You guys, I did something that I haven’t done in a very long time… I deleted Facebook from my phone. Say what? After the election my brain was fried and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I needed a Facebook vacation. Somehow Twitter & Instagram were cordial and relatively filtered from nastiness… Facebook on the other hand., let’s just say I was done.
Maybe it’s because Instagram is all about the photo, I mean does anyone read the captions anyways?
There’s only so much complaining you can do in 140 characters on Twitter… people ran out of energy to tweet?
Maybe it’s because my Facebook followers are my family and friends where as Twitter and Instagram are often strangers who share the same interests as me. So I did it, I deleted Facebook from my phone. Taking a Facebook vacation was the best thing I did for myself in awhile. I was due for a social media detox and this proved to be the perfect time for a Facebook vacation. After it was gone… a few things happened.
My Facebook Vacation Changed My Daily Routine
The biggest thing that happened when I deleted Facebook from my phone was I had more time. Shocker, I know. Suddenly in the mornings I wasn’t on a 10 minute hunt to catch up on everyone’s lives from the night before. We got moving faster in the morning and I spent a lot less time feeling like I was missing out on everyone else’s breakfast.
During lunch hour I switched to looking at blogs, going for runs, writing blogs, etc. It’s amazing how easily you can get sucked into Facebook. Even though I could still easily access Facebook on the computer, I honestly didn’t want to. I started checking in once (maybe twice) a day.
In the evenings I didn’t feel the need to constantly look at my phone before bed. Some nights I even turned it on silent well before it’s scheduled 10pm time.
I Felt Less Negativity
The election results hit a lot of people in a lot of different ways. There was anger, resentment, hurt, happiness, sadness & a number of people who plain out feel scared. Reading Facebook that morning I felt it all. Unfortunately I also saw people ruining friendships, people asking for their family to unfollow them based on their votes but worst of all people bullying. There was name calling, threats and just flat out nastiness.
Truth be told the results weren’t going to change based on whether I was friends with someone or not so I stepped away. The hate will be there, I get it, but I don’t need the extreme amount of negativity in my life that Facebook has been providing.
Social media gives us an outlet but also a screen to hide behind. I’ve often found that people are much more outspoken on social media than they ever would be in real life.
I Saw My Friends Posts More Often
The thing I least expected to happen is exactly what happened. Facebook has an algorithm that optimizes based on your activity. When I stopped liking random memes all night long, random pages started showing less and my friends posts started showing more. Suddenly I felt more connected to my friends lives, even though they posted the pictures 19 hours before. It’s been a month and I see very few posts other than what my close friends are sharing.
I Didn’t Miss Much
Something I should’ve realized is how much time I had been investing on my personal Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis. Nothing got past me (expect for posts of people I had previously blocked). During my Facebook vacation I missed a few things but not enough to make me want to jump back on it all day.
I missed a pregnancy announcement. To be fair, it was for a friend from college who I haven’t actually spoken to in 10 years. Would my life have changed if I never heard about it? Probably not. The important things that have happened in my life or my friends lives over the last month have been discussed in other ways. Usually not through a Facebook announcement. I love being able to check in from time to time and catch up, but I clearly don’t need to be connected 100% of the time.
I missed my groups. I’m part of a few blogging groups and a Facebook Ads (work related) group. I never realized how much I relied on some of the posts in those groups until I took a break. One of the first things I do now when I login is check in on them.
I maintained respect for people who I might not have otherwise. This is the true reason I decided to step away. I realize it’s running away from the problems but there were too many people on my Facebook feed that I wanted to be able to have a civil conversation with at a later date. It’s hard to look someone in the eye who called 50% of their Facebook friends f@#$ing morons because of a choice they made at the polls.
Will I Put Facebook Back On My Phone?
My “break” from Facebook originally started for just a few days after the election. A month (or so) later I don’t miss it.. at all. Only once or twice have I almost re-downloaded it. Ironically it was out of laziness and not being able to go sit at my computer and check in… not because I desperately needed to login.
Chances are I’ll put it back on my phone someday. Going forward I’ll approach it with caution. I did a fairly big friends cleanup and narrowed my list down 136 people… there is a good chance another round is coming soon. I’m ready to make my Facebook feed back to just my friends and not random people who I haven’t talked to since we were on a group project together in college.
Have you ever taken a Facebook Vacation?