Tips for taking a break from Facebook

I’m working on developing some new habits and trying some new things this summer. Most of it is small – exploring new recipes, turning down side roads I haven’t been on before, reading new books, ordering different cocktails, putting together different tops with pants – that sort of silly, but mindful, thing. And I’m also exploring some bigger ideas for me. Things like trying to work on my writing in small amounts more often, no TV until after 8 pm, a long daily walk and take a break from Facebook.

It’s all part of my “getyoursummeron theme for these fast-flying three months and its all actually been a lot of fun so far.

Except that last item “take a break from Facebook.”

Oh my goodness, who would ever think that could be so hard? How do those of you not on Facebook even live? :) (Joking totally joking!) How did the world function before Facebook, social media, email and the internet?!?!

Seriously, though, that item has been my hardest thing and it’s only been two weeks!

I miss it. I felt like I needed to take a break from it because I do spend time – likely too much time – scanning it mindlessly and mindfully to check in on how my world of wonders are doing. I actually went the extra step to deactivate my account since I knew I would just pop right back on if I had the chance.

And it is good for me. I can tell by how much I miss it that it is. It’s also awful! Here’s my early learnings:

  • Deactivating your account doesn’t totally deactivate it. Now that was a little disconcerting for me. What if you had a stalker or a serious reason for deactivating? I know this because this week is my birthday week and Facebook still told all my kind and wonderful and loving friends that it was my birthday. I don’t mind that but I didn’t want them to have to “fuss” with remembering and popping over and giving me their super fantastic loving wishes. Despite my being off FB they still found a way (I know this thanks to my sister.) Which puts me in a quandary because I have no current FB account and no way to go on, read them, soak up the love and thank them. So, that was a beautiful but rude surprise.

  • I really am saving time by not getting to pop on it and mindlessly waste an hour here and there. I’ve spent that time reading and doing some of my other to-do’s like I hoped.

  • But sometimes I need a “time waster.” Especially times where I’m just waiting around for something. I might miss it most then.

  • Deactivating my personal account also deactivated my author page! I didn’t realize that – there may be a way to prevent it that I just don’t know – and probably should have been more thorough in my thinking beforehand.

  • I miss knowing what is going on with my peeps. I miss seeing the photos and reading the posts. My sister, for instance, is off in Jamaica this week and I’ve had to ask others about what is happening. That gets old for them and me.  

  • I don’t miss the inane, the political and the posts I personally find tiresome.

  • I do miss posting though! It gives me new ways of thinking about the experiences I’m having and how they might be interesting or relevant to my village of wonders.

  • I take classes on line and I don’t think I fully realized how much of our teaching, learning, sharing is done through Facebook. I’m a ship adrift not being connected.

I like how Facebook helps connect me with my world of people I care about. I like being part of their world and I like them being a part of mine so I’ll be going back on.

Ultimately, I’m glad I’ve taken this little break, however. It’s given me insights and made me more mindful which is part of my goals for this summer. In fact, I think I’ll go off a couple of weeks every year – just to refresh, review and be thankful. But not the whole summer. It turns out that to really #getmysummeron I need some discipline and I need my village – in person and on-line. I live lucky!