What if you quit Facebook?
What if Facebook didn’t make you happy?
What if you got tired of…
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.)
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.
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.
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.