I have been Facebook clean for six months now. Six whole months! Completely cold turkey! There was no twelve step program. No support group. Not even a lousy t-shirt.

Ok small confession, I need to post content to a business page as part of my job, but I log in using a dummy account and log out again. There’s no temptation to stay online as my old connections aren’t actually there. It’s pure work. Log in, post, log out.

So what possessed me to do such a thing? I decided one day amidst a lot of stress and busyness that I wanted to declutter my life. First I started with my physical surroundings, then once my wardrobe and cupboards had been given a good clean out I moved on to my virtual world. I clicked deactivate, and haven’t looked back.

The second I closed my account I felt a weight of relief. I didn’t have to check the site anymore. I was no longer bombarded by catchy click bait and news feed items. I got over the idea that I might be missing out on something and realised I wasn’t missing anything much at all, and I was gaining a few hours a week of my life back!

I made goals. I started to read more books. I started to focus more on my health and fitness. I became more productive. Unfortunately in the midst of all this I had a major family health crisis, but thankfully we got through it, and have come out the other end smiling.

Deactivating Facebook has not made me miss an awful much. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Researchers have recently discovered that Facebook can increase stress and unhappiness. I’m no longer connected to all the “hangers on”, those fake friends who added you more for their own curiosity than goodwill. I like my privacy and I’m not really one for superficial friendships. I guess that extends to online as well.

One thing you notice when you quit Facebook is how dependant people are on it. People will forget your birthday, and they always blame Facebook. Why manually enter dates in the calendar when you can rely on a social network to do the work for you?

I’ve learnt not to be too hard on people. I still get invited to parties, well the ones I would want to go to anyway. I still find out what’s going on. I’m just usually not the first person to know, and that’s ok.

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References

  1. Facebook Use Feeds Anxiety And Inadequacy Says Small Study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247616.php
  2. The Anxiety of Facebook
    http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-anxiety-of-facebook/
  3. How Facebook Makes us Unhappy
    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy

 

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