What If…You Quit Facebook?

What if you quit Facebook?

What if Facebook didn’t make you happy?

What if you got tired of…

Judgement

Attention seekers

Opinions

Politics

Ads

Spam

Data mining

Keeping tabs on Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings.

Cruel comments posted from the “anonymity” of a computer screen.

People copying and pasting the same status update because they think it will protect their data. Or prevent Facebook from charging them.

People attempting to invoke change or cure cancer by liking or sharing a picture. Or worse, posting some ridiculous chain-mail status update. (Awareness is great, but only goes so far. My beef is with those who use Facebook posts as their only strategy to make a difference.)

Facebook Likes Don't Change The World

What if you wanted to live a little more privately? Have less of an online presence?

What if you wanted to break the twitch of constantly checking Facebook? Constantly. More than you realize.

What if you wanted to break the twitch of constantly checking Facebook? Click To Tweet

What if you thought having fewer friends would enable you to be a better friend?

What if you thought being less connected would make you feel more connected? Because you’d actually have things to talk about when you’re with your friends. And you could be present in the moment instead of looking at your phone.

What if…

I’m going to try to find out.

Facebook has been driving me nuts for a long time now but I’ve struggled to find a good way to be off of Facebook, yet still be able to keep up the Simply Save Facebook page and some pages I manage for work. I didn’t find the perfect solution, but I found something close and I’m giving it a try.

I created a new account (an extremely bare and boring one) so that I can manage pages/groups for work and Simply Save, and be involved in a select few groups. No, I don’t want to be your friend. Sorry. I’m only telling you to be honest about the fact that I’m not going 100% Facebook-free and so you’re not wondering how the heck I’m updating Simply Save.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far…in only the first few hours:

I use Facebook a lot. Way more often than I realized. Embarrassingly more often. I’m ashamed how often I reach for my phone to look at Facebook “really quick.” And this is despite the fact that I’ve seriously reduced my time and involvement on all things Facebook-related in the past year. I’ve unfollowed so many apps and pages, removed dozen of friends, reduced my posts, and stopped keeping up with Facebook birthdays, and so on. And still, I check it a lot. I assume (hope) this will fade quickly. Imagine what I can do with all this newfound time!

It’s somewhat concerning that when you tell people to message you if they want other contact info because you’re leaving Facebook, their first thought is that something is wrong. I had multiple people ask me if everything is alright. While I do appreciate the concern, it’s more just a sign of how much Facebook has become our norm. To the point where it’s not normal to not be on Facebook.

Facebook is intertwined with EVERYTHING. I’ve really simplified my life recently and reduced the number of apps and websites I rely on, but I still had to find new ways to sign in to about 10 different things instead of using my Facebook account. (Want to find out all the places Facebook has seeped into? On Facebook go to Privacy Settings and then Apps. You’ll see all the apps where you’ve used your Facebook account to login or allowed to interact with Facebook in some way.)

Facebook guilt trips you when you try to leave. Click To Tweet

Facebook guilt trips you when you try to leave. Ultimately I wasn’t able to deactivate my account because it messed up some past posts for work, but I did try. And when I tried…Facebook shows you pictures of your friends and tells you how much they’ll miss you when you leave. Nice try Facebook. Didn’t work for me, but I could see it tugging on the heart-strings of those that experience FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

On the same page as the guilt trip, Facebook throws up as many roadblocks as possible. They offer to give you a temporary break and automatically reactivate your account for you. They remind you of all the pages and groups you’re an Admin for (which was actually helpful because it reminded me to set new Admins) and they actually make you pick a reason for deactivating. None of which was, “I’m sick of Facebook.” Depending on which reason you select, you may get other “helpful” prompts.

What Happens When You Quit Facebook

What Happens When You Quit Facebook

It’s important to note that Facebook does not give you a way to actually DELETE your account. Your only option is to deactivate it. But you cannot make it go away forever. Creepy.

The Fine Print:

I’m sure I’ve been guilty of many of the things listed above at some point. I used to be quite the Facebook person. And I DO believe Facebook can be a tool for good, to drive change, and connect people. You hear stories of it from time to time and I saw it from my own friends. However, it’s so seldom used for this purpose. The ratio is more often heavily skewed towards the negative or annoying and I personally just need to get away from it.

So, I Sort of Quit Facebook:

Even though I’m not on Facebook, we are still friends. Or family.

Even though I don’t post on your Facebook page to wish you a happy birthday, I still care.

You can still invite me to things. I hope you do.

I still want to see pictures of your babies and hear about news and milestones. (I am still on Instagram, that doesn’t totally drive me nuts yet.)

I’m ok with YOU being on Facebook, and even doing the things I mentioned above. (Except being mean, please don’t be mean.)

But if you want to quit with me, I’ll support you and go through the inevitable withdrawals with you.

Facebook really has not been around all that long…but some of us cannot imagine living without it. Even the kids these days think Facebook is old school. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back someday when I get enough self-control not to be on all the time.

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14 Comments

  1. I am working on less social media in general. I find so much time during the days and times that I disconnect (like you said scary). I certainly feel you on many of the points that you are making here. I do not have any commitments in mind for now, but I certainly have some cutbacks I would to do in the near future.

  2. I’m reducing stuff in social media overall as well though it’s kinda hard seeing that’s how I’ll get my clients :-/ or I’ll discover different ways. Anyway kudos! The withdrawal will suck but my bff deactivated FB a long time ago and hasn’t looked back. If she can do it anyone can do it.

    • It’s a tough balance having a blog or business and not being on social media! I’m hoping to make it work. Thanks for the support!

  3. Good luck! I’ve deactivated my fb account many times as fb really does drive me nuts for many of the reasons you list. I do love Instagram though, I love the visual content & I find it more inspiring and definitely less gossipy. You may find, as I did, that many friends will lose touch with you. I have friends who only seem to communicate these days via fb. I tried texting and emailing…few or no response back. Go to their fb and they’re on the site 24/7 updating everyone about their life and no longer seem able to communicate one to one any more. Its pretty sad. So I’m back on fb now, to a very limited degree, and with only 30 fb friends, down from 200. I hope you update us regarding your fb free journey. Many have quit successfully and I hope I can be in that number one day.

    • Thanks Holly! And thanks for sharing your experience. I do suspect that will happen for me…maybe I’ll be back once I learn to stop checking it all the time!

      • Also, I got off my butt, and instead of just liking & sharing articles about the environment….I went and volunteered at a local creek clean up last month. it was amazing picking up litter. They will have more events next year that I’m going to participate in.

  4. This is the first time I checked out your site after hearing you on the Intentionally Wandering podcast (which I really enjoyed!), and it’s so funny because after the election, I just decided to not go back on Facebook or Twitter for a while. I didn’t disable my account or post anything; I just haven’t gone on in a few days (although I have used Messenger to chat with friends- totally different).

    It’s not unusual for me to not go on social media for a few days (or weeks with Twitter), so I don’t miss it at all. It will be interesting to see if that changes over a longer amount of time.

    Good luck! Enjoy the peace, quiet, and newfound time!

    • Thanks for stopping by! The podcast with Jeff was a lot of fun! I think (hope) I get to the point where you are where you don’t go on social media all that often. Like you I didn’t deactivate my account and I still find value in Messenger, but I have to cut myself off for awhile…hopefully I can just go on sporadically eventually as there are some family members and babies I love keeping up with. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  5. I can’t imagine getting rid of my Facebook page, but it definitely has been driving me nuts lately. Seeing all of the angry political posts lately is just getting really depressing. I did delete the FB app off of my phone a while ago which is nice because it removes the temptation and then there are plenty of times when I can’t go on FB. I think it’s great what you’re doing! Good for you!
    Frugal Millennial recently posted…Month in Review: October 2016My Profile

  6. I too have been contemplating deleting my personal FB page, but I have a business , havent started a blog yet, but im also trying to figure out how to still have a FB and instagram and a blog without all the drama on FB? Couldn’t I just deactivate my current FB page and creat a new one, but for business purposes , idk, also, what’s the major difference between having a group page vs an actual profile page? CAnt wait to see how you mastered it! Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s exactly what I did…made a new account just for business purposes so I could still run my blog Facebook page and the group page. I think for a business you would want a page, not a group. Just my opinion. But you need some sort of Facebook account to set up either of those things, which is where the business only account comes in handy. Good luck!

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