Leaving Facebook and Re-discovering Life

This post is mainly for my benefit. For those times that, out of habit, I type in the address for Facebook. My browser is programmed to block the site and re-directs to this post.

Reasons I chose to leave Facebook (again):

  1.  Facebook leaves me feeling unsettled and scattered. Not unsettled in terms of fear or worry about privacy (although these are genuine things to be concerned about) but more in a way that fundamentally changes my state of being. It leaves me feeling constantly on edge, overwhelmed by the influx of information. While allowing such a flow and constant feed of stimulation into my mind, I find it had to feel calm and settled.
  2. I want to learn how to keep things to myself. I don’t want to feed the need for constant sharing, approval, the need for others to tell me that I’ve done a great job. I want to foster my ability to share selectively and at other times to be able to sit quietly and smile at my own successes and accomplishments, without the need to broadcast them. When I manage to to this, it feels really good.
  3. Concentration. With so many distractions in this society of ours, I know that my concentration span has seriously decreased. My ability to sit with myself – even for five minutes – or to stay focused on a particular task has been shot to pieces. Allowing for boredom and what can grow out that is important to me. I want to slow down my mind. Removing Facebook from my day is just one way that enables me to cut down the habit of distraction and sets the scene for doing so in other areas. Multi-tasking is not good for my mental health.
  4. Connection. We’ve all heard this one – so many “friends,” so little non-cyber connection. Removing Facebook from my life forces me to reach out to people that I genuinely care about and to foster more meaningful and in-depth relationships. It also allows for conversations of discovery that move past the “oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook.” I, like most people, desire connection and community. I find non-Facebook related connection much more satisfying. When I desire such connection I find myself contacting friends directly via messenger, text, phone, postcards, letters and E-mails (I haven’t gone off-grid, just off Facebook.)
  5. I care about my friends but status updates can come to feel like junk-mail. I want to hear what people I care about are doing, how they’re traveling and what is going on in their lives, but I don’t want this to be in snippets that gives the illusion of deeper relationships or connectivity. Point four ties in with this.

What I’ve discovered (so far) since leaving Facebook (this time and previously):

  1. I am calmer. So much calmer.
  2. My ability to focus on individual tasks has increased and continues to do so.
  3. I make the effort to connect more in “real life.”
  4. A lot people that I have on Facebook fall away. My social circle shrinks, and yet at the same time feels richer. For me this has also been a lesson in letting go of relationships that both I and others have moved beyond. Life isn’t about holding on to every person we’ve connected with; it is un-sustainable.
  5. I do more things that I find satisfying; I take the time to fix things, to mend things, to spend time in my garden or play more music. I read my old Encyclopedia Britannica and love it. I Google articles and images but about things I’m interested in, not just things that come from a link following a link following a link.
  6. I miss out on articles or information that I enjoyed reading; quality pieces that friends have enjoyed and shared.
  7. I don’t actually miss the fainting goats or the elephants trying to sit on peoples laps or the cats sleeping in odd places.
  8. I go outside more.
  9. I make things more.
  10. I have to figure out how to entertain myself in other ways but when I do, I enjoy it more than the habitual checking (and refreshing and refreshing) of my “newsfeed.”
  11. I don’t miss the advertisements.
  12. My world has shrunk, and I like it that way.
  13. I don’t miss the countless petitions. Facebook activism is not the most satisfying kind for me.
  14. I miss out on finding about a countless events, a few of which I’d actually attend. This can be a huge downside, but for me, I’ve found it something that I’m willing to sacrifice.
  15. I can’t remember most peoples birthdays, but when I do they get a text of a card or a phone call instead of a wall post.

I feel more connected to life around me. To the birds and trees and grass. To my neighbours and friends and local community. To the people I spend time with in a “volunteer” capacity (or rather, the new friends I’m making and things that they are teaching me.) I feel more tuned in to life.

All these points are the reasons that I’m choosing Life without Facebook. I’m hoping I can keep it this way in the long rune, for my own benefit.




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