The Facebook Experiment

So for the last week (through today), I have engaged in a Facebook fast.  Nothing glamorous or spectacular, just felt I needed to step back and take a break from the world of social media for a little while.  Full disclosure: I did sign on for less than two minutes each day to check messages regarding some items I had listed on some “for sale” pages, but did not engage on FB otherwise–including the sharing of this blog post, which is done from my blog platform.  Through the week though, I have found that there are pros and cons (yes, there are cons) of cutting the FB cord.  For Me.

Pros:

  • I was more efficient on finishing projects and such over the week because I was taking less little breaks along the way
  • My concentration was more intense (this was also a con because I was spending too much laser-focused time on some things when I needed to step away and take a breath)
  • I read more books than usual
  • After the initial withdrawals (the first day was obnoxiously hard to not go on autopilot and pick up my phone to scroll my newsfeed), I found myself more relaxed and introspective
  • My phone battery would last a full day without any additional charging

Cons:

  • I lost a lot of motivation and inspiration that I have come to depend on through my FB interactions.  I have over 100 pages that I “follow” in order to have my newsfeed flooded with positive and affirming messages that spur on my wellness journey.  I had a pretty blah and negative attitude the whole week
  • I made a few poor food choices because of my lack of tools that I had at the ready to distract myself when food temptations came along.  I couldn’t just scroll the newsfeed and let the temptation pass (this is a pro too because I learned that I need to build up my arsenal of coping strategies when temptation comes)
  • I was not as accountable for my actions.  I have made the personal choice that FB is one of my avenues of accountability, using specific pages and people that I connect with to keep me on track and call me out on my bull.  I made a lot of justifications this week that easily could have been avoided had I beefed up my other external forms of accountability to make up for not having the avenue of FB at my disposal.
  • I filled some idle time with other useless activities like playing Phase 10 on my kindle and using Pinterest more

All in all, I call the experience useful.  I learned a few things about myself and a few things that I need to work on beyond the computer/phone screen.  I started a couple of routines that took the place of using FB at a specific time that I plan to continue to employ because there’s value in them.  I’m not going to be deleting myself from the social media world anytime soon, because I do see the benefits that I receive from my interactions on FB and the accountability for working towards my goals that it provides.  I think now I can see a more balanced usage, and not have it be my knee-jerk reaction for times of idleness.   At the same time, it seals my firm resolve you won’t see me tweeting anytime soon because I can see how that would become a ridiculous obsession.

So, there you have it.  Just one more day disconnected, time to pick myself up and dust off from an overall crummy week.  Facebook world, I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.  I look forward to catching up.

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