I managed to go approximaely 36 days without Facebook. I did log back in (briefly) once to check out some photos that were mentioned to me, and another time to do some “cleaning”, but I deactivated right away. Well, we’ve decided to host a gathering at the end of the month, and so I decided to reactivate for the ease of inviting people. I’m not going to lie – I rely on Facebook to communicate with most people outside of my few close friends and family.
The first few days were tough. It took some time on my part to stop thinking in terms of Facebook updates. Sometimes I still do, but I no longer have the desire to actually post them. I probably missed a few birthdays, but I’m sure no one noticed my lack of “happy birthday” posts on their wall.
I wish I could say that without Facebook I was a more productive person, but that would be a big fat lie. Facebook was merely substituted with other forms of time suckers – Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress, craft blogs, online shopping… In this regard my experiment was a failure. Facebook-free does not equal a more productive Caroline.
It did equal a happier Caroline, though. Not having a barrage of information about politics, social welfare, news, religion, etc. was incredibly liberating. I freely admit that I don’t purposely seek out news information. This isn’t because I am uneducated or because I don’t care, it’s because I care too much. If I know what is going on in the world, I stress. Stress makes me unhappy. I don’t like being unhappy, so I don’t go to news websites or read the paper. We don’t have cable or basic stations, so I don’t have news via television either. I would usually get my news updates from Facebook, and not having that made me feel so much better. More ignorant? Yes, probably. But happy. Ignorance really is bliss.
In this regard, I also felt as though my blood pressure remained at a healthy level. I didn’t have to read anyone’s rants, and I didn’t post any of my own. This is probably the most important result of my Facebook hiatus. For me personally, Facebook is not the place to have an opinion. It is the place to see my friends’ beautiful babies. It is the place to rejoice in my friends’ happiness and support them in their sorrows. It is a place to connect, but it is not a place to hold court. Some people might be capable of having stimulating, productive, meaningful conversations on Facebook. I am not one of those people.
So there it is. I am now back on Facebook, and I am a much wiser person after my break. I am now an observor, not a participator. I will be the first person to “like” your first day back to school pictures and wish you congratulations on the birth of your baby, but I will not be sucked into drama and I will not let Facebook make me unhappy.