Yesterday I downloaded the Facebook app after a week of not using it at all.
And I’m a little surprised at what I learned.
- I really didn’t miss it. I was not tempted – even once – to get on Facebook using my computer. I expected it to be a struggle, but it really didn’t even bother me. Even today, now that the experiment is over, I’ve only gone on there to post memes, check in on a few friends, and briefly check notifications. It no longer has the draw that it once had.
- I wasn’t more productive without Facebook – I merely found new ways to waste time. However, my absence did allow my mind to have more clarity and peace, and that was well worth it. And, I took the time to assess how I want/need to be spending my time and made some progress with better systems. So, I think from here on out these results will help me be more productive, but last week it was a wash.
- I do need screen time limits. It is far too easy to get lost scrolling through the NewsFeed, so I set strict limits on my iPhone (one hour of social media per day). I’m thankful that Apple recognized the need for limits like these and that they took the time to make it a setting on the iPhone. Most of us like the idea of being disciplined but actually making it happen can be a serious challenge, so utilizing tools such as these are a great start.
- It’s time to delete “friends” who aren’t really my friends. When Tori first got sick, I got hundreds of friend requests from people wanting to follow her story. That’s what led me to start her Facebook page. But now I have WAY too many people on my friends list who I don’t actually know. It’s time to go through the list and tighten it up. But who has time for that? It’s going to have to be a long, gradual process.
Overall, while these aren’t groundbreaking observations, I truly believe my break has changed my Facebook habits for the better. If something is making me irritable then I need to stop using it. If it’s not bringing me joy (and, instead, is robbing me of joy and peace), then is it worth my time? No.
I’d encourage you to evaluate your own social media usage periodically. We all need to reassess our habits from time to time and work on self-discipline, and this is a great place to start.