It is slightly inaccurate to say this is a record of my first thirty days after I quit Facebook. I’ve been researching people who quit Facebook for the better part of a year and wrote a lengthy post about quitting Facebook and deleting it all a few months ago.
After writing that post and reflecting on how Facebook doesn’t fit with my desire for a cozy life, I tentatively began the process of disentangling myself from Facebook as I tried to strategize how I could make it work, especially professionally.
A Brief Recap Of How I Quit Facebook
It’s not that difficult to leave Facebook in terms of the process. It’s fairly straightforward. But detaching yourself from all the ways you use it can be challenging. I couldn’t just disappear from the community pages I had for my websites. So I did some small things to start the process.
I started a forum on my website where I could easily interact with people.
When I shared my website posts on my Facebook community pages, I encouraged people to leave comments on my posts and not my Facebook share.
I cut way back on my personal Facebook usage to almost nothing to see how I felt about it. Then, to test out my potential leaving, I got more active again for a few days to see if I really wanted to be back. I realized how much I did not want to deal with Facebook any longer.
So although this post starts with Day 1 being the day I committed publicly to leaving Facebook, quite a bit of thought and planning went into it.
- Mention on my Facebook wall I’m definitely leaving Facebook in a few days
- Put up posts on my Facebook community pages that I’m shutting them down and how to subscribe if people are interested
- Start removing myself from groups
- Start implementing work arounds
- Say goodbye in a few groups after that awkward weighing is it weirder to just disappear without a word or say goodbye; I err on the side of being polite so I let people know in a few groups I’m very active in
- Realize again how insane the entire premise of Facebook is as I scroll through my 190ish “friends” to figure out who I need to give my phone number to so we can keep in touch and wonder who will want it and who won’t
- Wonder how many of my “friends” won’t even notice I’ve left because they’ve unfollowed me for one reason or another
- Scroll through dozens of friend requests I never responded to because the entire thing is simply overwhelming
- Wish I could delete it all right now and be done with it, but want to give people who follow my website pages time to see the announcement in their feed (while at the same time knowing most of them will never see it because Facebook rarely lets people see what they want to see unless you pay)
- Continue removing myself from groups
- Counting the hours until I’m out of there
- Send out one last reminder I’m deleting my community pages that evening
- Finish downloading all my Facebook profile and community files for future reference
- Close blog related pages
- Deactivate my account to start the fourteen day process before Facebook will allow it to be officially deleted
- Actually feel anxious while I’m deactivating it
- Feel very annoyed at myself for feeling anxious about something as stupid as leaving Facebook
- Ask my husband to look up my name and see what comes up; see placeholder spot with my name since Facebook is sure I’ll cave before the fourteen days are up
- Put on game face; I’m determined to prove you can have successful businesses and a life without being a slave to Zuckerberg and his soulless algorithms
- Go to bed with a quieter mind and feel optimistic about the future!
- No Facebook to check in the morning which disrupts my routine
- Feel actual anxiety over not having Facebook to check
- Really feel annoyed at myself for feeling anxious
- Withdrawal is real
- Google for articles about Facebook withdrawal
- In the interest of full disclosure, write a comment about Facebook withdrawal on my quitting Facebook post
- Providentially spend the morning out of the house on an unexpectedly prolonged errand so that takes Facebook out of the equation
- Decide to keep a running post about leaving Facebook so I’ll have a more accurate record than my memory and so start writing this post
- Wonder if making this running post public would be interesting or the dumbest thing ever; keep private for now
- Go back and read some of the other articles I’ve linked to about quitting Facebook now that I’m on the other side
- Am more convinced than ever that Facebook is like a drug
- Wonder how much of the anxiety created by leaving Facebook is manufactured by fake news put out by Facebook to keep people chained to it
- Felt compelled to check Drudge and Twitter lead stories to know what is happening; too depressing so I leave right away after deciding I really don’t need to know
- Spend the evening happily tweaking and updating a couple of my websites while listening to Christmas music on Pandora
- Go to bed peacefully after not reading rants and negative news on Facebook in the evening (or, truthfully, ranting about anything because I did it, too)
- Realize I felt more focused on what I was doing throughout the day
- Sleep pretty well
- Good breakfast with hubby
- Checked email and various other morning routine things
- No Facebook to check – feels weird and like I’m kind of out of the loop
- Also feels good to be freed from the noise and voices of hundreds and thousands of people
- Oh well – onward
- Discuss changes to our business site with hubby and start working together on them
- Got a huge amount accomplished on our business website today
- Watched a couple of episodes of “Frasier” on Netflix on my Kindle while working to meet the need of being connected to something
- Had a good day that was very productive
- Went to bed on a positive note
- Woke up from a relatively good night’s sleep; definitely sleeping better without being exposed to negativity in the evening
- Kept busy all day with family life and work
- Thought about Facebook a few times
- Went to bed and slept well
- One week since I made the decision to quit!
- Woke up from a good night of sleep
- Found myself instinctively navigating to where the Facebook link used to be on my browser when I went through my morning email and web routine, but no regrets that it wasn’t there
- Realized how many other things there are to do and think about for my work and life beyond the endless recycled thoughts on Facebook
- Work to do and family to love!
- Definitely sleeping better after getting off Facebook
- Definitely getting more work done after getting off Facebook
- Definitely more focused after getting off Facebook
- Went most of the day without thinking about it except when comments came through on the Facebook post on my website
- Today is the first day I feel rather cut off and out of the loop; not enough to make me change my mind, but I feel it
- Realize it is because I want to decompress with some introvert time and had developed a pattern of going to Facebook when I felt like that
- Realized that going to Facebook to decompress is stupid beyond words
- Looking forward to putting some tentative plans in motion to bring more real life interaction and friendship to our lives
- Okay, I missed watching the meltdown tonight re: the season finale of “When Calls the Heart” on Facebook (but did see some on Twitter)
- At the same time, I didn’t waste valuable life time watching the meltdown tonight on Facebook so, overall, win
- Another good night of sleep
- I quit Facebook one week ago and this has been the most productive week I’ve had in a long time for work, family, home, etc.
- This has also been the best week I’ve had mentally in some time in terms of clearer and quieter thinking
- Realize how much anger being on Facebook generates in me, to be totally honest
- Feel a tiny bit sad I can’t chat about the royal baby birth with friends, but not sad enough to want to be on Facebook
- Decide to publish this and update it as I go in the hope it will encourage other people who are quitting or thinking about quitting
- Interesting to realize that news is no longer the backdrop of your life as it is when you are surrounded by people constantly commenting on it, reacting to it, and raging about it
- Had fun chatting on my site yesterday with more people
- Thought of the day… Is there a correlation between the steady rise of autoimmune diseases and diseases triggered by stress and the rise of “social” media?
- Starting my last week before I officially delete everything
- As I suspected before I did this, I do feel cut off from my network of fellow bloggers, but not enough that I will change my mind; I can’t have everything and this is the trade-off I’m willing to make at this point in my life for peace and quiet and the ability to focus
- Productivity levels – there is no comparison to before and after; so much more productive and focused now
- I’ve reached the point that when I remembered I needed to add something to this today I realized I was doing it more out of necessity to follow through than because I had anything specific to say about Facebook – that’s how much Facebook has diminished in my life already
- Of course, I reserve the right to feel irrationally different tomorrow or next week
- I spent hours on my somewhat neglected Pinterest boards yesterday – organizing them, adding keywords, moving them around, etc. – with plans to finish up today
- Zero regrets I left Facebook and no temptation to go back at this point
- I realized this evening that because I was on Facebook primarily for business and blogging purposes, I thought about business things all the time, all day. Since I’ve quit Facebook, I think about business and blogging things less but accomplish more.
- My life is more balanced.
- Realized that since I quit Facebook I have been dreaming more – more vivid dreams, remembering them more, etc. Also waking up feeling more rested that I was before. I wonder if the increased dreaming is due to all the stupid stuff from Facebook my mind no longer has to process each night while I’m sleeping.
- Tomorrow will be two weeks since I quit Facebook so I anticipate getting my letter telling me how much people will miss me if I delete everything
- Not changing my mind
- Of everything that has changed, the one that has surprised me the most has been the sleep related issues because I didn’t use Facebook in bed since it wasn’t on my phone and I also took it off my Kindle a while back. And I tried not to get on it after 9 or 10 on my laptop at my desk because I knew it did mess with my sleep if I was on it late. But there is zero doubt that I am sleeping better and waking up less after leaving Facebook. There are no other changes in my life to attribute it to.
- Officially two weeks! Woo hoo!
- Woke up to an email that Facebook had cancelled my PayPal account with them for purchasing advertising. No email to delete my Facebook account though.
- Saw this post on Cal Newport’s blog last evening just as I was heading to bed so I need to go back and read it today along with the comments – On Analog Social Media. The parts I skimmed sound SO MUCH like my experience so far.
- I have no idea if my account has actually been deleted. I did not receive a notice from Facebook regarding permanent deletion. Now I wonder if I have a stray blogging app connected to the account that I didn’t delete (my fault) that is keeping my account active. I tried to sign in and see, but it says no account exists with that email address. So I truly have no idea what is going on.
- The idea that Facebook has anyone’s well being in mind except their own bottom line is completely laughable. They make it nearly impossible to delete your account unless you go to other websites to find a step-by-step article that explains it. They do everything in their power to prevent you from leaving. It’s really all very evil to control and manipulate people this way.
- So I guess I’m gone. I never got an email, but I tried to log in and there was no way to log in or reactivate my account.
- Yesterday something happened that normally I would be all over online. I would have read about it, talked with people about it on Facebook, written a post about it, etc. Someone sent me a link to make me aware and I read a few related other links (both pros and cons). Spent about three minutes scrolling through Twitter to read reactions. Decided I really didn’t care enough to disrupt my entire day. Went back to working on my printables shop and enjoying my peace and quiet.
- Facebook is not for thinkers and people who like to have meaty discussions. I was only on there five years, but even I could see the significant shift the past two years in the way people react to everything they see and read. I enjoyed having discussions with Facebook friends about thought-provoking topics, but there were numerous topics I never brought up because I knew they would be offensive to some of my friends. When the Larry Nassar thing went down at my alma mater, I really wanted to discuss it. But Facebook discussions don’t allow for any nuance or asking of questions. I don’t think you can discuss most topics today unless you are willing to ask the hard questions. And if you ask the hard questions you are generally a horrible person (no matter what the topic). It’s a toxic environment all the way around.
- I enjoyed using Facebook to connect with people, but I’m not a connect through sharing photos of my food, vacations, and child type person so it was a poor fit for me. I enjoyed seeing what other people were doing with their kids, but didn’t have much to add personally. If you can’t have conversations and you aren’t a picture sharer, there isn’t much there for you.
- Nothing earth-shattering. I spent my entire afternoon reading online about Caroline’s needs and trying to understand how to help her. There is tons of information online that does not require Facebook. I also ordered lots of books from the library.
- David told me the election primaries are starting already for some fall stuff. I am so glad I’m off Facebook. I’ve also blocked out most news since leaving. There is so much life beyond news and social media. Really. Try it. You might discover a world you forgot existed. 🙂
- I’ve believed for a long time that we were not created to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Knowing about everything happening everywhere in our country and around the world isn’t healthy. At all.
- It’s been over three weeks since I quit. Not looking back at all.
- My sleep continues to be much better.
- I have no scientific research to support this, but here it is. Anyone with an autoimmune disease that is worsened by stress should try to quit Facebook for at least a month or two and see if it makes a difference. I believe there is a good chance it will improve your health.
- Realize as I’m about ready to shut down my computer for the night I didn’t write anything here today. I did write about this topic in another post I started writing today, but it’s not ready yet. But quitting Facebook continues to reverberate through my life in a good way and I’m thankful.
- So I honestly thought this would be harder. Don’t get me wrong. It was challenging to make the decision and I truly felt panicky the morning after I actually deleted my account. But I’ve moved on and not really missed Facebook. Of course I think about certain things that I can’t participate in, but none of them are as important to me as the peace of mind I’ve gotten. I continue to sleep better, dream more, and feel less stressed.
- Just about done with my first thirty days!
- Overall I simply feel more in control of my life. I feel like I control the information I consume. I feel like I have more control over my day. I feel like my time doesn’t get derailed by getting sucked into discussions or happenings on Facebook that really don’t add true value to my life.
- Very thankful I made this decision. No regrets except maybe that I didn’t do it sooner.
- Today is my last day to record my experience here. I’m sure I’ll write about quitting Facebook again, but it will be in a new post.
- At this point, I have no interest in going back to Facebook. However, I am not stupid. I am not going to say I will never do it because never is a long time and life circumstances change.
- However, I CAN say with certainty there would have to be a real reason to do it. A significant reason. I’ve demonstrated to myself I don’t need it or want it at this point in my life.
- In retrospect, I was shocked how panicky I felt that first morning after I quit. It honestly did unnerve me a bit and make me wonder what I was in for in the coming days and weeks. However, it wasn’t a problem and by the second week or so I had pretty much moved on. I am surprised that I didn’t have more second guessing of myself weeks three and four since I can be prone to that in certain ways. The lack of second guessing really shows me I had thought long and hard about the decision and it was the right thing to do!
So how about you? Have you quit Facebook? Are you thinking about it? Where are you in the process?
Books To Explore:
- Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World
- You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto
- The Shallows: That the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
- Untangling the Web: What the Internet Is Doing To You