I went off Facebook in April 2014, after I realised just how much time I was
spending wasting on the site. This ended up being a really good decision for me, because it meant that I was better able to concentrate on my uni work and other things that constant scrolling had been taking me away from.
Here’s some of the things I’ve learned in my time off of Facebook:
- Most people won’t even notice you’re not there.
I put up a “hey guys, I’m disappearing for the foreseeable future, please text/call if you need me” post when I bailed off, and STILL everyone was surprised when I’d say in conversation “remember, I’m not on Facebook at the moment”.
- You WILL miss some important announcements, unless you have someone who is keeping tabs on stuff and can update you.
Between Hubby and my best friend, I managed to keep mostly up-to-date with the really big things (babies, engagements, etc), but I did miss a few things. I missed several birthday parties because they only did Facebook invites.
- Sometimes, Facebook really is the best way to keep in contact with family.
I have a HUGE family on my Mum’s side – she’s the oldest of 6 kids, and everyone has at least 2 kids, and most of the ones over 18 have long-term partners. Not being on Facebook meant I had honestly no clue what was going on with them unless my Mum told me.
- You will find out who is really your friend.
The friends that actually care and want to still catch up with you will text/call. My “friends” list has reduced to about 6 or 8 people compared to while I was on Facebook, and I can’t say I’m particularly sorry – I prefer having a few good friendships than having heaps of superficial ones.
- I increased my “other social sites” use, but not by a significant amount.
I found that when I initially got off of Facebook, I had a steep increase in the amount of time I was spending on Tumblr, Twitter and WordPress, but that reduced after a few weeks – when you don’t follow a thousand people, there’s only so many new things that will turn up on your feed when you refresh it.
- Now I’m back ‘on’ Facebook, I’m not checking it anywhere NEAR as often as I used to.
I’m only doing 1 or 2 scrolls per day now, and I think that this is a sustainable amount. The time I’ve spent without Facebook seems to have broken me of the constant-checking habit.
Things I’ll be doing differently this year:
- I won’t be completely bailing this year – instead, I will be making changes to the things that turn up in my feed.
- I will be un-friending and un-following people.
There are some people I can’t un-friend without creating a shitstorm, but I can remove them from my sight.
- I won’t be posting very much, even when I’m on there.
I honestly find that there is very little I want to share on Facebook – the time away has given me a new insight into just how shallow and RIDICULOUS a lot of posts really are. I found that I didn’t even want to share some of my really exciting stuff (YAY I got a 6.0 GPA and got invited to the High Achievers lunch) because I didn’t want shit to hit the fan – I know that there are people who would take it as a slap to the face, rather than be happy for me. Maybe I’m over-thinking that, but I just can’t be bothered dealing with that crap.
- I will not have the app installed on my phone.
I still have the app installed on my iPad, but not on my phone. On my phone, I am too likely to just randomly scroll because 80% of the time my phone is where I can see it.
- No notifications
The only Facebook notifications I’ll be getting are the Facebook Messenger ones, because I have a few friends who prefer to use Facebook messenger so they can save on credit. Fair call.
- Facebook calendar sync.
I have turned on Facebook calendar sync, and I’ll keep it on this year, even if I go off Facebook for all intents and purposes – because that way, I shouldn’t miss out on the birthdays/celebrations I did last year.