Feb 032015
 

Is it time to quit or leave Facebook? I want to share with you the surprise I got when I left Facebook. But first – full disclosure – I need to say that I have not deleted my FB account. I have deactivated it to take a leave from it. A little vacay from the world of FB.

A sorely needed and much overdue leave.

and I want to make it clear that I’m not a FB hater and I’m not trying to tell anyone else to leave. I’m just sayin’ that for me, the time had come.

While FB has a lot of positive aspects, and it’s just a tool – I found that overall I was not able to make good use of the tool.

It was not a good use of my time and the overall risk/reward or however you want to analyze it — well, it just wasn’t coming out on the positive side for me.

It had become a negative experience and I was  logging too many WASTED hours.

Sure, I love seeing what everyone is up to and connecting with people I’d lost touch with and family and, and, and…..(part of the problem – too many ‘ands’ – I love seeing too much stuff from too many people!! ) .

So there is a LOT of noise. At least for me. A lot of white noise and it finally dawned on me that it’s draining.

It’s a huge time suck – like a trip down the rabbit hole – I wandered into something strange and beautiful but it was a long way down – never ending really – and there was some darkness there too.

We have this one life. A certain number of days – who knows how many. . . . . . and I can, without one shred of doubt, say that spending hours on FB everyday is NOT how I want to spend this blessed gift of a life.

So when I found I was actually feeling more and more dissatisfied with the experience – annoyed at nearly every turn while ON and left unsettled when I logged off, I realized it was a case of it’s ME not YOU (FB).  And it was time for a break up.

I ‘deactivated’ my account which is not quite as easy or straightforward as one might think.

In settings there is a ‘deactivate’ my account link.  Click on that and you find yourself at a page that asks you if you’re sure and then asks you to choose from a list the reason why you are deactivating.

Interestingly, the defaults are set up that your account will self reactivate in 7 days. So that is what I did the first time. I think I selected the option  that I was spending too much time on FB and I allowed it to reactivate in 7 days. Seven days later my email was full of alerts and notifications so it’s a self announcement when you’re back. 🙂   But, back up – It wasn’t really quite that easy. Because I admin several groups on FB I had to be careful – the blurb says that everything remains the same when you come back EXCEPT your admin status. OOPS. Quick double check to make sure I had back up admins in all my groups. Back to the deactivate button, click, annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd. Nope.

I also am a ‘developer’ with an app. Can’t deactivate or leave FB until you transfer the app to someone. 20 minutes later and that was done. And something like 45 minutes after I began, I finally was able to click the button. DEACTIVATE.

I expected to begin twitching IMMEDIATELY.

I expected to feel flushed and nervous – like being at a high school party with all the cool kids when I didn’t really know anyone and everyone is talking around me or over by the keg and I can’t hear and I don’t really know what’s going on and I just want to be a part of the fun! I expected it to drive me cuh-razy.

What surprised me when I left Facebook?

While I expected to be twitching in this void of silence, in this vast nothingness, instead I felt IMMEDIATE relief.

Honestly, it was a palpable lightness. Like a weight off my shoulders.

and the other big surprise.

I didn’t miss it.

not one single bit.

Which is alternately surprising and wonderful, and scary and just a little confusing, and disturbing – kinda all at the same time.

I’m puzzled.

but I’m ok with that. (and some of it is beginning to make more sense so I’ll be back with a follow up post to share my insights)

I’m not incessantly checking, I’m not wondering what’s going on there, who said what, posted what, shared what. I get home from work and I don’t get sucked in for an hour checking updates and groups and daisy chaining from one link to another.

I’ve found time. (which is great considering the name and intent of this blog – we have JUST enough hours – for me FB use was stealing some of those minutes/hours)

I’ve gained some peace (that I didn’t know had lost as it happened so gradually over a period of time).

The big question for me is – what do I do going forward?  Not only did I keep in touch with people via FB but I also made new friends there who I may not have another way of contacting (just yet) So, I do hope to dip in and out – maybe pop in every couple of weeks catch up with some friends and I’ll keep my business page(s) going to the best of my ability by scheduling posts when I pop in, but I am hopefully (and pretty sure) that the days of incessant checking and hours chasing info and clicking links to watch screaming goats and cute kitties are forever GONE.

It is really quite remarkable to me, when I think about it, how integral FB has become to our culture, our lives. . . . it’s a ‘norm’ for most people, most businesses……this ONE app has become such a daily part of people’s lives. In a very short time. It’s changed our culture and I think will leave a rather large footprint.

I don’t know what to make of that.

I am really really intersted in hearing other’s thoughts – have you left facebook? Taken a break? Deactivated or deleted your facebook account? Or are you thinking about leaving facebook?

Comment below !

  3 Responses to “The Surprise I Got When I Left Facebook”

  1. Janice, I think you know where I stand on this issue. If I thought my family wouldn’t disown me, I would do it in a heartbeat. Like you would I not miss it…because during times when I have been forced to be without internet or cell phone for long periods of time, I consider it a blessing; a calm respite from the craziness that has become life. It is time to recharge, and connect with real people and tasks that are right in front of me. Being overseas is a bit of a hindrance to completely shutting it down, as it is the only means of communication certain of my family uses anymore.

    • Yes Evalie – that’s it! I have felt like I’m missing what’s right in front of me in favor for the screen. Cutting down on all things internet as well as tv. Haven’t completely replaced the time with the things I want, but I’m moving in that direction. 🙂 Thank you so much for coming by and commenting – means a lot to me. 🙂

  2. Hi Janice,
    I left Facebook at the end of 2014, and was surprised how easy it was to leave as well! I’m still Facebook-free, and have started a project to interview others who have also left FB.

    Are you still off? I’d love to feature you on the interview series: http://www.rebewithaclause.com/p/facebook-free.html

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.