99 Days of Freedom: My Facebook Break and Why It’s Not About YOU

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new-profile-picture (2)Late last week I signed on to complete a project called 99 Days of Freedom. You can read about the project here. My sister-in-law is also doing the project and is probably 6 weeks or so ahead of me. I found the idea from her. Really though, the project is just my excuse.

I hate Facebook.

I don’t hate Facebook for any particular reason or person. It’s something you probably can’t understand unless you are involved in Facebook the way I am. And some of you may be. But my Facebook break isn’t about any of you, it’s about me. It’s a personal development project for me. It’s about spending more time with my family. It’s about learning to not worry about things that really aren’t any of my business. It’s about my happiness.

Do I miss out on a lot of announcements? Yes, I sure do. And it really stinks. My genuine relationships though have figured out that emailing me, texting me, calling me, etc. are all adequate ways to get information to me as well. 

Anyway, really, if you don’t want to give up Facebook or if you don’t think you can or whatever, that’s totally fine. I am still logged in to Facebook. My Bing Rewards account is attached to it. My Cartwheel is attached to it. My TimeHop is attached to it. My Instagram is attached  to it. My Runkeeper is attached to it. My blog even has a Facebook page. Do I have to have all these things? No, but I choose to. I get to make my own rules on Facebook posts.

What I am NOT doing during this project though is actively going to Facebook. I’m not organically posting statuses. I’m not seeing friends’ updates or reading messages or skimming notifications. I’m not reloading the app on my phone endlessly all day long like I’m going to miss something. I am not boycotting social media or criminalizing Facebook. I still enjoy the positive aspects of the website. Unfortunately the negative aspects take over my life and make it difficult to focus on reality in front of me.

What I AM doing during this project is setting my phone down more often. I am sharing pictures on Instagram of moments I got to be a part of because I wasn’t buried in the latest Facebook drama. I am unpacking boxes because we just bought a new house. I am following people on Twitter and still tweeting my random thoughts.

If you see me on Facebook, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just the robot version of me posting through automation because I assure you, I am not there. Social media is a very real addiction, so much so that they make hypnosis downloads to overcome using it and even anonymous groups you can join in person with 12 step programs and all. Do I feel like I am addicted to Facebook to those levels? Maybe not. Am I addicting to it on some level though? Absolutely!

My goal with this project is to simply not feel attached anymore. The first day without even thinking I went to Facebook on my browser (I deleted the app on my phone) at least a dozen times. As soon as it would load, I would curse internally at myself thinking I had done something wrong. It was HARD to overcome. It is HARD to know that I have dozens of notifications and messages and that I have no idea what any of them are about. It is HARD because it feels lonely not having adults around. (They weren’t around before either but Facebook gave me a false sense of that.)

My goal is to be productive with my time, to grow in my role as a stay-at-home-mom/blogger/freelance writer/wife, to meet new women/moms in our new neighborhood and to be able to log in to Facebook again without it affecting my overall mood in the end.

For my countdown on when I’ll be back on Facebook, you can follow along here. I can’t actually promise that I’ll be back at the end of the 99 days though. I CAN promise if I do go back though that you’ll see much less of me.

And in the meantime, I should be procrastinating fall less so maybe you’ll start seeing some more thoughtful blogging from me too…

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6 responses »

  1. It’s interesting you are doing this because yesterday I started 30 Days Without Facebook. I went as far as deactivating my account without telling anyone. 24 hours later the only person who has noticed has been my Mom. Today has been great. I have enjoyed the day and not been concerned about checking it. My photos will have to be shared other ways such as my blog.

    It’s a great adventure to be on. I can’t wait to read your blogs about it. I am writing a blog at the end of my 30 Days about my experience.

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  4. Since school started I have been on Facebook WAY less than I used to. I found out that I really didn’t miss it when I was away for days at a time. I don’t really get on it at all from my phone, unless I need to ask someone something. If I missed an announcement, my family is right there saying, “Hey, did you see so and so’s post?” I just got back on two days ago for the first time since my surgery.

    I do miss seeing your updates on there, but I’m not really on there much myself. Good for you for doing this!!

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