The Pleasure of Life Without Facebook
It’s no secret. I deleted Facebook more than a year ago. I know, I know — big deal. I don’t expect virtual pats on the back. Or a medal for disconnecting from the succubus. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a tiny act. And of no consequence to most.
I don’t need to bore you with the details of how it came to be, but I have experienced something important without Facebook in my life.
Digital noise is real. It doesn’t have to be loud in decibels to be loud. You know it is.
The constant verbal diarrhea, excessive sharing, humblebragging, lunch reviews, the hey look what my kid did this morning, the likes, the comments, the like my business page, the sign up using Facebook. That is f*cking noisy.
For me, disconnecting and permanently deleting my Facebook account was the stepping stone to a better life.
Life Without Facebook
It’s not a surprise that I think about life without social media altogether. I wrote about that too, but in a way for you to question yourself:
Life without Facebook isn’t just quieter. It’s more peaceful. Sure, Twitter is afire 24/7 with rampant political discourse. And after dropping Facebook, I developed an addiction to Twitter. But still, I couldn’t hide from Facebook before. And then I couldn’t hide from Twitter, so I broke up with it.
I used it to sign up for so many things using Facebook because it was “easier.” What a crock of sh*t that was. It just meant they were harvesting even more of my data to sell off to Russian bot farms to assess my political views. Sorry dudes, that didn’t work on me.
Life without Facebook feels a little detached. But that’s the exact reason why it’s so bad for us. It was built to make us pine for it. And miss it. We care(d) about it more than we ever should have. The feeling of detachment is real and as an introvert, it feels just fine. Because I like detached.
But I can understand how it serves as an important lifeline in families, friend groups, alumni organizations and everything else on Earth that we tell ourselves to keep it relevant. But it’s not.
We got along fine without it. Before it came for us. With its only goal to connect us. Haha.
One Less Site to Scroll
At the very least, this is what it is for me. One less app. One less site. To waste time on. When I could be spending time with my children. Or reading. Or exercising. Or meditating. Or actually picking up the phone and calling one of my oldest friends instead of looking at recent bat mitzvah photos and clicking like.
It’s one less blockage in my day. One less little number telling me how many notifications I have. Like when you comment on your friend’s engagement, but forget to turn off notifications (because the default is to keep them on for anything that you ever comment on) and your phone doesn’t shut its f*cking pie hole the entire night. Because you keep it near your bed, just in case of an emergency.
It’s one less bit of upkeep to do. To feel compelled to like a photo because you know your friend really wants you to. But you hate their partner. And they should too. But if you don’t like it you will get a snide comment on your next post. I don’t have to deal with this ever again. At least not on Facebook.
It’s one less bit of anxiety I force on myself. Because of FOMO. Or because of comparative idolization. Or keeping up. Or status anxiety.
It’s one step in the right direction. To leave it behind. And move toward a better life offline.
Giving the finger to Zuckerberg once and for all has been the stepping stone for me to reassess all of my social media. Which is something all of us should do at one point. For our own sanity.
It led to me getting rid of Pinterest. I never really got Pinterest anyway so that wasn’t much of a loss.
It led to me rethink LinkedIn and how it has become a trash bin for connectivity spammers. And how I don’t really need it now that I have abandoned the rat race. So I deleted that.
It led me to take full note of my activity on Instagram. I was able to restructure it so I actually enjoyed it, leaving Instagram as my only affiliation with any social network after my breakup with Twitter.
By pulling the rug out from under my own Facebook attachment, I have set the wheels in motion to continue the journey to get my real life back. To take back human interaction from the depths of Messenger. I also got tired of being notified every time one of my quasi-friends was going live to tell me absolutely nothing useful. See what I’m not missing at all.
“If you make an error, use it as a stepping stone to a new idea you might not have otherwise discovered.” — Roger von Oech
Recognizing the Error
My error was making Facebook important in the first place. It became a necessity for my business ventures. It became part of wanting to be able to be found. It became time not well spent.
Even though Facebook’s intentions were and are illicit and capitalistic, it was still all my fault. For succumbing to the digital intoxication. But I am clean now. Free of Facebook. And it is a pleasure.