I don’t have a Facebook account any more and couldn’t be happier. I’ve been on Facebook for many years but recently I just felt that I no longer needed it. I couldn’t stop checking Facebook yet I never really enjoyed checking it. There’s even been a study by The Happiness Research Institute showing that a group of people who quit Facebook for a week were happier, less worried, and less lonely than a group who stayed on the social network.
I know that I will probably miss photos of family, friends and their children or some important announcements. You have to sometimes take the bad with the good though right? I have been toying with the idea of deactivating Facebook for awhile. I kept my friends to a minimum of around 30, and only was frequent on around 3 groups.
One of the groups I frequented, Townsville Bad Drivers seemed to not only amuse me but also annoyed me (and my Wife). I would find myself commenting on posts for no apparent reason but to troll the person who shared said photos. When we were out and about I would ask her to take photos of people who were driving whilst using their phone so I could share it to the group. Being Townsville this scenario happened a lot.
Facebook became more of an attention-seeking-open-diary where people just wanted to get “likes” from the 100 or more friends that they added and probably had never even met or even talked to. On the other hand it was people that complained about even the most trivial of things or people who only shared certain things with one “list” of friends and a completely different thing with another “list”.
I found myself just scrolling through mindless drivel with the occasional like or share. It became more of a task. It became stagnant. I wanted, no I needed a change. I want to have real life interaction with friends and family. I want to spend more time with my family, not with them but staring at my phone. I noticed one of our boys wakes up of a morning and walks out of his room with his face down staring at his phone. He walks around the house staring down at his phone. Sitting at the table staring down. Why?
I don’t want that. I want to focus on improving myself and my interaction with my Wife, kids, family and friends. When I talk to them I want to look at them and converse. Not the occasional “mmhmm” whilst glancing between them and my phone. I’ve found that without having Facebook I spend less time staring at my phone and have more time to actually do things. Anything.
So last Thursday I decided to deactivate most of my online presence. I removed all my Tweets (and set Twitter to private). I deactivated Facebook and removed all my Google+ posts. I have kept only my Instagram account and my Google+ account (as my posts are shared there). What I have noticed is that some people didn’t even notice that I wasn’t on Facebook any more. The other thing I noticed is that people are too addicted to social media. I’ve not received one text to ask what I’m doing or how I am. It feels almost melancholy, yet I also feel happier.
So if you’ve thought about deactivating Facebook even for a week, a month or forever then I would say go for it. What is there to lose?