I logged out of Facebook and stayed out for a month. During that time, I discovered that I had more mental clarity, focus, and could actually get more things done. I enjoyed that so much that I went one step further to deactivate my Facebook account – though I must admit I am curious as to how that will affect the views on this blog because I was using the Publicize feature, connecting my blog to my Facebook account. But I will see.
So here’s a summary of how I found life without Facebook:
1. I realized I benefited from the absence of all the ‘noise’ on Facebook
Social media is like a noisy market, full of people peddling all kinds of things — their opinions, their favourite songs and movies, quotes, their rants, photos, achievements – from what they cooked for dinner to where they went for vacation. I did all those things too when I was using Facebook actively. Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed felt like walking down the street where there were so many things on display, and I made many stops to take a look at them without getting much takeaway in the end.
2. I felt more peace and freedom to just be, instead of feeling pressured to keep doing and achieving
On a public forum we will tend to only disclose the positive side of our lives, at the majority of the time at least. It’s easy to have our minds be influenced by that illusion of perfection and before we know it we start to feel discontented with what we have. On Facebook, everyone’s life is not only awesome, but picture perfect.
3. I don’t miss out on my regular dose of helpful and necessary information
Brendon Burchard, for example, maybe among the most followed public figures on Facebook, but I am able to stay updated with his latest videos and books by subscribing to his email newsletters. I used to read Forbes articles via Facebook, but what’s so difficult about typing http://www.forbes.com on my browser?
4. I felt more present in my daily life and work
Aside from getting more things done at work, I also became more motivated to nurture real-life connections, especially at work, where I spend most of my time. Before going off Facebook, the sense of belonging (whether false or real) I had from chatting, posting updates, and exchanging comments online, even if they were with people I hardly met up with caused me to be lazy and complacent to the extent that I would eat lunch at my desk. I thought it was because I wanted to finish my work faster to go home earlier, but looking back, the real reason was probably that I had consumed a lot of my social energy online till I didn’t have much left to be present with people in the flesh. I have since started to engage more with the people at work – and it has certainly been enriching!
So after my first Facebook post in one month, I suddenly felt my mind getting cluttered with noise again. And somehow online bantering just did not feel so meaningful anymore. I dropped a private message with my phone number for a former university classmate whom I had not seen in many years since we mentioned possibly meeting up, and another one for a friend who is organizing an event I am interested to attend. And then I deactivated my account.
Can you feel the zen? 😀