I gave up Facebook for a week and here’s what I found out

We constantly portray social media as the enemy. But social media is also our best friend. We complain about overusing it, but if we happen to leave our smartphones at home, we no longer know what to do with our hands. All in all, social media is this paradox we’re forced to coexist with. Or are we?

So, let’s start with Facebook as it was never my favourite and when it was embraced by an older generation, I disliked it even more. But I never stopped using it in the past 10 years. And since I’m planning some sort of digital detox, I decided to start with something that won’t bring me tremendous amounts of pain.

So, a week without Facebook seems like a perfect first step in the right direction.

Now, I wanted to do this without deleting my actual profile because the purpose of this experiment was to prove myself I’m not addicted to Facebook. So no need for drastic measures. I’d just have to stop clicking on the app icon.

But let us not kid ourselves: I’m not that strong! And if deleting my account was never an option, deleting the app from my phone was the best decision. Out of sight, out of my mind!

Now let’s look at what I’ve realized over the course of a week:

  1. During the first 2 days, I noticed how my index finger has developed the reflex of reaching for the app. As I’ve deleted the app and its space was now randomly replaced with something like Viber, I discovered my fingers tried to visit Facebook about 4-5 times a day without my brain even acknowledging it.
  2. Whoever said comparison is the thief of joy was more than right. Although I’m not the type of person who gets jealous of others, let’s face it: when you see your former colleague visiting the Maldives for the third time in a year, you start feeling a little less satisfied with how your life is going.
  3. I really don’t care what my grandma’s neighbour thinks about some random scandal article. Don’t ask why we’re friends of Facebook – I don’t know (to say no).
  4. I didn’t gain much time in real life (or productivity). I wasn’t using Facebook, but there was still Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube for me to ensure I wouldn’t stop procrastinating. Until all source of temptation is removed, I’m doomed.
  5. Literally nobody noticed I was gone. Not even my husband or my mom. I don’t post very often and luckily, they’re not the type of people that search their likes looking for my name.
  6. The only disadvantage: I forgot about a friend’s birthday. That was the only time I regretted deleting the app: without Facebook’s reminders, I had no idea whose birthday it was during that week.
  7. Most importantly, I never felt like I was missing out on something, which is what I was afraid of. On the contrary, I felt perfectly at ease and happier with my life not knowing what everyone else is up to. This feeling sparked the idea that I should remove all social media from my life for a while (don’t hold your breath, I’m not ready yet).

For all the before mentioned reasons, I’m planning to extend this experiment to more platforms and longer periods of time because I found it liberating. More to come, stay tuned!

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