I Broke Up with Facebook.

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Yesterday, after a week of notifying friends, backing up photos, and resetting sign-in preferences on myriad apps, I clicked the big blue “delete” button on my Facebook profile. There are so many stories like this out there, but this one is mine.

Like many bloggers and columnists who have also quit Facebook, I didn’t have a bad experience with the service. I’m not angry, offended, or upset with anyone on my newsfeed. If I had to sum up my reasons in one line it would be: I want to stop wasting time on things that don’t make me a happier, stronger or better person. But, this is a blog post, so I’m not going to leave you with one line.

My reasons for dumping Facebook include:

1. It’s the biggest time-suck out there. I compulsively checked Facebook all the time. Sure, a lot of people can just check their newsfeed while they’re standing in line or during work breaks, when they normally wouldn’t be doing anything else, and it’s just fine, but that wasn’t the case for me. I felt incomplete unless I checked. A lot. Does this sound a little excessive? That’s probably because:

2. I actually had a Facebook problem. I compulsively pulled my phone out during conversations with people, or while eating dinner, or even while playing with my daughter, which is altogether unhealthy. I typed the web address into my browser when I was bored, even if I literally just clicked off of Facebook. I went down rabbit holes, checking up on people from high school and their friends and their friends (etc.) when I was procrastinating. I wasn’t able to begin a real-life project until I read my entire newsfeed. Like I said, it was a problem. I was a freak.

3. Very few people on Facebook actually care about me. Sure, they might be mildly interested in what I’m up to these days, but I tended to think of each of my Facebook “friends” as actual friends, even if I’ve only met them a handful of times; even if I last saw them over a decade ago. That wouldn’t be a problem, except I easily fell into the trap of lamenting the fact that my “friends” didn’t invite me to things, or want to go out for coffee, or engage me in conversation, ever. See above. I already admitted I was a freak.

4. Facebook life envy is real. I struggle with some of my major life decisions, including being a working mom and only having one kid. The vast majority of my Facebook friends are not in this situation, and frankly, seeing their ideal lives (yeah, my rational mind totally realizes that nobody’s life is perfect and everybody has struggles) can cause me to lose my satisfaction with my own life, not to mention my sanity, in a matter of minutes.

5. It’s just too much noise in general. It’s in my nature to crave knowledge. I’m even what you might consider nosey. So I can’t very well just block out the status updates, political debates, and new stories that are constantly buzzing around my Facebook feed. It gets to be a lot, you guys. A lot. Too much.

6. I see the people I cared about most on Facebook in person on the regular. And you know what? Sometimes, when we were together, we would have absolutely nothing to say to each other, because we already read the minutiae of each others’ days on Facebook. What kind of life is that, anyway?

I know that there are plenty of people out there who are either:

a.) able to use Facebook in moderation, or

b.) addicted to Facebook and are just fine with that.

And that’s great. I’m not trying to convince anyone to leave Facebook. I’m not taking up any cause. It’s a great service, and it serves a lot of useful purposes. For me, the drawbacks have outweighed the benefits for far too long.

Anybody out there not on Facebook? Are you glad? Anyone on the fence about calling it quits?

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5 thoughts on “I Broke Up with Facebook.

  1. Good for you! When I quit facebook, people didn’t really get it. Hopefully people get it more now!

    Btw, three and a half years fb free and going strong — partially because Pat and Emily let me use theirs to see important things, like when a friend has a baby. But I log into theirs probably less than once a month.

  2. Marie says:

    I quit for a week recently. I couldn’t go without fb-messaging for the people I am not good friends with but may need to get ahold of for one reason or another. But now that fb-message is nigh unusable it may be another story… I agree in that I don’t feel like I get much out of my time on fb.

  3. Interesting viewpoint. I am sure there are a lot of people out there in cyber space with the same experience. Actually, stories like yours are beneficial for FB to know. How people use their services is of consequence to them. (Believe it or not, they really do care.) The only reason I got on to FB in the first place was to play FarmVille (my daughter got me hooked on that for a good long while), but I eventually started using it for the actually FB part of things. Now I don’t play FV anymore. That game is what I got too wrapped up in! hehe

  4. As I read through this I can identify with so much of this! I always chalk it up to our generation, but bravo for taking control Cassy! You are loved and you can come have a coffee date with me whenever you so desire!

  5. Natalie says:

    That’s exactly how I am! I recently committed to 5 minutes a day on FB, basically to check notifications and messages. All of my family are out of town, so I didn’t feel like I could just leave, BUT I had the exact same problems. I have felt so much better since cutting it out!

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