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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Try a "Facebook fast" like I did. You might discover . . . that you don't need Facebook as much as you thought you did!
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?
Head over to Carole's to read more Three on Thursday lists!