I deactivated my Facebook account the other night. I had a few realizations:
1. I was getting all my news via Facebook.
2. I was losing a ridiculous amount of time reading my stream on Facebook.
3. My head was always down in my phone when I was out … checking Facebook.
4. I seemed to want to share mundane things. I mean, does anyone really care where I ate or want to see a photo of what I had for dinner?
5. Facebook had an interesting effect on my emotions. I noticed two things: posting on Facebook and generating comments made me feel good, like I’d achieved something. (You like me! You really like me!) I also noticed that more often than not, my Facebook stream could make me feel pretty bad about myself, just because my achievements couldn’t compare with those in my stream.
All that together and I realized that it was time for a break. It’s a snap, really, to deactivate your account. It takes less than 5 minutes. It’s worth mentioning that deactivating is like suspending an account. It’s temporary and I can easily reactivate at any time, with no loss of data. Deleting, on the other hand, is a whole different story. (Just ask Stan in South Park.)
I want to see if I’m more attentive to the real world around me. I want to know if I’ll get my time back, and what I’ll do with it. Will I just tweet more? And with the ridiculous stream of people and “friends” on Facebook, will anyone notice if there’s one less voice in the cacophony? (I did accidentally send my closest girlfriends into a panic when they couldn’t find me online.)
Where will I get my news now, if not from Facebook? Will not being on Facebook affect me emotionally? Will it be a problem with all of the “sign in through Facebook” web sites? So there are a lot of little questions to this Great Experiment. I’d like to think I’ll find other things to do with my time. As for emotionally, it’s actually been freeing to not “need” to check in on Facebook all the time. No withdrawal yet!