Last year, I decided to take a break from Facebook. With all the politics posts, people fighting over each other’s believes, negative posts about this and other aspects of life; People complaining about insignificant things, or getting mad when you miss or not like their posts, I decided to log off and stay away from it all.
I started by logging off, but still notifications would come to my phone. Turned that off, but since contacts could still see me, and tag me, some thought I was ignoring them, so I went a step further. I deactivated my account completely.
It’s been about 6 months already. Yes, at first I missed it a little, mostly knowing about events, but it didn’t take long for me to feel free.
You see, life is not easy… we all have our problems, challenges, stress, bad days. If on top of that you add the constant drama of social media, your day just got so much worst. Yes, some can tune it out, but sometimes you get emotionally involved in the situation, because it’s someone or something you care about, and having a constant reminder every time you log in just takes a toll.
It’s funny, I love social media. I’m an online junky just like the next person. With Facebook you get to see pictures, keep in contact with friends and family that are far, share a funny experience, quotes, etc. And, as much as I enjoy these things, I have always been aware of the downside of it: oversharing, jealousy, gossip, negative posts, insecurities, etc. Also, the fact that people rely on this, instead of actually communicating with each other, affects relationships, friendships and humanity.
With me being away, it has made my friends/ family and I communicate more. Yes, mainly by text or messenger (I didn’t go all the way “old school” to rely on long phone conversations again) but at least is more than a “click of a like” or scrolling through content without really seeing it.
Now we “talk more”, and our conversations are more meaningful because it’s one on one, instead of having to read through everyone else’s comments and meanings.
The other good thing about being off Facebook is that you have more time to do things other than checking your phone every 10 minutes. You read, watch a movie, go to the gym, without constantly being interrupted by your phone. Most importantly, you go out and instead of looking at the phone you’re looking at the person in front of you. You are not obsessed with looking at everyone else’s life but your own. You focus on you, without looking or comparing to anyone else. You live not trying to impress people by your posts but by how you live your life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use Instagram and share pictures there but, for some reason, and I talk by experience, Facebook just takes a lot more time and energy. An Instagram post is just a picture, you like it, maybe you’ll get just a few comments but content tends to be more positive, lighter, and prettier.
Maybe Facebook is not what consumes most of your (online) time, maybe it’s a game or app, Instagram, Google… point is, that you might want to disconnect for a while. Believe me, it’s an easy process. One that has made me happier and less stressed. A freedom that I didn’t think I needed, but now know it’s so necessary, and refreshing.
I will be back on Facebook, not sure when yet, every time I think about it I say “one more month off”, but when I do, I have decided to take a hiatus every so often and reconnect with people, nature, life, and most importantly myself.
I encourage you to give it a try. It’s like a breath of fresh air from the polluted online air.