Hello ladies! So, it’s been about…5 months since I’ve last blogged! I think that goes up there on the list of things NOT to do if you want to be a successful blogger, but I’m all for learning from my mistakes. I wish I could say that in the meantime, I did something meaningful and life changing. And lo and behold, I did! Are you ready? I deleted my Facebook account!
I know it might not have been the shock and awe statement you were expecting (although, given the title of this blog, you might have guessed) but it has been revelatory and uniquely positive for my family and me. So much so, that my husband decided to delete his account as well! Now this post is not a diatribe against social media (I’m a blogger, after all). And it’s definitely not a call to encourage everyone to go dark online and move off the grid.
This is simply a snapshot into the few positive changes that came about when I made this decision.
1. I felt lighter
There is so much ugliness, meanness and willful ignorance online and eliminating my FB account was the first step in scrubbing all that negativity from my day. After deactivating my account, so much of the world’s stress was lifted – no more political memes trivializing significant issues, rants about exes or family and, my personal favorite, vague and cryptic cliffhangers from attention seekers. Deleted.
2. I reconnected with my hobbies
It was becoming too easy to put my daughter down for a nap and then open FB to look for a minute. The problem was, one minute would turn into 30 and then my time to cook, sit outside in the sun or craft a blog post was gone. When I got rid of FB, I got all that time back.
3. I broadened my news sources
I’ve always been very civic-minded and devoured books and news whenever I had a moment. While FB can help spread awareness about political and social issues, it can also be a double-edged sword in only providing a few perspectives or snippets of information. Taking the time to visit a variety of news sources, mainstream, foreign and otherwise, helped push me outside of my bubble and, at the very least, learn more about the concerns of those who hold ideologies with which I may disagree.
4. I scaled back using my phone altogether
I don’t have a Twitter account and am completely ignorant to how Snapchat works, so once I got rid of Facebook, the need to always have my device in my hand dissipated. Aside from a few complaints about taking too long to respond to a text or phone call, it’s been liberating walking around with my eyes forward instead of my head down.
In the grand scheme of things, eliminating a social media account ranks pretty low. But in our forever-connected society, being intentional about being more present has allowed me to prioritize what’s in front of me, rather than what’s being filtered through my screen.