(Because I’m “stepping away” from Facebook, I may post more frequent, shorter things on my blog https://leo.notenboom.org. For example the things I might have shared on Facebook might end up here. Or not. We’ll see. Interesting times.)
About a week ago I decided I really needed a break from Facebook. It was impacting my attitude, impacting my sleep, increasing my depression, increasing my anxiety, and decreasing my productivity. These are all things I’m normally extremely good at managing. But not here, not now.
You know the drill: Facebook bad.
But, of course, it’s not quite that simple.
I have pages I own, groups I moderate, and groups within which I participate (or try to). So leaving Facebook completely seemed like a Really Bad Idea.
And yet it was a Really Important Idea. Seriously, a week in and I can say I’m more productive and less depressed than before.
Here’s the key: I only stopped looking at my feed. You know, that stream of posts that Facebook’s algorithm thinks you’d be interested in? I was, and not to my benefit at all. So I stopped. I may post things (like, perhaps, a link to this post), but I’m not consuming my Facebook feed.
What I did instead was to save some strategic bookmarks to those pages and groups with which I wanted to retain contact. I now visit them and leave. I resist the temptation to visit my feed, and I’m a much happier guy.
Facebook’s awesome, in many ways. It’s really allowed me to stay in contact with people that I’d otherwise have lost long ago. (I still use Facebook Messenger, by the way, along with a slew of other messaging apps.) But it all comes at a cost. For me, right now, that cost is my peace of mind. Be it news stories shared by friends, or friends showing sides of themselves I had NO IDEA they actually had, it had all become too much.
Step away. Keep the good, discard the bad.
So far, so good.
PS: for whatever reason Twitter is not-as-bad (I’m @leonot), and Instagram is even less bad (I’m @leonot2), so you’ll still find me there, from time to time, for now. Given that Facebook was my primary place to post pictures, I’m re-focusing on my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/people/leonot/, though I may occasionally post links to that to other social media venues.
18 thoughts on “How I’m “Stepping Away” From Facebook”
Good for you.
On the outside looking in, I have never considered social media since it’s inception and time has shown to me that whilst the plan may have been good, there will ALWAYS be someone to find an opposing and negative purpose.
Looking at what is happening in the world today it seems that social media has encouraged the evil side of life more than the good side. No doubt that future technology will replace it at some time, a warning perhaps that a way to control content needs serious consideration now!
Overall I suggest that Facebook has been of benefit to only one person!
Well, as I said, Facebook has been pretty amazing at connecting us in ways we would not have been. Sadly it’s also good at dividing us.
So true. I’ve said many times to many people, it really isn’t social media, its anti-social media. I frequently refer to it as either Fakebook or Farcebook.
I saw ALL the inherent problems when Bebo & MySpace first started. I am sooooo glad I never succumbed to any of them.
Excellent. I need to do that myself. Good tip about the links.. Thanks.
256 years as 3 coots living here waiting for a return to normal ????
Over the past 9 months or so I have done exactly what you have decided to do for mostly the same reasons. You said it very well with the statement that “news stories shared by friends, or friends showing sides of themselves I had NO IDEA they actually had, it had all become too much.”
I only log in to the few business groups I am a member of then force myself to log out after I am updated. That is a way better approach to staying in touch for me.
Pretty much, I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing lately. It wasn’t depressing me, but my eyes hurt from rolling so hard and often. (Even though, really, MOST of my friends aren’t showing icky political leanings.)
But the main reason was, it was sucking up too much time. Time that I could use to further my business, or at least things I cared about a lot more than Facebook. It was a good decision. Yours too!
I’ve never been active on Facebook, and have come to think it a force for bad. I find if I go on there for five minutes, I come away feeling slightly sick at the mixture of sentiment and outright bile. I belong to a few amiable groups for my writing and restoring rocking horses, and that’s it. Recently I’ve been checking people whose birthdays I’m notified of by Facebook, most of whom I don’t know, and reading their page. I unfriend them if I find their comments tiresome.
Good for you Leo and thanks for being brave enough to tell us. I would disagree that there are good things about Facebook. The rationale for being on Facebook cannot be to keep in touch with friends and family because there are other ways, more private ways, less noxious ways.
Totally concur. Pick up a phone, preferably one with a wire attached. Pay a visit. While the world may revolve around computers your life, especially personal life, doesn’t need to be.
My communications revolve around email, phone and in person. And mostly in that order. Some people, like my 96 year old aunt, I visit and have a chat. But many people I know now live far away from me. I’m in NZ, and have 2 brothers in Australia. So my communications are strictly by email. My sister lives about 60 kilometres away and has her own life, so visit maybe twice a year… maybe. But email or phone happens, and works for me.
What’s Facebook? Seriously, I’ve never had any desire to open an account on any social media platform. I participate in a number of forums for various interests but I’ve never found a compelling reason to join FB, Twitter or whatever the site du jour may be. My wife uses FB to keep in touch with extended family but limits her time. I watch others endlessly scrolling through FB like they’re in a trance and I’m reminded of a movie I saw many years ago where kids were transfixed by patterns on a TV screen that controlled their minds. Sadly, that movie has come true as it seems that many people now rely on social media for all their “news” and blindly accept whatever they see without question. Social media has killed off critical thinking by creating “groupthink” that must be accepted to be part of the community.
I agree regarding critical thinking. It has been struggling for breath for years because kids haven’t been taught it in decades but now, as you say, it’s pretty much dead, along with common sense. I think social media, FB in particular but some blogs as well, has not been good for society or wellbeing for that matter. Without critical thinking and people being too lazy to look into anything further than the copy and paste jobs that abound, nothing good can come of it. The big news media outlets are guilty of this as well. They think that if it’s all over the internet then it must be true. No need of any research. Just run it.
Or newspeak as described in George Orwell’s book 1984.
It’s the endless scroll. Facebook sucks time up like a vacuum and then before you know it, you’ve spent your whole evening and done nothing productive. No wonder we get depressed. I resisted Facebook for years, but it really was the easiest way to share what’s happening with us and the kids when grandparents and aunts and uncles live so far away. So I caved. But back then, you actually could get to the end of Facebook, shut it down and move on to more productive things. Now it never ends.
There’s an interesting argument that “infinite scroll”, a user interface design element used by many sites, might be responsible for the decline of civilization. I really can’t argue against it.
People don’t need to scroll through their social media “feeds” nor need to let the postings of others on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. get you upset … personally, I use the block tool liberally on Twitter, and as far as Facebook, my participation is limited to groups of folks who have proven themselves able to participate in political discussion in an informed and productive manner; I’m always looking to get the best return for the investment of my time on these sites.
About 4 years ago whilst my wife was ill, I stopped watching ‘news’ in all it’s forms. My friends called me the ‘ostrich’. Personally I found it was a relief and I managed to ignore it all right through the Brexit saga (I’m in England). But once Covid19 started I succumbed to the daily press conferences. And my depression returned. JOIN THE OSTRICH PARTY! Support you friends to do the same. It’s an addiction like any other. I’m David, I’m a social media addict.
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