Giving Up Facebook

My only real New Year’s Resolution this year was to give up Facebook. There were a LOT of reasons for this. First, my dabbling research into the world of minimalism and simplicity. Second, it had become a TERRIBLE timesuck. I would find myself staring at my phone at really inappropriate times (while “‘watching” a movie with Ben, at the dinner table, at parties), just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. It was gross, and I hated it. Third, it wasn’t making me happy. If anything, it usually made me sad, mad, annoyed, or any number of other negative emotions, which seems pretty counter-intuitive. There are countless other reasons, but those are the top three.

I had/have a lot of anxiety about giving up the ‘book. Firstly, it’s become pretty ubiquitous as a way to find out about stuff going on, either party invites, or local events or what have you. It seems like something isn’t “real” or “official” until it’s “Facebook Official.” I’m experiencing FOMO, worrying that I’ll somehow receive less event invitations, or not find out about cool stuff happening, or miss out on fun milestones in my friends’ and family’s lives. Which is kind of dumb actually, considering the fact that I rarely go to parties/bars/social events even when I AM invited. And I know that the people who truly care about me and want to see me will find ways to invite me places and keep me updated on their lives other than via Facebook.

I’m also worried about missing out on audition opportunities. A lot of theatre companies use Facebook almost exclusively to post audition notices. Some companies have email lists, which I’m on, but a lot don’t. Staying on top of theatre opportunities is going to be more work now. I will have to check websites and write down dates rather than just getting Facebook event reminders. And yeah, I may miss some things. But is that really the end of the world? Is that really a reason to stay connected to a social network that’s draining my time and energy? Heck no!

So, I deactivated my Facebook account before I went to bed on New Year’s Eve. That means it’s now been over a week since I’ve logged in, checked a notification, or seen a message. It’s been… strange, but also good. I still find myself pulling out my phone all the damn time, but Facebook isn’t there, so I put it back. I’m definitely spending less time staring at my phone, which is great.

I’m still on Instagram and Twitter, and while I’m still technically logged into Snapchat, I’ve never really liked it and use it pretty rarely. IG is by far my favorite form of social media. Because it’s just pictures, I find it quick and easy to get “caught up” on the happenings, but it’s not something that causes me to get sucked in and scroll for crazy amounts of time. Twitter is starting to feel really overwhelming and not very useful at all as a way to stay connected, so I may get rid of it in the near future as well.

I’m not sure how long this FB hiatus will be, but I’d love to manage to do it for a whole year. No matter what happens, I’m really enjoying the break.

Have you ever taken a big step back from social media? How did it go?

20 thoughts on “Giving Up Facebook

  1. txa1265 says:

    I removed SnapChat and Vine and Pinterest a while ago, leaving just FB, Insta, Twitter and LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn’t a time sink for me, really don’t spend much time there – but find it ‘necessary’ for work and career’.

    I have tried a new thing to separate what I do where – try to isolate most politics talk to Twitter, because honestly I don’t want to lose old friends on FB just due to harmless political differences (significant stuff, sure). Plus I really don’t want all the angst and drama.

    Instagram, as you note, is perfect as a ‘casual social media’ – but you don’t connect as much either.

    Hadn’t thought about the theater side for you – though I definitely see stuff that we want to do on FB, so it makes sense.

    Good luck – I did a small social media ‘pruning’, but not too deep and need to do more. Just too easy to say ‘sure I will follow / friend ‘ accept request’ and suddenly it is adding more time to scrolling.

    • Rae says:

      If I ever do go back to Facebook, I think I will need to do a pretty ruthless pruning of people I follow/am friends with. I’m pretty sure I currently have over 700 friends, which is just ridiculous. I’m still connected to people from high school that I haven’t seen/talked to/interacted with since graduation, or people I met freshman year of college before I transferred to UVM and never saw again.

      For now, I’m just enjoying the break, and trying to connect more “in real life.”

  2. Heather [is probably running] says:

    I took Facebook off my phone and only sign in occasionally to see what is going on with run clubs and a few close friends. One of my friends unfriended every single person and only uses her account to stay current on local events, running and tri events. If you are worried about missing auditions, you could try something like that. Good luck!

  3. hellyontherun says:

    I feel ya!! I’ve thought about doing this but I’m involved in so many things that “require” me to be on social media, esp Facebook. I’m the chapter leader for my city’s Moms Run This Town and I run it entirely on Facebook. I too, get sucked it and when I try to monitor myself, I “worry” about the same things you do. Plus, like you with your career, I’m thinking about a career change that you guessed it, would require me to market myself. It’s tough but I like Heather’s idea of de-friending and un-following. I follow a lot of news sources and I find myself getting sucked into articles that waste soooo much time. I think that would be a good place for me to start. Anyway, I wish you luck and know you’re not alone. You’re definitely inspiring me to *do something* about it! ❤ xoxo!!!

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Helly! I also like Heather’s idea, and it may be the solution for me if I decide to go back to Facebook in the future. Good luck with your potential career change! 🙂

  4. SuzLyfe says:

    I’ve found that I’m almost soaking it up before I know that I will need to step back from active scrolling, but I will be posting–especially with the new baby. But a few years ago, I took a HUGE step back from FB. I really only started using it again when I decided to use it for blog stuff. You do what you need to do to give yourself balance.

    • Rae says:

      I will be very interested to see how my feelings surrounding this continue to evolve. I went off FB briefly before the 2016 election because I was overwhelmed, but was sucked back in pretty quickly. I think setting out specific reasons for the break will be helpful this time around.

  5. Mountain Maven says:

    This is pretty cool! I’m not brave enough to do this but I do agree that FB is a huge time such for me and I’m mindlessly scrolling on it all the time. I do that with Instagram too, but I feel like everything I see on insta is inspiring while most of what I see on FB is depressing and stressful. I’m curious to hear how this goes for you because I could definitely use a FB detox!

  6. Imperial Talker says:

    One of the best decisions I ever made was to quit Facebook and never look back. I suddenly found more time to read and also discovered that I was less stressed. Now, more than a year and a half later, I have no desire to ever return and can’t figure out why I even stuck around on it for as long as I did. Kudos on the decision to give it up, even if only for this year. I am sure it will end up being a refreshing experience.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks very much! So far it’s been great, and I’m glad to hear it’s worked out so well for you. It’s always nice to hear from someone who’s already done the thing you’re attempting and had success 🙂

  7. veryrach says:

    I’ve really been struggling with Facebook recently. I kept reading all these articles about people who say it’s bad for you and stuff, but I never really felt that until recently. I also have the FOMO though, so it’s really hard to leave it! idk what to do. I’ve been trying to focus more on just not using it, but I think I’m addicted : -(

  8. Hilary Tan says:

    I’m done with Facebook and the drama on it. Messenger really wasn’t any better and I always had the hope deep down that I would connect with long lost “friends.” I got rid of it all so I can focus on school. Texting and WhatsApp isn’t really a distraction for me, but messenger was because there was almost always someone to talk to on there at any given minute of the day.

    • Rae says:

      Yeah, it’s amazing how many so-called “connections” you can have and not really be connected to anyone. It’s now been two weeks that I’ve been of FB and so far I’m loving it. Less drama, less wasted time, more freedom.

  9. speak766 says:

    This sounds like a great resolution! Facebook can be so distracting and counter productive. I deactivated mine awhile ago and feel much better about myself since I’m not constantly comparing myself to other people. Best of luck with your goal!

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