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.
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.