December 1: Quitting Facebook (for one month)

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I’ve been pondering my relationship with Facebook for a while, and I’ve written about it in the past.  I happened upon the idea of quitting Facebook for a month, a few weeks ago. In the weeks in between then and now, I’ve been oscillating between doing it and not.

The fact that I have spent so much time mulling it over in my mind says to me, that yes, I need to do this. Like any addiction, there will always be a reason to keep going. But seriously, this is Facebook, why is even the prospect of coming off it a bit scary?

It’s that thought that sold me. That thought, and this excellent article by Mark Serrels, that appeared in SMH on Monday. The timing was amazing, and if I’m getting all woo woo on you, I’d say it was a SIGN! Another sign was that it didn’t appear in my Facebook feed. I found it all by myself!!! (Reassuring me that I don’t need Facebook to find interesting, meaningful and current content to read).

The truth of it is, I constantly feel time poor. I look forward to the evening so I can watch a documentary that I’ve heard about, or read a book, or finish a sketch. Or anything really, that’s not Facebook. But every night it is the same. I think ‘I’ll just have a quick look, before I start (insert lovely activity that is not Facebook that I’ve planned for the evening). Then suddenly it’s 10pm, my eyes have glazed over and I’ve not moved off the couch.

Just like Mark Serrels describes in his piece:

REFRESH… REFRESH… REFRESH

 

 

angryThere is also the outrage. I’m so tired of the outrage on Facebook. There are somethings that deserve to media attention, all our energy and outrage. But there are many other things that when I see them I can just feel energy being dragged out of me. There are beautiful and kind people frequenting Facebook, but there are also mean, bully, passive aggressive people on there as well, who are using it to be mean, to bully and be passive aggressive.

I don’t think it’s the forum for an argument. But it has become a platform for this, which is a shame.

I admire people who can log in once or twice a week; Facebook does not seem to have that same insidious affect on their lives. It not only robs me of my evenings, it’s now also stealing my thinking time from me while I decide whether or not to take this challenge. Thinking time while I’m hanging out the washing, or chopping spuds for dinner. Important thinking time where I work out what children need to be where, what’s happening on the weekend, whether I need to buy birthday presents, cook a cake, or take a plate. The sort of thinking that has to be done when you’re running a household with five people in it. Not very exciting thinking, but necessary nonetheless.

So I decided, it would be an experiment just to see. To see how it feels in the evening to have time to do all those things that I want to, to see how connected I still feel, to actually see how important it is to me.

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I’m staying on Instagram, it just doesn’t seem to suck my time the way Facebook does. I’m going to continue to blog, so if you want to continue reading and usually click though from Facebook, click on the subscribe link and my posts will be emailed to you.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little uncomfortable about this experiment. Again, this is further evidence that it needs to happen.

From midnight tonight, until January 1, 2017 I’ll be absent from Facebook. December seems an appropriate time to do this; I want to be fully engaged and present with my family during the Christmas period and I’m sure this will help.

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Is anyone else up for the challenge? I’d love to share the journey with someone else, but I’m also happy to go it alone.

Let me know if you’re up for the challenge.

 I’d love to know how you feel about Facebook, does it take up too much room in your life?

 

Comments

  1. says

    I absolutely love and support this 100%. Last week I was on my first holiday in five years and I struggled to stay off FB but in the end I did a pretty good job (I shared only 3 photos on Instagram which nearly killllled me but I wanted to keep those memories to myself.) I bet your whole relationship with social media will change by the months end. Can’t wait to hear how you go! Xoxo

    • collette says

      Gosh, I have to say, it’s great to hear I’m not alone on this. I’m hoping it does change things for me and FB, because in a relatively short time, it’s gone from being a peripheral thing, to one of the first things I do in the morning.
      Btw, your holiday looked glorious!

  2. says

    Another great article and food for thought, im happy to say i dropped my frenemy :Facebook a while back, im still there, but its not in charge. As for wine, thats another story altogether, we all have our weakness.
    Get yourself onto whats app, its what i use all the time now, you can have your groups, you can share pics and you can call people but it bypasses all the crap and is a little more wholesome.
    Install messenger on your phone too, you can still be reachable via Facebook but not on it. Podcasts and audio books have taken me over and luckily i cant do both Facebook and them together, Facebook lost the battle. Good luck!.. you know, for whats its worth, i much prefer reading your blog this way anyway xx

    • collette says

      I’m on to the Whats App thing. I’m probably with you on the wine, and that’s ok. Podcasts and audio books are a great replacement. I love podcasts too, but you know… time. So here’s hoping I’ll find some to listen to more of them. xx

  3. says

    We go to our property in South Gippsland for a few days every month where phone reception is very patchy. This means its almost impossible to keep up with Facebook so I get this built-in regular detox. I still think about it and wonder what is going on out there in Facebook world however I do notice when we return home that I don’t feel such a strong desire to make sure I don’t miss anything. A one month abstinence sounds like a good idea especially as it seems to be claiming more of your thinking time than you feel comfortable with. All the best!

    • collette says

      A regular withdrawal from Facebook sounds ideal, but isn’t it interesting that it still has the affect on you that leaves you wondering what you’re missing? This is exactly what I am trying to break free from. So it’s Day 1 and I automatically went to open it, but fortunately last night before I went to bed I deactivated my account. I think this is going to be great for me on many fronts! I will report back. Thanks for reading.

  4. says

    Brilliant plan Collette – I only end up on FB when I get tagged in something or get notifications from groups I’m in, but I don’t enjoy it as much as Insta and Pinterest as it does seem to be lots of nonsense and rants and fake quizzes. I think you’ll find that once you’ve broken the habit, you don’t miss it at all, and in fact, your evenings of sketching, writing, baking, watching documentaries, are actually WAY more exciting 😉

    • collette says

      Well, it’s day 2 and it’s only really habit that’s making me feel like having a look. I don’t actually want to see what’s on there. This week I’ve been watching a great documentary across three nights, which I know I would have missed if I was on Facebook, as I would have been scrolling and missed the time, or only half watched it, keeping an eye on my screen. As each day passes I think it will get easier and easier. xx

  5. says

    Hi Collette,
    good article. I was walking to work the other morning in generally ideal conditions – mild temperature, blue sky, attractive flora and fauna, well rested, well fed and plenty of time to do my 20min walk to work, but I still felt slightly anxious and I was trying to pinpoint why. I believe, on reflection, it was because I was on facebook as soon as I woke up. Sometimes not great being so connected! Have you seen a series on Netflix called ‘Black Mirror’? It’s a dystopian view of technology and the future. If you ever get a chance, particularly Season 3, ep 1 (‘Nosedive’) worth a look.
    Jo

    • collette says

      I do think we underestimate the negative affects of Facebook, and all social media. It’s not all bad, but finding the balance is difficult. I’m only three days in and already I feel better. Like you say there is definitely a downside to so much connection. I’ll have a look for Black Mirror, it sounds interesting. x

What are you thoughts?