal content I cared about.
- Skewed Reality.
- No ones life is perfect, yet everyone’s posts lead you to believe they are. (Sans Political Arguments).
- Fake News / Uninformed Arguments
- Everyone has an opinion. Some you agree with and others you don’t. Some are justified, some aren’t. Facebook is riddled with this type of interaction. I’m trying to avoid these types of conversations in real life, so why face them online?
So what happened when I quit? Did I lose touch with your friends? Don’t you feel like you’re missing out on so many things?
No. Actually, I have had no negative effects since stepping away from Facebook nearly 6 months ago. The friends who are actually friends, keep in touch via other communication channels (mostly e-mail and texts). As stated above, if you really take a look at your newsfeed through the lens of, ‘what would I actually want to know about my friends,’ you’ll find that there is little shared on Facebook that you cannot live without.
Benefits From Quitting:
- I have much more time in the day to spend however I would like.
- Giving more personal attention to my Pup, Pablo.
- Reading books.
- Going on hikes.
- Learning to cook.
- Mental Health.
- I no longer have the stress of crafting the ‘perfect’ status update or focusing on how many ‘likes’ I receive to my posts.
- I no longer find myself constantly comparing my life and achievements with the lives and achievements of others.
- Has brought me CLOSER to my friends through true / sincere connections.
- One less thing to check.
I am not here to lecture you on the use of Facebook or other social media platforms, but I can assure you that if / when you do decide to step away, it’s not as bad as you think it will be. For me, it was a personal choice. A choice that, 6 months later, I don’t regret.