What It Feels Like to 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.”
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.
Back when I still did FB ads on behalf of a German dev org (because they are not allowed to), I still had an excuse to use it. Now I just scroll through the feed and close it without commenting on almost anything. I wouldn’t really want to leave the platform, but with all that bullshit online, I am glad when I don’t *have* to use it. The worst imo are ppl using Facebook from their mobile and then resharing stuff without prior validating the content, also because a simple Google image search isn’t that easy from a phone. When I did those FB ads, I registered for many Diasporan groups from West- and East Africa, and man, those are the worst. Everything gets reshared on those groups. So I had to unfollow them asap to keep some sanity.
As for blogging: I wish people would also return to reading longer posts without checking for the tl;dr paragraph.
I don’t think I ever used Facebook as much as you did, but I cut back on it a lot after the whole Cambridge Analytica thing. Among other things, I’ve found that my feed is increasingly useless the less I use it– now a lot of it is just a random assortment of memes from people I don’t interact with much. Consequently, I use it more like the old-school Web– looking at people’s homepages every now and again to check up on what they’ve been doing.