Two days after the election, I decided to quit Facebook. I went through the motions of quitting Facebook about a week prior, but couldn’t push the button to deactivate. Facebook actually makes it difficult, by informing you of all that you will be missing out on and not have access to if you decide to deactivate. During the process of deactivation, they do a wonderful job of asking “Are you REALLY sure you want to do this?”
What they aren’t good about, is informing you of the freedom that will come.
It took the election for me to recognize that Facebook is worse than Fox News. It allows post-truth politics to propagate unchecked. This played a huge part in getting a racist and misogynist elected president. Soon after quitting, I began seeing the headlines about this concern.
Since quitting, I have realized that it was an addiction for me, and it was something I needed to quit. It has only been 10 days now, and I still catch myself thinking in terms of postable experiences throughout my day. I’m ashamed of myself.
Here are some pros and cons I’ve thought about:
- The next time many of my friends and family see me, they’ll be a little more excited to see me and hear about what I’ve been up to. It will genuinely feel like a lot of time has passed since we’ve seen each other, and we will actually have something to talk about and catch up on. I’m saving all of my ‘postable’ moments for when we next get together. We’ll actually have to talk and stuff because we won’t be able to say, “Oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook.”
- I have now escaped this world of enabling and promoting a “fitting in” type of attitude. Brene Brown, in her book “Daring Greatly” describes the difference between fitting in and belonging. Facebook seems to me as an ultimate competition of getting likes, laughs, and loves, all which equate to some superficial fitting in. I’m tired of this game, and I’m ready to belong somewhere. That somewhere is not on Facebook.
- My phone stays charged all day now.
- I spend much less time on my smartphone now. This means more time for productivity. I’ve noticed this in a huge way.
- I have been forced to reach out and communicate in ways I feel are more fruitful and expressive.
- Not everyone is on Facebook (including me now), so I when I organize events, I will be sensitive to this idea and not just discount or not invite people that are not on Facebook since, dammit, they should have been if they wanted to be invited to this event. And even if they are on Facebook, sometimes they don’t check it all the time.
- I can now converse with people more easily. I have things to talk about. I can begin to decrease the frequency of the word “Facebook” in my conversation. No longer will I say, “Oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook” or “You may have seen this on Facebook, but…” No longer will I be interrupted by individuals with “I saw your post about that on Facebook.”
- Freedom. Sweet, pure, freedom.
- I’ll miss out on many significant life events of my closest friends at the time they are happening. I will have to wait until they share it with me through some other avenue or simply wait until we see each other again.
- Facebook seems to be one of the primary ways to organize group events. I’ll miss out on group discussions happening in brewing clubs, softball groups, poker groups, etc.
- Facebook was a great place to store and organize photos.
- Facebook made it easy to invite a crapload of people to events as long as they were on Facebook.
- There are more cons, but I’m biased in my decision to quit Facebook, so I’m going to quit trying to think of them.