I’ve read a lot of articles and blogs that people have written about giving up social media, and while it seems everyone is in agreement that it proves we waste too much time on there, I’d still like to provide my feedback on my experience.
I never intentionally set out to leave Facebook. Living nearly 3 hours from my family and most of my friends it was even more useful after I moved than even prior to it. As I began blogging more though I realized that I enjoyed writing more elaborately and thought provoking things than what Facebook seemed to allow me to do. Sure I could post a recent news article that stirred me up and write a ranting comment to be “Liked” or commented after, but it wasn’t the same as fully expressing my thoughts. The growing amount of ignorance within current events that seemed to be spouted about daily on statuses kept eating at me over time. Also, the number of personally irritating people that I longed to delete but feared backlash from grew as well.
So I randomly deactivated my Facebook without warning. It honestly felt like a relief. No longer did I feel compelled to publish my day to day happenings, read through nearly every new update every time I logged in, or obsessively sign into the site in case somehow something amazing occurred since I last signed in a few hours prior. I expected to miss it, to feel left out of my friends’ and family members’ lives and that my curiosity would drive me back. Instead I found myself reading books more often, blogging more, and reaching out to friends via text instead. True to the statement that social media is a time sucker, I found “lost time” in the morning and evenings. While I did sign into my mom’s account a few times (she insisted I look at various pictures that had been posted), it was never more than a few minutes as I found I really didn’t feel a need to check up on everyone any longer.
Why I have I then returned to Facebook? The simple answer is I wanted to post pictures of my most recent cruise for friends and family to see. The pathetic answer is my birthday is coming up this month, and I get a sick pleasure from seeing how many people tell me happy birthday regardless of whether or not they talk to me at all the rest of the year. The overall answer is that I do still generally find it handy to keep up to date with people particularly those whom I consider friends, but not close enough friends to constantly text or call. I do find that I don’t desire to be on it as long as I used to nor do I read all the posts on the news page anymore. I haven’t written many statuses, and I probably won’t in the way I used to as I find it much more fulfilling to spend time blogging if I’m going to write.
I encourage everyone to take a hard look at how often they find themselves on Facebook or any other form of social media. Realize that when you complain that you don’t have enough time to do certain things that even if you start with cutting out social activity for one day that you’ll gain time back in your week. Instead of just “liking” someone’s status or commenting, try communicating with them in other ways. Find new hobbies or take back up old ones; I guarantee you’ll find a lot more fulfillment in your life from than than anything that social media provides you.