Taking a break from Facebook
I recently read about a celebrity quitting Instagram. I thought to myself, “I wonder why she did that.”
This celebrity stated: “Instagram felt like something more that I had to do. The pressure to post, the anxiety of not having posted a photo in a few days. It just felt like something I had to do on top of all the other commitments and responsibilities I have.”
Well, obviously I’m not a celebrity, but I do relate to the celeb’s reason of why she quit Instagram.I haven’t quit Instagram (I would die), but I’m taking a Facebook Sabbatical. Why am I off Facebook? I thought Facebook was a virtual parallel life that I had to keep up with. So one day I deleted my Facebook app from my phone and stopped checking my feed.
“I thought Facebook was a virtual parallel life that I had to keep up with.”
It feels good! It looks like one less thing to do. Why I am even writing this post? I thought my experience of taking a break from Facebook was “share worthy” and the results that came from it.
Here they go:
Obvious result: I’m checking my phone a third of the time of what I used to. I’m still on Instagram and Twitter, but for me, these social networks don’t demand the emotional “attention” Facebook does.
What do I mean by “emotional attention?” Going through my feed, I can’t help feeling worried, or jealous, or happy or sad when I see friends and people I haven’t seen in a long time. Then I think I’m “carrying” all the information with me throughout the day and I have to check FB, again and again, to find out what’s happening in my feed.
I’m not even going to go into the whole “being present” feeling. But the fact is: less time on my phone = more time to do things in “real” life.
Second side-effect: during the random pockets of “free” time I have such as waiting for the kids’ school pick-up, or the long wait at the Costco gas station, I’m not on my FB account but I’m spacing out, or I’m coloring my pocket-sized book.
Not super exciting, but not staring at a screen leaves me with more energy to get going with my day.
Third, I’m not comparing my life to other people’s lives. For example, and I see a post like this: ‘I’m at at my child’s baseball game and my kids’ team just won the championship!’ I can’t help but compare my kids’ little extracurricular activities with my friend’s post. Don’t get me wrong; I’m genuinely proud of my friends’ kids accomplishments but as a human being, parent, mom I can’t help but compare myself to my friend’s lives. Pathetic right? It is the truth.
“I can’t help but compare myself to my friend’s lives. Pathetic right? It is the truth.”
Soooo, will I come back to Facebook? I honestly don’t know. For now, I’m out of the loop not knowing about my friends’ lives, shared “events,” or the latest viral meme. It is a bit odd to feel left out at conversations among friends but I also feel more “free.” I have one less thing to do and I’m Ok with that.
Now the most drastic result since I’ve quit Facebook is that I feel less busy and frantic. What I was getting from Facebook was this message: “Be busy, be doing something, sign-up your kids to more activities and make sure you stay active”. It is like “busy-ness” has become a badge of honor we must wear proudly.
“It is like “busy-ness” has become a badge of honor we must wear proudly.”
So for now, I’m going to try to go against this “busyness” culture and instead slow down, take care of myself, exercise, meditate and prepare myself for the parenting marathons I have early afternoons when I pick up my children from school. Maybe next time when someone asks me: “How are you doing?” My reply will be “Not busy.” I wonder what kind of reactions I’ll get ;)
Would you quit Facebook, or go on Facebook Sabbatical?
What do you think?