My Month without Facebook – Lessons Learned

I’m back, Facebook friends! Let’s get serious – you had no idea I was gone. There are millions of people on Facebook filling your newsfeeds with lists and cat pictures and election drama – you didn’t miss me.

Nonetheless, I’m back from a 31-day Facebook hiatus. It was something I needed to do to prove to myself that I could. I was a total addict (the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?).

I was tired of finding myself mindlessly scrolling and realizing I didn’t even care about what I was looking at anymore. I needed to break free from the habit.

So, I deactivated my account and deleted the app from my phone to remove temptation.

It wasn’t exactly a walk in the park! The first few days I really had to re-train myself. It had become so habitual to check Facebook – on work breaks, at lunch, in the bathroom (don’t judge me, you’ve all done it), riding in the car with someone, etc. It’s insanely addictive. But after the first week, I found much more productive ways to use my spare time and was able to re-train my brain.

Here’s what I did with my time, instead:

31 Days of Spanish Lessons – thanks to DuoLingo, I’m now 36% fluent in Spanish. Okay, that’s what they tell me…they are being incredibly generous with this number, in my opinion,  BUT I do have to admit it’s given me a very good foundation to work with and I’m eager to continue learning, as this has long been on my bucket list. Just please don’t quiz me yet…No estoy preparado! (See what I did there? Eh?)

Upped my LinkedIn Game – In the business world, it’s really important to always be learning. I spent a lot of time reading beneficial business articles and revamping my profile to truly reflect what I do and what I have accomplished in my career. It feels really good to be on your A game and keeping tabs on what other companies are doing so you can learn from them!

Read Scripture – Instead of checking Facebook the second my alarm went off every morning, I pulled up a daily scripture reading and prayer for the day. It was a great way to get my mind right and start each day reflecting on God.

I also rejoined my gym and did more book reading, but I think the above three really led me to the latter. It was an overall self-improvement kind of experience.

Besides all that – here’s what I did and did not miss about Facebook.

What I Missed:

  • I apologize if I missed your birthday – turns out, that feature is pretty handy. I also apologize if I missed the birth of your child. Or your marriage. Or other big announcement. A belated happy birthday and congratulations!
  • Family photos – as hard as I tried, my family is still not totally on board with Instagram, so I know I missed a lot of fun family photos.
  • Ease of Planning – Facebook messenger is a pretty quick and sure-fire way to get a hold of most people. Especially when trying to plan a group outing/event. The events feature is also a plus. Being a planner, I missed the ease of this!
  • Events and Happenings – I follow all my favorite concert venues, news outlets and local restaurants on Facebook. I know I missed lots of good deals and shows and stories.  (On the plus side, I had no idea what I was missing, so no time to be sad about it.)
  • Work Posts – Working in communications, it’s actually pretty important for me to keep up with what our company and our peers are posting on social media. Not necessary, as someone else maintains our company pages, but it was a challenge when providing content.

What I (really) did NOT Miss:

  • Everyone’s opinions about everything. I didn’t have to read anything about the mistreatment of lions, or debates about transgender people, or religious rants, or political nonsense. It was nice. Really nice.
  • Sales Pitches. (Read: Grotesque close-ups of flabby arms, thighs and necks.) I still do not wish to purchase any of your products. I don’t need skin care products, jewelry, weight loss aids, makeup, eyelashes, nail polish, hair weaves, or whatever else you’re selling. No offense, I totally appreciate the additional income aspect for many people, but I just cannot be “friends” with you if you only ever want to sell me something. There, I said it.
  • My husband saying “Are you ‘booking again?” Folks – let me tell you right now. DO NOT waste your time on Facebook when you could be talking to and enjoying the presence of your spouse/children/dogs/friends/family. Just STOP. If this is you, delete the Facebook app from your phone immediately. Being present in your own life is so much more rewarding than being an onlooker of everyone else’s.

So there you have it. My own personal “lessons learned” from my Facebook “cleanse.”

You should know, even though I’m back, I’m still keeping the app off my phone, so as not to fall back into old habits. And I plan to do a lot of “scaling back,” if you will, on what shows up on my news feed, so I only see things I truly care about.

But most importantly, if you find yourself relating to anything I’ve said – do yourself a favor and take your own Facebook hiatus. It is truly rewarding.

Here’s a picture of the last thing I did before exiting FB: Reunion with my college friends! Love these women!

summer 2015 314

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