Recently I did something I did not think I would have the strength or courage to do but with one firm push, I did it! I hit the little ‘x’ next to the Facebook icon on my phone and deleted the app from my screen. No longer would I be able to simply press an icon and view a string of updates from friends, family, and acquaintances. No more getting sucked into some article about why coconut oil will change my life, or how to make it look like I am wearing eye liner when I am really not.
I am not an active status sharer but because of the ease and simplicity of pressing an icon I would find myself checking Facebook way more times in a day than I am willing to admit. Facebook is not always a good thing either, often times I would end up feeling worse about myself after reading posts. It seemed everyone was being a better mom, better wife, better friend, better athlete, etc. And while I appreciate the positive aspects of Facebook, seeing and sharing adorable kid pictures, reading funny stories, sharing my blog posts, and catching up with friends, I decided I no longer wanted Facebook to be such a distraction from my life. Instead of reading about everyone else’s life I wanted to be a more active participant in my own. It is definitely not something I quit cold turkey. I can still access Facebook through the internet and I do. I just do so less and hopefully one day I will only be on it a few times a week instead a few times a day.
Here are five reasons you may want to consider deleting Facebook from your own phone (but not from your life):
- I do not feel everything my children say is worthy of my undivided attention, especially when it involves Minecraft or Barbie dolls, but without having easy access to Facebook I am less likely to have my nose in my phone, nodding mindlessly as they talk to me. Instead I can look them in the eye and let my mind wander while nodding mindlessly, but at least they see me looking at them and not at my phone.
- Checking Facebook less often means I am less likely to participate in a conversation that quickly turns political and before I know it I am being attacked for making a mindless comment I never dreamed would cause any kind of negative reaction. Unfortunately if there is one thing that has become abundantly clear through social media, it is that someone somewhere can turn anything into a controversial topic. (I am sorry for saying vanilla ice cream is my favorite flavor, I did not mean to offend anyone).
- I no longer will have to read about how far and fast a “friend” ran each day. We all have that one “friend” who feels it is necessary to share every workout she does and quite frankly it gets annoying. If you run a race, participate in a competition, lose a note worthy amount of weight, or overcome a physical injury and start exercising again those are worthy of a status share. If it is a Tuesday and you ran 5 miles, maybe skip posting it as your status.
- I am starting to think less in Facebook quotes and think more like me again. Something strange has occurred over the last year that has re-wired my brain so anytime something funny, interesting, or annoying occurs I instantly think of how it would read on Facebook. For example, when the school nurse called during my physical therapy session I thought, “Nothing like being in the middle of a deep tissue massage and hearing your phone ring, knowing it is probably the school nurse calling, to take you out of that relaxed mode and right back to being tense LOL!” Yes, I actually say ‘LOL’ in my head. I have become so accustomed to reading comments instead of having actual conversations that it is how I think now.
- I am beginning to notice more of the world around me again. It can be very uncomfortable to sit in a waiting room or at one of your children’s activities when you do not have anyone to talk to. To avoid that awkward feeling I would pull out my phone. But without Facebook , I do not have very much to look at other than a few e-mails or check the weather so now I put my phone down and actually pay attention to my surroundings. This means I actually see my daughter during her swim lessons, watch my son in Tai Kwan do, and sometimes while in the waiting room, strike up a conversation with a kind stranger, or I just sit quietly which one day may not feel so strange.
Facebook and other social media are great resources and I have no intention of ridding Facebook from my life. I just do not want it to become such a huge part of my life that I miss out on more important moments in my life.