Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Farewell to Facebook


School has just started, and I have to be on my game – it’s only 6 months until I graduate, and I need to focus on my classwork. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey provided a delightful diversion...and with purchase of the soundtrack and the book, it became an extended one.

In an audit of my time, I found Facebook to be the worst time-waster…so I decided to cut it out of my day completely – at least for seven days. Adding to this was the recent social network battle over gun rights – either side gets annoying after a while, no matter where on the spectrum you fall. I wound up being sucked into several of these conversations/debates/screaming matches – which, to tell you the truth, is not how I desire to spend my time on the internet.

This is how this thing will work: I will abstain from Facebook for seven days. I will write my reflections below, for your amusement. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to read and/or comment on this post.

So, the big question…will I succumb to temptation and post – or will I succeed in weaning myself slowly off of the internet social network demon?


Day 1 – A Little Bit Nervous:
Confession (it’s not good, when the first day starts with a confession, is it?) – I did “like” a couple of things, which most likely resulted in postings on my wall…but I did not go to the site itself. All in all, the day was a success. I was having serious cravings for a Facebook Fix, however – when I needed a break from daily activities, I had to remind myself that I wasn’t doing Facebook – so I have to find something constructive to do. My American History reading assignments actually got done today!

Day 2 – The Sweats
I keep having to fight the desire to post. I remind myself – almost hourly – that I’m not that important. I mean…really. Who in their right mind gives a shit about the mundane daily activities of my life? My “problems” are nothing more than minor annoyances.

Day 3 – The Cravings Begin to Subside
Today, I honestly forgot, for long stretches of time, that there was such a thing as Facebook. It’s amazing what you can get done when you’re not surfing your News Feed, or commenting on the lives and opinions of others. Today, I volunteered at the Multnomah County Library, as I do every week - I process and shelve holds…it’s good practice for a future job as a Library Paraprofessional. I wrote an email to the Circulation Coordinator at my library, as a preemptive measure to setting up an internship in the spring. I did a Pilates video, which used an exercise ball exclusively. I came to the conclusion that a sadist must have invented Pilates (my core muscles are horribly weak – that is all my fault), and had the desire to post that on Facebook. Of course, I didn’t bend to the temptation. I also completed my American History test today, and read my assigned coursework in my Cataloging class. I also did all the dishes, and a load of laundry. I was just going to start work on my short English Lit essay, when I remembered this blog post. This experiment is proving to be a productive one.

Day 4: Getting along fine without it!
Today, I went to the store to get some exercise equipment, worked out, finished my English Lit Essay, and went out to eat with hubby at Red Robin. I threw a load of laundry into the dryer. Hubby and I went to the grocery store and spent a little more than we should have. We were supposed to meet a friend for dinner tonight, but that didn’t happen – she is very ill. So, I am putting together a “Get Well Soon” basket, and will deliver that tomorrow. I am very, very, tired. I thought little about Facebook – I thought about it even less than yesterday!

Day 5 – Too busy to care!
I got up early this morning – well, earlier than usual. I got together all the items for our friend’s gift basket, and drove it up there. She and I talked for hours. I fetched lunch at Subway, her treat. I made it home around 7:30PM to feed the dog and let him out – he was VERY glad to see me! When I got home, I watched a little bit of TV (those Roseanne reruns always suck me in!), did some quick studying, and then completed a test for my Cataloging course. I turned in my report for English Lit, and checked to see if I had anything to do for history – nope, I’m all caught up. I’m now preparing to do my reading assignments for next week for both History and English – I seem to have a little more productive time on my hands now that I quit Facebook.

Day 6 – What is this thing you call “Face book?”
Today, I only thought of going onto Facebook once or twice – schoolwork and quality time with the hubby and dog kept me busy. I rearranged the baking cupboard, wiped down the counters, and did the dishes. I read Chapter 5 of my history textbook, cooked jambalaya, and I’ve started to replace the sugar in my coffee, cereal, tea (and other foods and beverages) with Splenda. The hubby and I went out on a nice long walk for exercise today – and like every other day this week, we’ve walked the dog twice a day instead of once. The pup is actually tired at night, and it cuts down on the *ahem* “canine flatulence.” I rearranged the kitchen implement pegboard, and we went out to Fred Meyer’s to get a few odds and ends. I barely thought about the internet at all, except to check my online school – which, I’m glad I did, because there was a pop quiz in my English class, due tomorrow by 11:00am. I finished that and I’m now on my way to bed!

Day 7 – The Last Day
On the last day, I did what I did on most days – I cooked, I did chores, and I did schoolwork. I read the final chapter of my history homework and finished an Essay on Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” for my English Lit class. I was energetic all day – I even helped my husband to paint one wall in our house.  I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and then we went on a long walk. I notice that I’ve been getting a lot more exercise this week - and I have been more mindful, more "present" than I have been for a long time.



I have been shocked at the amount of things I could be doing while perusing Facebook. I know that Facebook has good qualities – like connecting friends from across the world, or allowing people to vent their innermost feelings, or to be a part of a group, when you feel all alone. But it also enables procrastination. The oversharing phenomenon – where everyone thinks that their opinions and experiences are interesting, regardless of the truth – has imprinted on my mind. For the first few days after swearing off Facebook, I fell prey to these thoughts, but then I realized that I’m not really all that important; my thoughts aren’t really that interesting. I was strangely comforted in this fact – I mean; after all, I survived before Facebook. I also noticed that my stress level had gone down, since I don’t have to see those politically charged posts about gun control or abortion, or whatever the hell the media wants to politicize this week.

I don’t know if I’ll quit Facebook entirely – I do have friends that I can contact only through Facebook, and groups that I really like to participate in. But I’ll definitely cut down a lot – when I stopped, I saw a marked increase in productivity and focus.

Have you anything to add? Have you done a similar experiment? If you have, feel free to post a link to it in the comments – I may just update my post to reflect your observations.


  1. :D I better have a way to contact you, so we can schedule girls night out HUGS...:D

  2. I gave up Facebook a couple of years ago for "Lent" (not religious, just thought it was a good challenge), and it was quite fun actually. I didn't quite achieve it, I think I logged in three times in 40 days, but I still counted that as a reasonable success.

    More recently, we were in Europe on holiday, and in the first 2 weeks, I think I logged in twice - both times we were in internet cafes to back up our photos on to memory sticks (had opted not to take our laptop), and check our emails, had a small amount of extra time so logged in. We found it funny once we were on tour to see our tour mates freaking out about how bad the wifi was and that they couldn't get on FB. Spent a bit more time on it in Rome where we had a laptop and free internet in our hotel, and the Russia actually had excellent wifi, so was on it a bit there too, but certainly much less than I normally would be.

    If I wasn't unemployed, pregnant and bored, I would totally try and give it up again now. I am trying to limit how much time I spend on it daily, but then I find myself reading blogs and stuff instead.