Thursday, May 9, 2013
Bye bye, Facebook!
This morning I was chatting with my friend Greg. He told me he had recently deactivated his Facebook account because he wanted to spend more time with his son. I headed out the door for my morning walk and spent time thinking about what Greg said (frankly, it was the most compelling reason I've ever heard for giving up Facebook). During the walk, I got a call from my darling 7-year-old cousin, Jillian, who wanted to say hi and tell me all about her day. It was a great mood booster, not to mention a tangible (and instant) example of filling my time with activities (and relationships) that matter the most to me, instead of Facebook. By the end of my walk, it hit me loud and clear that it was finally time for ME to deactivate my Facebook. I got home, went straight to my computer, and sealed the deal!
Those of you who have read my Blog for a while know that I have written about this topic in the past. In fact, I did a Facebook detox with my friend Anna in January 2012 to just test out "Facebook free living." This year, I have been thinking more and more about Facebook and the role it has in my life. Primarily - how it ultimately makes me feel, and whether or not it's a good use of my time. When I did my month long FB detox, I concluded that my two reasons to keep FB were:
1) Being able to "keep in touch" with friends and relatives who I don't get to see often (especially since I went to college out of state and 100% of my relatives are also out of state)
2) Knowing about events going on within my network (friends, charities, etc) because the reality is, Facebook IS the way that a majority of events are organized these days!
This morning, I concluded that those two things are no longer a good enough excuse for me to continue using Facebook, when the cons far outweigh the pros.
To be honest, I have no idea how long I'm going to live my life "Facebook free," or what my experience will be like. To a certain extent, it will be a lifestyle change. That may sound ridiculous at first, but if you use Facebook daily, you know that is absolutely true!
What I do know is, I'm really looking forward to the next months ahead. Here is what I'm excited about - and I'll be really transparent here...
I'M EXCITED TO:
1) Fill my "new found" free time with meaningful, fun, confidence boosting and healthy activities, including: exercise, time with friends/family, yoga class, blogging, volunteering, praying, sleeping, cleaning my home, artwork, managing my finances, grocery shopping, and more.
2) Date Facebook free! I want people to get to know me without looking at Facebook, and I want to get to know people without judging them by what I see on Facebook (what some people lovingly refer to as "Facebook stalking"). Call me crazy, but I deserve the right to privacy in my dating life.
3) Quit comparing myself to other people and their lives.
4) Develop new friendships without a computer screen!
5) Have a greater sense of privacy with how I spend my time. This is a big one for me. I've dealt with too many scenarios where I don't feel enough freedom and space to spend time with who I want to, when I want to, without everyone knowing about it. Our culture has seemed to develop an attitude that your personal life is THEIR business because they can "see" it on Facebook. Isn't it strange that we occupy our time using something that limits our privacy and space in life?! As far as I see it, the way I spend my free time is only of my concern, and is no one else's business.
6) Say goodbye to narcissists flooding my computer screen (we all can think of at least 5 of our "friends" who fit this FB personality type). Don't worry people, I'll never forget that you have the best clothes/boyfriend/dog/friends/body/grades/home/food/degree/etc).
7) Discover the friendships that are the most important in my life right now - the people who (still or moving forward) take the time to reach out to me outside of Facebook to ask me how I'm doing, sit down with me, and spend time with me - the people who I have the most positive energy around. I have a feeling this is actually going to be a pretty small number (just due to the reality of how people communicate these days), but it will really validate great friendships. I too want to hold myself accountable to the same. Liking someone's status on Facebook or saying "happy birthday" on their wall does not count as an authentic friendship gesture.
8) Eliminate FB time from my work day and (in essence) from my employer's funds - set a better example as a leader.
9) Soak in the special moments without feeling a need to share with 1,000 "friends."
10) Push myself out of my comfort zone - learn how to channel nervous energy and/or boredom in healthier and more productive ways.
11) No more hate speech - I can't tell you how sick I am of sensational comments, polarized political rants, and unkind words on FB. Political rants got out of hand during the last election (more than I've ever seen before) and it's simply a behavior I can no longer deal with.
12) No more drama - SERIOUSLY. I can't tell you how much drama is a result of Facebook mishaps and misunderstandings. SO over it.
I could continue this list for quite some time, but I will end here. You get my point (I hope). Again, who knows how long this will last. I know it will be difficult at first, but I also hope that there are huge rewards I uncover with time. Stay tuned...