I quit Facebook for 30 days, here’s why.
It has always been an interesting thought to me how one activity could add to one person’s life and take away from someone else’s daily routine.
The same screentime adds experience to someone’s marketing portfolio but is taking a chunk of time out of someone else’s productivity.
We already know that social media plays a big role in today’s millennial society, but it has also become a tool to many business owners, up and coming entrepreneurs, influencers and creatives.
I had to ask myself this question. Was I using social media as a business tool or was I just mindlessly scrolling through meme’s, hitting the like button on every other post and sharing quotes that resonated with my mood for the day?
I’m not saying that this is completely wrong, social media to many is a relaxed environment to get your daily dose of laughter, chat with friends, get the latest news and share photos of their experiences.
But was this advancing me in any way? Was it benefiting me in any other way other than growing my friend list and adding likes to my photos? Was it taking time out of my day that should have been used more wisely?
The answer is simple, yes. Okay, maybe I should be more dramatic, YES!
I was spending at least 40% of my day on Facebook.
In fact, it was the first application I opened on my phone each morning and the last application I closed before going to bed. It wasn’t a healthy relationship and distracted me from my everyday life.
I remember thinking, when did it become acceptable to scroll through Facebook whilst at the dinner table?
None the less, I decided to take a serious Facebook detox and the only way I was going to achieve less screen time was by deactivating my account – yes, I had to go cold turkey.
But did quitting Facebook benefit me in any way other than having less screen time?
The Pro’s of quitting Facebook
This one may seem obvious, but I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself for the first 3 days. I had gone from a busy, don’t- have-time-for-anything lifestyle to four hours of just … me-time.
I finally had time to read that book, tick off a few bucket list items and participate in face to face conversations.
It’s definitely not a math problem, but fewer distractions equal better focus.
Just by cutting out Facebook, I was able to do my work in half the time it would normally take. In fact, I was so bored that I created a website and started a blog.
Heightened observation of my surroundings
Jessica curled her hair. Dean isn’t normally this quiet. Elsie is wearing black. Is the sun always this bright? You catch my drift.
I am a compulsive maniac when it comes to social media. Is this picture good enough, did I add the correct caption? Will I receive enough likes. What if I offend someone? Let’s rather not upload at all.
Yup, this girl is a perfectionist and you’ll see the anxiety crawling in my skin if you look just close enough.
Switching off my Facebook for 30 days definitely put a few things into perspective and made me realise that certain things in life are really not worth the stress. Who cares what filter you use, if you have an extra chin or if your teeth are crooked. Copy, paste, share – no stress.
I remember thinking, when did it become acceptable to scroll through Facebook whilst at the dinner table?Amoré Barnard
The Con’s of quitting Facebook
Missing out on the latest news
Ever sit in the office while your fellow colleagues talk about a funny video they saw on Facebook? Next thing you know everyone is on Facebook.
Well, if you don’t have Facebook, then it can get kinda awkward, right?
Spoiler Alert: You’ll also miss the latest gossip news, a few important snaps of friends getting married and share-worthy memes.
Not being able to use the Facebook Marketplace
This was probably one of the biggest downsides for me, not being able to browse or post items on the Facebook Marketplace.
I’m a sucker for deals and have scored a great deal on second-hand items in the past. It’s just the minimalist thing to do.
This would have especially come in handy at the time of my experiment as I was busy moving and had a few items up for sale. Bummer.
Forgetting friends birthdays
I think I might have missed out on a few birthdays in September… #happybelatedbirthday
Not being able to share a memorable event
And we have a winner. The biggest con for me was not being able to share my snaps on Facebook during events or even participate in upcoming events for the month.
As a singer and songwriter, my main attraction is my Facebook page. This lets my family and friends know where my next gig will be. Not being able to use Facebook to sell my brand was tough during a very busy month.
Moral of the story? No, I didn’t quit Facebook completely and most likely won’t any time soon. I did, however, learn to manage the time I spend on Facebook.
Sometimes you just need to find a little balance between life, work and screentime.
When it comes to social media, there are just times I turn off the world, you know. There are just some times you have to give yourself space to be quiet, which means you’ve got to set those phones down.Michelle Obama