What It Feels Like to Quit Facebook

quit facebook

At the beginning of this year, I quit Facebook. Well, mostly. I still use Facebook Pages for JadedAid and KinderPerfect as that’s where my customers are, and sometimes I relapse and post to my timeline or cheat and tweet. Yet, I have deleted the app from all my mobile devices, which keeps me honest as I’m too busy at work to fool with Facebook.

So what is it like to quit the Facebook?

I Miss the Quick Rush

When I would post to Facebook, I loved the instant gratification and personal validation that likes and comments conveyed. This of course is the problem. I was incentivized to overshare, and overshare I did. Sometimes I found myself sharing things that were not positive, and I would feel bad about increasing the negativity in the world, but even then it was hard to delete the post – what if someone new liked it?!

I Don’t Miss the Anger

I’d like to say that after the election, I found myself getting into angry arguments on Facebook, but that would be a lie. I went off on people, places, and efforts and said things that would’ve better been left unsaid, or not said in the way I did. Worse, I engaged in those arguments you know you’ll never win, but you just can’t let them be. That frustration I do not miss at all, even though, looking at that argument I just linked to, its taking all my willpower not to continue it with a choice retort.

I Don’t Miss the Casual Friends

This is the greatest surprise for me. One of the main reasons I told myself I needed Facebook, is because I fancy myself a thought leader in my industry. I felt I needed to be on the Facebook to keep engaged with my constituency. I’ve come to realize that this is a false narrative. There are a few people I don’t hear from as often, but overall, those that really matter to me know how to find me when it matters to them and me.

I Love My Vibrant Inbox

The second biggest surprise in leaving Facebook is how vibrant my email inbox is now. What would in the past be a post I’m tagged in, is now an email to me personally. I’ve also taken to emailing things to people I used to post publicly with a tag to them, and as far as I can tell, recipients appreciate the emails more than the tags. For sure, these posts generate a whole slew of responses and each email feels way more authentic than a silly Facebook like.

I love Being Present with My Family

As you might expect, less Facebook means I am more present with my family. In fact, quitting Facebook has me re-evaluating all my extracurricular pursuits, resulting in my parring down my endevours to a few core activities that bring me the most joy. Gone is the incessant timeline checking. Instead I am giggling with my kids, having uninterrupted dinners with my wife, and enjoying “being in the now.”

Join Me!

Yes, do it! Leave the Facebook, the Twitter, the Instagram, and all those other distractions. Walk away from Silicon Valley’s data hungry desires and return to your roots – whatever they are. Mine is creative writing blogging, which is truly my first addiction, and I love it. Yours can be whatever moves you. Join me – do it now.

And Back to Blogging I Go

back to blogging I go

Two awesome reasons to blog again

Why I Started Blogging

Way back in 1997, I started Belly Button Window to record my life. Not because I felt myself so special, but for the simple act of documenting this amazing journey so I can remember what happens.

That means I write first and foremost for me. Then I write for my kids, Hanalei and Archer, and their children, lest I not be there to tell these tales myself. I write because I know what its like to loose a Dad and realize what will never be.

Why I Stopped Blogging

Then in 2010 I stopped blogging my personal life. Why? I would like to say that it was my transition to a semi-professional blogger with multiple different websites to maintain. But in reality, I know exactly why I stopped. I joined Facebook.

Gone was the requirement to think about a post. To plan for text and pictures. To invest in formatting and hosting. I gave it all up to the all-mighty Facebook. As did you, and everyone else. It was so easy to quip and post, it became an addiction.

Back to Blogging I Go!

Now, eight years later, I’m recognizing the result of that addiction. Eight years gone from my online life. Oh there are bits here and there, and a giant trove behind the Facebook wall, but none out here, under my direct control.

So I started to cut down my Facebook usage in 2018, and now that its 2019, its time to go back to blogging. To enjoy long-form writing, and the craft of posting. To care about my personal online presence again.

I’m gonna start easy – one post a month. And we’ll see if we can get back to my best form: a weekly post of my off-line, real life experiences this big blue ball.

To all 5 of you who care, welcome back, and subscribe here to get updates.

Introducing Archer Sophia Vota

Hanalei’s little sister has arrived!

Please welcome Archer Sophia Vota, the newest edition to the Vota family. She came into this world this evening as her mom was laughing, and now she can’t stop crying. Yet her parents and her family are overjoyed by this new bundle of love.

Archer joins her sister Hanalei Stockard Vota, as the pride of the Vota family and they can both be found on Facebook (of course):