I did it. It happened the day after the school shooting in Florida. I found myself getting into arguments with people about stupid things and I noticed my anxiety getting higher and my threshold for bullshit getting lower. I knew what I needed to do, thanks to the encouragement of my best friend, and I did it.
Here’s what I learned.
1. Facebook is an addiction!
They aren’t kidding when they say Facebook specifically, and social media in general, are addictive. When I deleted the app, all my other apps in the folder shifted over one. That meant Facebook Messenger took the place that Facebook had previously occupied. I’d be sitting watching TV or YouTube or reading or doing almost anything else, and I would notice that I had opened the Messenger app. I couldn’t figure out why I had opened it, until it dawned on me that I was doing it out of habit. I was so used to absent-mindedly opening the Facebook app, that I was opening Messenger without noticing what I was doing until I had it open and looking at it and realizing it wasn’t what I was expecting to see. It got worse when I texted Kristin to tell her what I had just done, and then did it again without realizing it!
2. I wasted so much time
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m suddenly doing all the productive things now, but I’m not just wasting gobs of time on Facebook, instead spending time looking at other things on my phone that actually make me happy, or realizing that I actually do have chores and things I need to be doing and making myself get up and do them. Or, you know, think about it.
3. My mood has dramatically improved
Like I mentioned before, I noticed that the more I scrolled, the worse my mood became. I was getting annoyed and little things, and that just escalated until I was genuinely angry at people for reasons no more than what should have caused maybe a mild irritation. Things that Shane did or said that I would take the wrong way didn’t bother me. People at work weren’t rubbing me the wrong way because I was no longer assuming the meaning behind their words. I also noticed I wasn’t comparing myself or my life to those of my friends or acquaintances.
4. I started spending time on the apps I actually enjoy
I’ve gotten back on Tumblr, and realized how happy and peaceful my sweet little cultivated online world of autumn, books, coffee, baking, and peonies makes me. I’m spending more time scrolling through Instagram which, though it has its own faults, has made me connect more with people outside of my group of Facebook friends. People try to present their best selves on Insta and for some, it may seem fake and contrived, but I love seeing people live their best lives, living their truths, and just doing them. I also scroll through Pinterest. Honestly, what’s not to love about Pinterest? I have so many boards for so many things and they just updated it so you can separate Pins into different sections in your various boards, and let me just tell you how much my Type A personality tendencies love that! (It’s a lot.)
Have I stopped getting on Facebook all together? No. I still check in periodically; maybe 3 or 4 times throughout the day. But considering how often I was on it before, even only four times is a massive improvement. I have it on my tablet and I can obviously access it from my computer, but I’ve even deleted the bookmark on my browser so it’s not right in front of me. I still have the Messenger app, so I can still receive messages from people and send Shane pictures while he’s at work (where he doesn’t get good service, but he’s on Wi-Fi). I like to check my memories and the On This Day feature at least once throughout the day because it’s nice to see and share what I was doing and thinking on this day in years past.
The biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from this is realizing how much I don’t miss it. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I still have the apps for almost all the rest of my social media on my phone, and am still connecting with people through those and my news apps keep me updated on breaking news. I can’t say I’ll never have the app on my phone again, but it’s definitely not coming back anytime soon.
What’s your relationship with the Facebook app or Facebook in general? I’m not ashamed to admit my unhealthy addiction, because hopefully it’ll help someone else, maybe even you!