Go ahead! I dare you.
First off, let me admit that I was reasonably addicted to Facebook, but I didn’t want to leave anytime soon. That’s why I decided to deactivate my facebook account periodically.
Surprised? Don’t be. Half the people in my life are on Facebook. The other half are not. Or to be really honest, that ratio is probably skewed more in one direction than the other.
As a blogger and as one who runs a blogging group on Facebook, the first time I suggested the idea of deactivating my account to a few friends, I was met with a reaction very akin to Sean Bean’s , as evidenced below:
Yes, yes, I soothed them. I understand that you will all miss my sunny presence, my witty humour, my dazzling status updates and my much-admired wisdom on all things blogging, but it must be done. I must tear myself away from this wily social network that seeps into every pore of my being with its insidious lure of ‘likes’, comments and adulation. I needed a break, said I, with the air of one who has suffered a good deal.
So, in December, I did it. For the first time ever, I went off Facebook for an entire week. I let a few people know in my blogging group and my other groups that I would disappear temporarily. Most took it well, some sobbed that I would be missing and others didn’t raise so much as an eyebrow. I was expecting a farewell party and was sorely disappointed. 😉
What was more amusing though, were the panic calls and messages I received a day after I deactivated the account, from people who did not know that I had vanished.
“Are you okay? Was someone mean to you?” asked one.
“Why did you leave Facebook? Was it all those game invites?” asked another.
“Did you just leave because you did not want to un-friend people?” asked yet another.
So then, I felt like Heath Ledger, you know? Not exactly like him, but close enough:
Most important, though, I realised I was living my life on Facebook while chores piled up, errands were left undone and deadlines came and glowered at me with a looming sense of doom. I had already removed the Facebook app from my phone, turned off all notifications and even signed out of the network on my browser. But, the email notifications were my undoing. I sighed and logged in again each time a message popped up in my inbox.
That’s when I decided: I would do this every month. A week, a few days, maybe more, each month would be Facebook-free. But there was a hitch. I could not deactivate the account without losing my Blog Facebook pages, and that was making me re-think my decision. So, I created a secondary account which I could use to access my blog pages on Facebook.
That account has no friends, no details and most important, no news feed. Have you noticed how often you spend scrolling through the News feed wasting away time? Next time you are on Facebook, just set a stopwatch. You will be shocked at the number of minutes that tick away while you just ‘quickly check one thing’ before you log off.
As much as I love Facebook and the connections it has brought me (well over a 1000 of those), I need my me-time. I need time to unwind, let go and not be tied down to the dictates of a social network. I love my blogs, I love my friends and I love my Facebook groups.
But I think it’s time to love ourselves just a little bit more.
Don’t you agree?