Equipment Failure
Bloomin' Friday: Early Spring Edition

Cutting the Cord?

Early last November, right before I left for the Alabama Chanin workshop, I did something I never thought I'd do:  I went on a Facebook "fast."  I decided to just . . . take a break.  I even deleted the app from my phone.

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I never intended for my Facebook break to last that long.  I just wanted to see if I could do it, really.  I thought I'd just . . . take it off my phone, and then check it now and again on my laptop.  

Why?  What was my intention with this Facebook "fast"?  Well -- I had identified Facebook as one of the major contributors to a general sense of annoyance and irritation in my life.

I was reading too much news.
Clicking into too many enticing headlines. 
Watching far too many humorous videos.
Spending a lot of time "liking" friends' posts and photos . . . that I was also "liking" (and maybe even "triple-liking") over on other social media platforms.
Monitoring the activity on my own posts.
And becoming more and more aware that Facebook had become a swamp of garbage.

Really.  I was making myself kind of nuts.  

It was super, super hard for the first two days.  (Which made me realize how addicted I'd really become to my time-sucking, brain-numbing scrolling.)  But after those first couple of days, I hardly missed it at all!  (Kind of like giving up sugar.)

By the time I got back from Alabama, I found that I didn't even think about Facebook anymore.  I didn't miss it.  It just became a non-issue for me.  (And you know what else?  No one missed me either!  No one even noticed that I was gone!)

And now.  Here we are.  Four months later.  Still not missing Facebook.  After this latest Facebook "indiscretion" unfolding in the news before us, I've decided to reduce my "Facebook footprint" even more.  If you're confused about what's happening over at Facebook, or if you're considering the rather drastic step of shutting down your account, here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. If you have an account at Facebook, make sure you've got the facts about what happened.  This article from the New York Times is a good place to start.

  2. Understand that simply deleting your Facebook account won't necessarily "erase" you from Facebook.  It's a complicated web out there!  You may actually be better off doing a serious review of your privacy settings.  Here's a great article that explains why you can't just hit "delete" -- and it includes excellent links and descriptions of how to modify your privacy settings.

  3. Try a "Facebook fast" like I did.  You might discover . . . that you don't need Facebook as much as you thought you did!

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What am I doing now with my Facebook account?  I'm cleaning it up -- downloading things I've "saved" there (photos, videos, etc. that I want to keep) and then removing them.  I'm getting rid of personal information (my contact information, my birthday, where I went to school, how I'm related to people, etc.) that I really don't need to share.  I'm putting the most strict privacy settings in place.  I may even "deactivate" my account.  But I probably won't delete it all together.  Yet.

How about you?  Are you thinking twice about your own Facebook account?

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Head over to Carole's to read more Three on Thursday lists!

 

Comments

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Patty

I deleted it from my phone at one point after you mentioned you had done that. I'm guessing 2-3 months ago. I was scrolling in my chair in the evening waaaaaaay too much and felt my time could be better spent. I still look at it in the a.m. or p.m. on my iPad but the decision was a good one. I'm going to review what you've posted and decide where to go from there! Thanks Kym!

Vicki

Kate's recently deleted FB from her phone... and maybe I shall try. I've been busy separating all of my "log in with FB" accounts (surprised at how many there were) and also reviewing settings.

Bonny

I also deleted the app from my phone several months ago and spent last night doing just those things with photos, disabling the platform, removing the connection with goodreads, and stepping up privacy settings that you recommended. I also debated disabling my account, but I'm not quite ready because there are times I use messenger to communicate with the kids. It's not often, but I would miss those rattlesnake videos from Justin. I know that sharing data is the price of being online, but what really pisses me off is that my data may have had some sort of role in the T*rump campaign. That is the last thing I would choose to be involved in, in any way.

Carole

Facebook is what it is and for campaigning it's actually pretty great so I'm there to stay. And, for the record, I noticed you were gone.

sharon

Facebook is how I stay in contact with a number of people in my circle, family, friends from school, knitting and quilting friends....I will look at what you posted, I read your blog...and we have mutual friend (Patty) who I would not have seen again if it wasn't for social media and the blogisphere....

Leslie

Thanks for the information.
Checking out is something I've been thinking about,
but don't want to miss Family stuff.
Definitely will address privacy settings.

Debbie

Thank you for sharing this information, I do keep in touch with some people via FB, but I want clean up my account. I gave FB up for Lent last year and deleted the app from my phone a couple of months ago & I have not missed it.

Jo

I’m at a different level—just parking down the stuff I repost. Who knows what that will lead to!

Mary

Thank you for promoting a "sensible" solution! I'm curious after this latest incident to see what - if any - impact it has on users and how they interact. I just watched the latest Homeland today and was fascinated, appalled and then honestly frightened by the storyline about how fast social media could spread fake news.

Susan

Like many people, I am rethinking my use of FB. I'm not ready to close down and delete my account. Since I retired 2.5 years ago, it's a great way to keep up with former colleagues who are still working or fellow retirees. But I'm checking my privacy settings and - like Vicki - checking apps where I've been accustomed to logging in with FB. Thanks for yoyr links. They will help.

Juliann

I rarely visit Facebook anymore and have limited info on my account. I was using it for groups but I get so overwhelmed with all the posts if I miss a few days. I thought about deleting it but seems like a lot of work ;)

AsKatKnits

I am sorry to say I did not notice you were gone from FB. But, I too have been pondering how to untangle it from my life. I am not sure "downgrading" it will have an impact, but I too am angry that my data might have been used to help Trump in any way.

Vera

Good for you! And, thank you for the links. I rarely go to FB...once in awhile I'll get an email notification that so-and-so (usually a nephew or SIL) has posted and I'll look and it's boring or annoying. I can't even tell you when I last posted on FB (and I'm not going to look to check - lol). I should check my privacy settings though.

Geri

I’m certainly looking at Facebook in a whole new way. It is a means for me to stay connected to family and friends that are far away, but... I disenchanted by all the endless recipes, quizzes and videos. I definitely have adjusted my settings. Once we are back home I’ll be on it a lot less.

margene

The news of the last few days certainly give one pause and doing all the due diligence you outline is worth the time. I haven't used FB for several months and I don't miss it. I would miss Instagram, but have even thought about dropping it, too. Life on-line is SO complicated and icky.

Linda

I figure that the info is out there now - so it is like closing the barn door after the horse is out... and I figure they get info from so many other places - instagram, twitter, etc etc... so it is what it is. Heck, I look up something on Amazon and two seconds later, it shows up in an ad on FB. I am careful about what I click on, I'm not easily swayed - so no worries about anyone trying to influence my thoughts, etc etc etc. And FB allows me to stay in contact with people far away - and video chat and so on. And on top of all that, it is free....
So I'm staying...

Linda in VA

Jane

Kym, You have written a good post. I never have had Facebook on my phone but cleaning up account information is a good idea. I don't check it every day but do enjoy keeping up with family and distant cousins. Food for thought.

kmkat

I never go to FB just to see what's happening, but I do end up there at least once a day because someone has posted in one of the private groups I belong to. FB is the one major social media platform that does not have its claw in me ;-)

Honore´

I participate in a couple groups that use Facebook as a forum for continuing the conversation...and that's about it...they may be rethinking their use of Facebook...I seldom post any "updates" about life, etc...just never got in the Facebook groove and I've been a "member" since 2005?

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