I’ve written about this before. Many times.
Even a short period of time spent on Facebook leaves me feeling at best lethargic, at worst angry.
I haven’t been writing much on the blog lately, and that reflects in the amount of time I (haven’t) spent on Facebook. I only really go on to post my blog articles anyway.
After being off it for so long, I felt absolutely no desire to go back on. Maybe that’s part of why I haven’t been writing much on here. I didn’t want to feel like I had to go back on Facebook to share my articles.
Back on Facebook for a Visit
Yesterday, I published a blog article. My blog automatically posts to my “thebraininjane” Facebook page, but I need to actually go write a post on my own profile in order to share my articles there.
With some trepidation, I opened Facebook in my browser.
The first thing that I saw was that I had dozens of notifications. The little red notification icon with the number in it is just irresistible. I clicked on it.
Immediately I saw updates from friends, mentions of me in comments on posts I was clueless about, and all kinds of other things I had been perfectly happy not knowing about.
Almost Down the Rabbit Hole
Before I knew it, I had been ten minutes getting myself up to speed on a thread I had commented on weeks before and lost track of.
I hadn’t even seen the time go by! I had only wanted to post my article and leave!
I yanked myself out of the rabbit hole and quickly marked all notifications as “read”. I shared the link to my article, and closed the window in my browser.
Then I sent a text message to my sister-in-law (dear friend and beloved recipient of the Weekender sweater). I told her how I’d nearly gone down the rabbit hole.
Her response was pretty much perfect: “Facebook is not for me.”
How simple. How uncomplicated! How true! HOW LIBERATING!
What To Do Now?
It became clear to me then and there that I want to delete my Facebook account.
And not just “deactivate”. No no no, I want to actually delete my account. I don’t want Facebook retaining information about me.
(Yes, yes, I know Facebook has my information on Whatsapp and Instagram, and don’t even get started on how much Google knows about me. Baby steps, people!)
My first step was to google (I know) “how to delete my Facebook account”. The first result was this C-Net article, published only a few days ago, which gives helpful step-by-step instructions.
Let People Know
One of the only things that I like about using Facebook is Messenger. I haven’t had the Facebook app on my phone or tablet for nearly four years now, but I have kept the Messenger app. I think that’s been one of my main reasons for keeping my account: having that ability to write to a Facebook contact if I want to.
The C-Net article recommends posting a status update a few days before deleting your account by way of an announcement. Let people know you’re closing your account and ask them to send you other contact info by Messenger.
Let this post serve as my notification: I’M QUITTING FACEBOOK!
Send me your contact deets, folks. I’ll actually create a contact for you in my address book! Imagine that!
What I’ll Miss
As a hopeless extrovert, I will miss the possibility of getting in touch with people from my past out of the blue. It’s nice to think of a person, remember them for some reason, and write them a little note to say you’re thinking of them. I’ll miss that.
I’ll also miss the local stitch n’ bitch group. There’s something about crafty people who knit and crochet that makes them some of the craziest, zaniest and most entertaining people around. The group will continue to meet, and though I may miss out on things online, I definitely won’t miss out when we meet in person again.
Finally, it’s true that there are lots of really fun and interesting Facebook groups out there. I’ve enjoyed my local Buy Nothing group tremendously. I worry that cutting myself off from Facebook will also mean cutting myself off from groups like these.
Maybe it will. But maybe that’s okay? We’ll see.
Quitting Facebook Feels Scary
Maybe it’s FOMO, maybe it’s because I’m such an extrovert. But the idea of quitting Facebook feels scary. Though I spend maybe 10 minutes out of every two weeks on the platform now, its just being there as an option feels reassuring.
But everyone I know who has taken this step has not regretted it. They’ve never looked back.
It seems that slowly weaning ourselves off of social media is, dare I say it, healthy? Perhaps it’s because social media is so hard to do in moderation. You’re either not on, or your doom scrolling.
Between the two, I’d rather be off it altogether.
I’ll keep you posted!
4 thoughts to “Quitting Facebook”
Yeah girl! let’s just give that same corporation money for using Instagram and Whatsapp, and not facebook 😉
Yeah! That’ll show Zuckerberg!
I quit facebook years ago, and have never regretted it! I very reluctantly made a new account a couple years ago, so I would have access to some of the school psych specific groups on there, but I hated being on there, and the groups weren’t all that useful to me at the time, so I haven’t been back in ages. Even instagram, I’m using a lot less these days, because I found that I was just on it to kill time way too often and it was stressing me out. I miss the illusion of keeping up with people by seeing their photos, but I’m a lot less stressed when I’m not on it all the time. I figure the people who want to stay in touch with me have other ways to do so, and that social-media-only interaction wasn’t really filling my need for social connection anyway! I think I’ve got your email address, though, so I’ll shoot you an email with my number in case you ever want to text or chat via whatsapp or anything! 🙂
Alia, I am completely with you. I find that I’m opening Instagram compulsively almost, just to kill time and scroll mindlessly. Sometimes I’ll see family and friends’ posts and that makes me happy, but with all the advertising it leaves me feeling unsatisfied and exhausted more than anything. There are other ways to interact socially, and despite the pandemic I have found ways to be in touch and connect with people without using social media (with the notable exception of WhatsApp…). Thanks so much for writing!!