Regardless, I deactivated my personal Facebook account last week and I have not missed it at all.
Well, maybe a little. But not much.
For me, Facebook became that Sunday afternoon movie on TBS that is so bad you cannot turn away. The train wreck effect.
I would scroll through post after post, aimlessly looking for something without having any idea what I was looking for.
Sure, keeping up with the activities of family and friends can be enjoyable. But it is too easy to allow posts and shares to take the place of real human interaction.
Some would argue that, without Facebook, they would never have the ability to keep in contact with so many people. That seeing their activities on Facebook is an appropriate replacement over nothing at all.
Those individuals derive immense joy from spending time on Facebook and I would never attempt to change their mind. With over one billion Facebook accounts in existence, I realize that I am very soundly in the minority.
I would argue, however, that having so many “friends” dilutes the quality of attention that is paid to your primary friends and family. Those individuals that you speak to or spend time with regularly.
Facebook made it too easy for me to be lazy when it came to reconnecting with friends or family members. I had recently become friends with cousins I had not seen in years. But instead of calling them or visiting them, like I should do, I was content to simply follow them on Facebook.
As we all know, Facebook has grown into a multifaceted monster of epic proportions. The assumption is that every person, business or entity of any type must have a Facebook account or be left behind.
Just think of the people that you know who are not on Facebook. The list is probably short, and, admit it, you smiled a little as you thought about “those people”.
We live in a world where we must promote, promote, promote! Ourselves, our businesses, our ideas and viewpoints and everything in between.
Several people warned me against deactivation. I am a small business owner and, although I made my general manager the administrator of my business page, I was still told, repeatedly, that I would need to promote the business using my personal page.
To be clear, I have no intentions of deactivating my business accounts. However, separating my personal and business accounts was the answer I was looking for.
Maybe those warning me are right, but the benefits of deactivating my personal Facebook account seemed to outweigh those of keeping my account active.
One important factor to point out is that my decision to switch from a smartphone to a basic phone, which I did this week, goes hand in hand with dumping Facebook. I like to refer to it as a positive double whammy.
No immense life altering transformations since my Facebook exodus, but I have taken a positive step toward my ultimate goal of being present for my children and increasing my overall productivity.
Below I have detailed six factors that led to my decision. During the past week, the effects are more encouraging and dramatic than I had ever imagined.
1. Less anxiety. Facebook made me anxious. And I certainly do not need help feeling anxious. Every time I logged in I was anxious about who I would see or what I would see. I am actually feeling anxious as I write this sentence. As ridiculous as this may be, that is exactly how I would feel.
2. Procrastination. Number two is pretty self explanatory. Procrastination from every known activity imaginable. Procrastination is the evil stepmother of number three, productivity.
3. Productivity. Lack of productivity when using Facebook. Increased productivity after deactivating. While this step appears simple and basic, it is important to remember to replace your “once manic Facebook” idle time with something productive, like sleep, reading or exercise. No laughing or rolling your eyes.
4. Reality. I now have the ability to live in my reality. I am no longer being influenced by the reality of other people. Their influence, however slight or subtle, has a way of seeping into our mind and the potential to create a new normal in our lives. It can affect how we feel about everything from cars, houses and vacations to clothes, travel sports and the food we eat. In other words, Facebook is the official sponsor of the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality.
5. Less aggravation. Okay, everyone knows those people who post that perfectly framed picture of their mansion to show “how much it snowed the night before”. Or the person that posted a wide angle picture of their ultra luxurious kitchen to show “their child doing homework”. Yeah, no more of that.
6. Being present. My primary reason for being. My ultimate goal for life on earth. Being present for my children, my family and friends and my work. In order to even have an opportunity at accomplishing big things you must first be present.
There was ever only one reason that I liked Facebook. And, quite possibly, for that same reason I am now gone.
I realize that deactivating Facebook is not for most people. And maybe I have personal problems that cannot be remedied by leaving Facebook, which is probably true.
However, I am happy that I am no longer connected. I can deepen my primary relationships with family and friends. And regain that genuine feeling you get when you run into an old coworker or classmate.
But most importantly, I am present for my children and that is what makes me truly happy.