Facebook-Free, Four Months Later

Last December, I pulled the plug on Facebook.

I despised the fact that I was spending way too much time online, and much of it was spent on Facebook.  I spent hours scrolling through my newsfeed, looking at pictures of people’s breakfasts, engaging in pointless arguments, and not hearing from the people I really wanted to chat with. 

Finally, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

To be honest, I was a little anxious when I made my decision.  We’re pretty isolated, where we live, so interacting with people online is one way that I stay connected to the world outside of our family.  I feared that everyone would be “too busy” to continue our discussions, via e-mail, and that I would become more isolated.  I knew that, if we couldn’t be bothered to write each other directly, then it was time to go our separate ways, but I was afraid that was the case with everyone.

Long story short, it wasn’t. computer

However, my break from Facebook was had its share of surprises.  Here are some unexpected results, of my decision:

1.  I lost touch with the vast majority of my Facebook “friends.”  About 10 of them wrote initially, and we exchanged a couple of e-mails.  Now, I only correspond with 2-3 of them, on a regular basis.

2.  Instead, I have developed some amazingly close friendships with people I have never met in person.  The vast majority of my correspondance is with other minimalist bloggers, all of whom I have started writing since I quit Facebook.  I also write to other crunchy mommies from Michigan Natural Parenting, and a few of my readers, who have contacted me.  We have discussed politics, religion, and the meaning of life…and, also, what we ate for breakfast…

3.  My blog traffic has increased significantly since I deleted my account.  Social media has become completely unnecessary, to the accomplishing of my purpose.

4.  I get many more comments, after quitting Facebook.  In the past, people wrote comments on my Facebook page, instead of on the blog.  It’s been very beneficial to have all the discussion take place publically, in one place.

5.  I still spend a lot of time online, sometimes.  But it’s time spent in more valuable ways.  I used to regret the time I wasted, on social networks and the like.  But I spend most of my time writing now–it’s therapeutic.  I’m spending more time on my blog posts, and putting more thought into them.  I will not regret using my creativity in this way.  The only other activity I do online is write e-mails–and I also will not regret spending time cultivating friendships and growing spiritually and intellectually.

6.  I’ve had to come up with more time-filler activities.  When I’m in a waiting room, or doing some other similar boring activity, I can no longer keep checking and refreshing my newsfeed.  And “I’m bored” e-mail discussions only go through so many exchanges.  ( *smiling at those of you who have participated in such discussions* )  Once my blog posts are written for the week, I’ve found myself reading ebooks, writing guest posts, and doing other writing–activities that are much more valuable than checking my news feed!

Overall, my decision to quit Facebook has been the right decision.  I no longer feel like my online time is guilty, wasted time.  I often regretted spending so much time social networking, but I have not regretted spending time writing, learning, and developing friendships.

Technology can be used for good, worthwhile purposes.  It’s just a matter of being intentional.

15 thoughts on “Facebook-Free, Four Months Later

  1. I’m happy for you that you haven’t regretted it and have found other things that you feel are better for you.

    Call me old, but I never got the bug to play around with facebook. I still prefer face-to-face meetings, but when that isn’t possible a phone call or email works just fine for me. What I really don’t get is why people, separate from an online business venture, would want to have hundreds of people they don’t know, know their every move. And the games on facebook seem like a huge waste of my time. But again, I grew up with party lines and 3 TV channels. so what do I know.

    • Oh, sheesh, the games! Talk about a time drain!

      And I know quite a few people of all ages, who never wanted to do FB. I was a complete addict for a couple of years, but I haven’t missed it at all.

  2. I’m happy to hear you’ve noticed an improvement in your quality of life! I’ve been wanting to quit for a while, but can’t seem to do it. I continue to delete more and more people though so hopefully I’ll get to a point where I won’t feel I’m missing out on much.

    • I understand where you are. What will help is starting to maintain those social connections through other venues, such as e-mail. And, be brave and write to other like-minded people you encounter! Not everybody writes back, but I was surprised by how many people did!

  3. Thats awesome you have these good experiences after quitting facebok. I’m definately not a Facebook fan, but I did get sucked into the games and mindless updates a few years ago. I have not logged into my account on fb in so long, I should probably delete it. I like twitter a lot – I was obsessively checking twitter a year ago, but not so much anymore except once in the morning and once in the evening now. If someone sends a tweet to me I get a notification and will reply back, but it doesn’t seem to be such a time sucker as fb was. It also seems much more positive and less drama – I find that I have more fun with the simplicity of twitter. 🙂

      • I find it easier to use and easier to step away from. Its moves fast and you have limited characters to use. There are no games. You can actually follow breaking news updates and there are quite a few minimalists on there that I follow as well. If you ever join, feel free to follow me @NauticalDreamin and I will share with you some of the other tweeters that are minimalists.

  4. I concur with so much you’ve said. I think we quit about the same time. I am released and free which I cherish. I did however make a hasty retreat and did not keep emails of some people i wish I had. No doubt if i try hard enough I can track them down, and so far I haven’t. I think facebook gave me a false sens of being connected. X

  5. I think having more time to concentrate and create what your doing here and in your life is a great reason to simplify from facebook! I do have it, but don’t read the newsfeed, so it’s quite static really!….so far! Heather x

  6. I know I’m not ready to quit Facebook yet! Not for the feeds, I don’t spend a lot of time there. It’s the silly games that have me in their clutches! It’s my guilty pleasure 🙂

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