Facebook Fasting Project Day 1 - Day 7 (UPDATED!)
We're all subjected to it. Every single day we're constantly being bombarded with this idea that we HAVE to be connected. We HAVE to be engaged or engaging.
NEWS FLASH! You don't.
Facebook is a interesting subject though; you can scour the internet and find 1000's of blogs about leaving the Ol' FB behind and how much better you might feel if you do and I'm sure it has it's Mental and Psychological benefits! I'm more interested in trying a social experiment than getting rid of it entirely. But who knows, that may be where this ends up going by the end.
More Socializing, less Social Media
During a conversation one day about Facebook, my Fiance and I both decided we wanted to work towards spending more time together and less time staring at our phones.
So we started small:
We deleted the Facebook App.
This by itself made it more inconvenient to access which by itself deterred us a little more from checking it as regularly. We were also then restricted to use the mobile browser to check FB which was annoying at best. Couple that with us just keeping each other accountable for limiting our time connected and we felt like we were well on our way to engaging more with life and less with social media.
After this it was on to phase two for me:
I deactivated my Facebook for a week.
I did this for more than that reason of unplugging though. I want to see if any of my Facebook "Friends" would actually notice that my profile isn't there anymore and if they did notice, would they say anything? So far? Nothing. I still have SnapChat which I use occasionally so I'm not completely disconnecting.
I felt like I didn't really use Facebook for anything more than reading interesting articles for the most part anyways so I don't think giving up Facebook for a week or more will be that difficult, but I guess we'll see.
One other note: I was surprised at how much effort I actually had to go through to deactivate my account. It's not that easy to disconnect and it's certainly way less complicated to just say "screw it", keep the account, and try not to check it.
This experiment may not be for everyone and I'm not saying you should try it, but I hope it'll help give me more perspective of my social network and the community I've built once this is all done.
So let's have an adventure!
I'll keep you all posted every day with an update to how things are going outside the loop.
I feel like there should be that sound from Law and Order after reading the Day 2 title. Anyone else feel that? It seems appropriate.
So Day two wasn't terrible. Seemed more like I was missing out on what was going on in the world than actually missing seeing any of my friends post more baby pictures or food pictures, dog pictures, cat pictures, trip pictures, car pictures, drinking pictures (be careful what you post, click here to find out why!), family pictures! Holy Cow, TOO MANY PICTURES!! Okay, so obviously I don't feel like I'm missing much, but I do feel a separation forming between me and the world around me. Like this feeling that I'm suddenly taking a seat at a marathon.
It feels good too though!
Quitting Facebook has allowed me to have more time for me.
I've spent less time looking down at my phone and more time engaging with my Fiance, Talking to neighbors, wood working, getting back in to working out. I'm not saying putting down my phone and abandoning FB gave me Super Man abilities and now I can do EVERYTHING. I am saying that I do have a little more time for other activities and that I use that extra time to improve my life in some small way.
Yup, totally figuring out how to put a sound bite right next to the day so you can read it and hear the Law and Order sound that seems so fitting for this blog.
So today I realized that MSN and YAHOO still have news pages and that there is some relevant content on there. I know this seems silly, but the truth is a lot of the news I got came from Facebook which seems like a bad idea, but most of it was news articles friends posted about which is honestly not much different than watching the news these days.
So yeah, I scrolled through MSN and YAHOO to get my news fix.
I feel a little more caught up in the world and apparently I missed a whole bunch of nothing new. I've taken the hour or so (total time) that I use to spend on FB and have picked up my guitar for the first time in months. It feels nice to revisit old things like that; hobbies, and crafts you otherwise wouldn't think about doing if you had your phone glued to your hand and your eyes.
I'm still feeling good about this experiment at this point and now that I can still watch the news either on TV or through some other slightly credible medium I still feel like I'm connected with the world without feeling the obsession of wondering what my friends are doing or getting jealous that I'm stuck in the corporate world while my friends are out in Thailand, or Australia, or Germany, or where ever all of my friends keep running off to (Please take me with you...).
Okay! Today has been interesting. I'm realizing that there are more problems with dropping out of the Facebook World than I originally anticipated...
Let me explain.
Back in the day you use to have to make a login for every Application you downloaded or any site you went to where you wanted to save content or create a user account, remember those days? Well now a days we all just use our Facebook login or our Google login to tie all of our accounts together. This makes having to remember a bunch of different passwords easy by just having one account to keep track of. I know, I know any IT folks reading this are screaming at me through there computer monitor (find out why here). I hear you, I work in IT and have for over 12 years now. I honestly just don't care. I have nothing that anyone would want other than my identity but lets be honest there are plenty of more interesting people to take advantage of than myself. So again. It's not that I'm ignorant, I just don't care.
Now that we've covered that tangent! Guess what happens when you deactivate your account on FB? Any account through any other site or application who's login is tied to that FB login isn't going to work. At all. I've run into several issues today trying to get into certain apps and sites that I've tied to my Facebook account. For me this is only a temporary problem since my account will be reactivated after 7 days, but for anyone who decides to just out right delete there profile? Good luck.
You're basically stuck making new accounts for everything.
More than a little frustrating if I'm being honest.
Leaving my phone behind.
It seems to be easier to do now that I'm not on Facebook. I feel myself being more okay with the idea of walking out of the apartment without it on me. I know that may sound silly, but I've got my routine and I tend to stick to it, so if I end up breaking my routine I feel very out of place.
I've also realized how much better this short amount of time being off FB has helped my relationship with my Fiance. Again, this may sound silly, but I feel like I'm listening better to when her and I are talking and I don't feel like either of us are as distracted as we use to be. If we're being honest, neither one of us can multitask and it's pretty obvious when we try. So it's really been nice to see how much more engaging we both are even on a small level when we are in a conversation without social media singing in the background.
Little update on whether or not anyone would notice that I got rid of my Facebook account:
NOT A SINGLE PERSON. Not even my family noticed. It's been five days and no one has said a word about it. So far, I'm feeling like my suspicions are confirmed: I don't use it enough and my friends don't use it enough to even notice if something changes unless it pops up in front of them.
Saturday morning: Coffee, news, breakfast, and Faceb.... oh yeah...
Well I guess I need to modify my routine a bit for the weekend. ummmmm.... I know, I'll do something outside it's only 9 A.M., how hot could it be. 100. How can it be 100 degrees already. This is why no one should move to Texas. Seriously. I could cook my breakfast outside...without a grill. So NOT going outside for any reason unless it's from one air conditioned place to another. What else could I do?
This process proceeded for another hour or so. It seems a bit absurd, but really, during the work week you don't have as much free time. On the weekend, in between activities I would fill that free time by making a quick scroll through the ol' FB or catch up on some wacky article I found earlier in the week from a friend's post. That not being an option anymore I found myself bored during the "in-between moments". Which actually made the day seem to drag on longer. There were more periods of time where I wasn't doing anything than there were of moments I was. It was a bit strange to have that realization, especially for someone who thought they weren't on Facebook all that often to begin with. I wonder what other things I'll figure out about myself? Oh wait, off to buy curtains and dresser knobs to refresh the Apartment a little (click here to learn about making your apartment feel new and fresh without spending a lot of money)!
The final day without Facebook.
Whoa... it's only been a week. How is that possible? You know what I'm going to do as soon as this little experiment is over? I'm going to post this blog and share it on Facebook. Don't judge, FB also just happens to be an incredible free marketing tool too. So yeah, I'm not giving up Facebook forever, to be honest I need it. I need it to help market and grow our visibility. From a business perspective it's incredibly valuable. I'm sure I'll pop back over to my personal account too every once in a while if only to clear all those pointless notifications, but I feel better about separating myself a little more and having a little more self control when it comes to getting on social media.
It's been an interesting ride and if one day I decide to abandon it completely, it'll be a lot more of a pain in the butt to do so than I originally thought. That being said, I also feel more confident in doing it if I decide to become a hermit. At the end of it all no one has said a word to me. No one noticed, and I'm glad. It proved that we aren't quite as connected to each other as we maybe think we are because of Facebook. And with that I'm going to post this blog and share it on Facebook. Please like it, share it, try it if you want. And as always thanks for reading!
Have you deleted FB before? Did anyone notice? Did you feel better? We want to hear your stories too! Comment below and let us know!