There is nothing inherently wrong with social media websites, but for those of us who mindlessly allow our lives and minds to be sucked into a vortex of time-wasting, it might be beneficial to revisit our online behaviors and make positive changes. For me, that was Facebook.
I am currently on day 7 of a 30-day deactivation process of my personal account. If you are reading this article through my Sprout & Blossom Facebook page, my blog posts automatically post there when published. Trust me, I realize the irony of potentially reading a blog post about giving up Facebook that you saw posted on Facebook. Haha. I am still considering whether or not I will keep my Sprout & Blossom FB page. For now, it is fine.
There are many reasons why I chose to deactivate my personal Facebook account for 30 days, but here are a few of the things I have noticed about myself:
1. I felt overwhelmed by an ongoing stream of content/opinions/messages after using it.
2. Overall, I did not enjoy it, yet felt it difficult to just stay logged off.
3. It was a time-suck for me. I would end up passively reading the news feed during precious downtime when I could have been reading something to educate myself or participating in something more productive.
4. I have an abundance of watered down relationships with acquaintances. It is important to me to cultivate more meaningful relationships with my close family and friends. This means phone calls where I actually hear the person’s voice and learn more about them (not just passively see updates through a screen), taking walks, meeting for tea, and writing handwritten letters and cards (yes, snail mail. I miss the joy in that simple act of sending mail to others, and now I have more time for it).
In fact, I was so excited about getting back to handwritten cards and letters again, that I finally got myself a p.o. box. I can receive mail now in this beautiful antique p.o. box. Quite the little historical treasure.
Sidenote: Please feel free to send me snail mail. I will be starting a new *read mail with me* segment on my sprout & blossom youtube channel where I will read letters and cards and open packages while I talk about life. I would love to hear from you!
mary harris, p.o. box 635, ocean gate, nj 08740
The first few days were a little challenging, and the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) makes a sneak appearance every now and then. But so far, I am much happier without my personal Facebook account. I have more time for reading, writing, and photography, and realize those are things I really enjoy. I’m ready to take on week #2.
How You Can Give It a Try:
If you face similar struggles with any type of social or digital media (it does not have to be Facebook; we all have our triggers), then here are my top suggestions for letting go or at least improving your quality of life:
1. Consider a reasonable time frame for staying offline. You can always go back.
2. Make a game out of the challenge. You can even document your experience.
3. Most people are afraid of missing out on something. The truth is, in life we always miss out on something. We cannot be everywhere all at once. We will never know everything that is going on everywhere with everyone (nor should we want to). We will miss things. But along with that, we can make more time for the more important things. This replaces the fear and anxiety.
4. Remember that in the grand scheme of things, Facebook is fairly new. It is just a website, but one with a lot of power; it has changed the ways we think, feel, and behave. It has changed our way of communicating in such a short period of time, for better and for worse. Remember back to your pre-social media days. How did you stay in touch with the ones you love? Now, more of that.
In closing, if this is something you have been contemplating, just go for it. You might be surpised what you learn about yourself.
Please comment and share: Have you ever struggled with using social media?
Godspeed. Enjoy this precious life.