Last year in October I stopped posting to my own Facebook timeline, publicly or otherwise. That was about a year after I uninstalled the Facebook app from my phone. Both of these decisions felt freeing, they made me happier and almost literally gave me more hours in my day. I kept lurking on Facebook, in part to see what friends were doing, to follow news and for groups, for me, that wasn’t a great decision.
Even without posting, Facebook was still taking a lot of my time, and I didn’t feel I was getting much from it. At the beginning of social media, I could see amazing value in the ability to meet people and maintain connections. But in the years since I’ve found that social media in general and Facebook specifically have detracted from my life. Groups that should have been places for discussions turned out to be hotbeds of angry comments, and ad hominem attacks. That I just couldn’t seem to avoid getting sucked into.
One of the most positive changes I made in my life a few years ago was to start mindfulness meditation. What I realized is most of the thoughts that pull me out of a state of mindfulness were random, sometimes years old, arguments with often anonymous people, from Facebook groups and comments sections of friends, news sites, etc. The time spent arguing with anonymous people would have been better spent reading books, literally any books. Imagine if I’d taken classes online or learned a language?
Since messenger is one of my primary sources of communication, I’m keeping that around. I will also still keep my Facebook profile around for the time being. But I’m going to use it less. Even with the changes to how I use Facebook, last week I still wasted 9 hours on the site, according to the app Rescue Time.
I’m not asking anyone to follow me off Facebook or even to care what I’m doing. But if you have a mind to, it may be worth evaluating your use of the platform and resulting emotional state because I think, for most people, Facebook rates high on time spent and low on the value received.