My only real New Year’s Resolution this year was to give up Facebook. There were a LOT of reasons for this. First, my dabbling research into the world of minimalism and simplicity. Second, it had become a TERRIBLE timesuck. I would find myself staring at my phone at really inappropriate times (while “‘watching” a movie with Ben, at the dinner table, at parties), just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. It was gross, and I hated it. Third, it wasn’t making me happy. If anything, it usually made me sad, mad, annoyed, or any number of other negative emotions, which seems pretty counter-intuitive. There are countless other reasons, but those are the top three.
I had/have a lot of anxiety about giving up the ‘book. Firstly, it’s become pretty ubiquitous as a way to find out about stuff going on, either party invites, or local events or what have you. It seems like something isn’t “real” or “official” until it’s “Facebook Official.” I’m experiencing FOMO, worrying that I’ll somehow receive less event invitations, or not find out about cool stuff happening, or miss out on fun milestones in my friends’ and family’s lives. Which is kind of dumb actually, considering the fact that I rarely go to parties/bars/social events even when I AM invited. And I know that the people who truly care about me and want to see me will find ways to invite me places and keep me updated on their lives other than via Facebook.
I’m also worried about missing out on audition opportunities. A lot of theatre companies use Facebook almost exclusively to post audition notices. Some companies have email lists, which I’m on, but a lot don’t. Staying on top of theatre opportunities is going to be more work now. I will have to check websites and write down dates rather than just getting Facebook event reminders. And yeah, I may miss some things. But is that really the end of the world? Is that really a reason to stay connected to a social network that’s draining my time and energy? Heck no!
So, I deactivated my Facebook account before I went to bed on New Year’s Eve. That means it’s now been over a week since I’ve logged in, checked a notification, or seen a message. It’s been… strange, but also good. I still find myself pulling out my phone all the damn time, but Facebook isn’t there, so I put it back. I’m definitely spending less time staring at my phone, which is great.
I’m still on Instagram and Twitter, and while I’m still technically logged into Snapchat, I’ve never really liked it and use it pretty rarely. IG is by far my favorite form of social media. Because it’s just pictures, I find it quick and easy to get “caught up” on the happenings, but it’s not something that causes me to get sucked in and scroll for crazy amounts of time. Twitter is starting to feel really overwhelming and not very useful at all as a way to stay connected, so I may get rid of it in the near future as well.
I’m not sure how long this FB hiatus will be, but I’d love to manage to do it for a whole year. No matter what happens, I’m really enjoying the break.
Have you ever taken a big step back from social media? How did it go?