I passed my one year anniversary of leaving Facebook a few weeks ago after having thought about it for quite some time. I proved to myself that I don’t need it. I’ve had a few moments when I’ve wondered if I should go back, especially after I had been off it for so long. I do miss interacting with some online friends and extended family that I never interact with now. I sometimes wonder if I’ve done the right thing for my website and work.
One thing that surprised me is how often I did not use David’s account to look things up. Before I quit, I added him to several EoE and health-related groups so I could still get in and access information. I thought I would do so fairly regularly. In reality, I might have done it once? Maybe? What I did notice about not being on Facebook is how much less I thought about my health because I didn’t see information about it all the time. That was a good thing.
There is one Christian discussion group I like to look at every few months, but I think I looked at it twice via his account. I just don’t care enough to make the effort.
But, overall, I have many issues with Facebook, including their censoring activities and data harvesting. Combining that all together makes it easy to continue to stay off.
Deleting Twitter in My Social Media Purge
This morning I deactivated my Twitter account. The only thing I really used it for was following Spartan sports and current events. I decided it wasn’t worth it. Almost no one interacts with my homeschooling-related tweets and the one person who actually does also comments here on my site fairly regularly.
I had been thinking about deleting Twitter off and on, but I was convinced when I thought through the numbers this morning.
- If I spend 10 minutes a day dinking around on Twitter, that’s 3,650 minutes a year.
- That is almost SIXTY-ONE HOURS in ONE YEAR.
- That’s two and a half wasted 24 hour days every year.
- That’s the equivalent of almost eight eight-hour work days.
- Multiply that out by my billable hourly rate if I converted that to work time and it’s astonishing.
And that’s if I limit it to ten minutes a day.
Doing nothing but wasting time on something that brings zero real value to my life. There’s no conversation there. Tweeting brings virtually no traffic to my website. It is basically an utter waste of time other than the cute animal videos Caroline likes from one account I followed.
It’s not worth it for that.
Twitter is Not Remotely Like Real Life
If you missed the report that came out from Pew Research regarding Twitter users, it is eye-opening. If there is any social media that is not reflective of our culture, it is Twitter.
Don’t miss this key fact: 10% of the Twitter users send 80% of the tweets. If you want to know more about that 10%, read the Pew summary I linked to. It’s quite interesting to read about the demographic and views of who is driving the Twitter conversation which in turn impacts the culture in multiple ways.
(Let’s just say that after reading the Pew report, I know why Twitter is a poor fit for my posts and site.)
(And I haven’t mentioned the unethical free speech deplatforming Twitter is engaged in against people.)
Reading for Those Thinking of Quitting Social Media
I’ve found some good posts lately regarding social media and related topics. If you are contemplating making a change in this area of your life, you might find these interesting. I know from the recent reader survey that about a quarter of my readers already avoid social media so you are among friends here if you do!
First, a couple of mine if you haven’t read them (in addition to the Facebook ones I linked to in the first paragraph).
- Internet and Social Media Challenge (If you are a subscriber to my site, you received the download that goes with this post when you subscribed.)
- Creating a Cozy Life by Choosing the Propaganda You View
- Living Simply by Limiting Emotional Drainers
Some thoughts by others:
- The Life-Changing Magic of Unfollowing Almost Everybody from Raptitude (This is a site I just discovered. He has lots of good content I think many of you will enjoy.)
- On Monks and Email from Cal Newport
- AOC Quit Facebook. The Media Bungled the Story. from Cal Newport (Not political in nature)
- You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep and It’s Killing You from Wired
Where are you with social media? How are you dealing with it to create a quiet, simple life?
I find Twitter frustrating. There’s some people I enjoy following, but for the most part it doesn’t feel super like we’re communicating together, but tweeting at each other, and repeating what other people we like have tweeted.
I’ve found recently Twitter doesn’t bother sending out notifications, so I tend to not check it because I’m not getting notifications to know people are replying.
I wasn’t an early Twitter adopter, but I know it was much more real time and conversational in the beginning. Now it seems like it is either people dropping links for social media juice or else people telling each other they are stupid.
I also think their selective purging of certain opinions while allowing other horrible people to continue on unchecked is a real issue. So I was glad to quit my account for that reason as well.
Good to see you!
That’s what I’ve heard from others who were on Twitter earlier. I pretty much only joined it because I had to for a couple of campaigns. Now I hop on occasionally, but it’s really not my cup of tea.
What’s interesting is the conversation going on over on FB right now because they’re changing algorithms again, and the newsfeed. A lot of frustration going on.
If Facebook, Instagram, and the like would simply allow people to see their feed in real time, the users would self-select what they want to see. They would either unfollow people or groups to simplify their feed or they would use it more often to keep up on the feed.
Unfortunately Facebook has set up a business model that demands that they micromanage everything. They have to constantly mine for information and usage patterns to sell advertising. I’ve watched the guy who wrote this book do a few interviews (on YouTube) and one of his takeaways is that Silicon Valley has a business model that is bad for users.
I’ve unfollowed even extended family on my personal Facebook page so it isn’t as bad as it once was. Once we get more into the next election (and it has already begun), that may change.
As it is, I have found I can see most of what I want by using the See First option on some people I follow. That means maybe ten minutes of reading and then I stop. Usually. There are those rainy days…
I still enjoy Instagram, which I use via the Amazon Fire. However, I am very careful there who and what I follow. I want to keep it my Happy Place. I have stopped following some bloggers that I used to enjoy very much when they became political.
David and I were talking about my post and Facebook. He said that he’s noticed a lot of his friends have been posting much less in recent months.
I keep waiting for someone to come up with a better and more ethical version of Facebook that doesn’t sell everyone out by mining their information and deplatforming voices they don’t agree with. It seems like there should be enough people out there to build it and get it off the ground in terms of funding. I honestly think Zuckerberg is in way over his head. He’s created a monster and can’t control it in an ethical way.
I’ve tried and I cannot get into Instagram. It leaves me depressed. Everything is so perfect and curated. Plus I struggle to take good photos so it seems like way more work and effort than it is worth. But I know there are some people who absolutely love it. I’ve tried to be one of them and I just can’t get there. LOL!
I hope you and your Purdue guy are doing well!
Whenever I see someone say they wish an ethical Facebook alternative would come out, I like to share the word about MeWe. I have been trying 5o get my friends to make the switch, as I have been off Facebook for over a year and don’t use any other social media. MeWe is serious about privacy and free speech and there are no ads!
Thank you for mentioning MeWe. I think I had heard about it at one point. I just signed up out of curiosity and to see what it look liked. It’s definitely similar to Facebook, but you can’t see anything you don’t belong to. So I tried to preview some of the homeschooling groups, but unless I’m doing something wrong (which is entirely possible) you can’t see anything about them unless you apply to join. Not saying that’s bad – just different. It definitely seems much more private.
In any case, I should use it as a protest to Facebook and the like. I saw Twitter is now openly banning conservatives and not even trying to hide it.
I’m gearing up to delete my Instagram account as well. I’m only one little person, but I will do what I can!
Left FB three weeks ago due to their deleting of certain right leaning accounts. I’m not even that right leaning, but what they did didn’t rest well with me. Due to the amount of time I spent there, I had a real love hate relationship with it, though, and had been wanting to just leave but felt obligated to stay because of family.
In the three weeks since I have been gone, I have noticed three things different about life. My level of serenity and contentment is higher than it has been in a long rime. I also have more creative juices flowing. I also have an unbelievable amount of time freed up. I can’t believe I used up so much time on there, and when I wasn’t in there, I thought about it.
Life without Facebook is awesome!
Congratulations on breaking free and experiencing the mental and time freedom. I’m glad you can see a difference in your quality of life.
I mentioned up above that I signed up for MeWe (a Facebook alternative) and this weekend I was trying it out a bit. I joined a couple of homeschooling groups and set up my personal account. It’s better than Facebook in that they aren’t censoring free speech, but it still has the same potential pitfalls of getting sucked into a vortex of mindless scrolling and filling my mind with “stuff” that really isn’t important.
I’m going to write a post about it, but it was interesting to read your comment about feeling free and quieter the same weekend I was trying out MeWe. It also confirmed something I talked about in my second podcast about quieting the mind.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story!
I don’t have other social media. So I am totally free!
Thanks for taking the time to update us on your thoughts regarding social media. Last year when I was thinking about quitting Facebook I *did* quit Twitter because it was completely useless to me. I still have an unused IG account that I’m not sure if I’ll pursue or not. As far as FB, I’m still on but I’m working on setting up an exit plan so I have an out when I want it. Going to test out a forum for one of my blogs, for instance, as we’ve talked about before. What do you do for mastermind groups? All of my masterminds in the past have lived over on Facebook, but I’d love an alternative “meeting place” if you have ideas!
Somehow I totally missed responding to this comment!
Our Mastermind group uses email. LOL! And it works just fine. We use Google Hangouts for meeting live. I think most of the rest of the group is on Voxer, but I’m not. One of our members quit Facebook some time ago. I’ve been off Facebook for quite awhile. The other members use Facebook to varying degrees for their blogging endeavors. But Facebook is definitely not necessary for a quality Mastermind group if everyone in the group is willing to do it elsewhere.
Thank you for sharing what you do! I had comment notification on, so I saw this!
I decided to stop looking at social media, because I feel overwhelmed by information overload. I was wasting too much time on it. I was tired of not being in control of what I exposed myself to. I had rather read your wonderful website, because it enriches my life! Thank you for uplifting, inspiring, and educating us!