A funny thing happened prior to my mindset change in November of 2018. The month prior on October 1st 2018, I decided on quitting Facebook. There were a couple of reasons that this happened. Firstly, I believe that Facebook had become a massive time waster. A tool which was once a great way of connecting and keeping in touch with people had gone in to a full blown advertising mode (I don’t blame them). The term engagement had become a way of describing how brands spoke to consumers on Facebook. It had lost its original purpose.
The second reason is that the hyper information overload became something that was really affecting my mindset. I know it sounds super selfish, but clogging my mind with all the bad things that were happening in the world was really no benefit to my own sanity. So removing this noise from my life was something that allowed my mind to stay away from thoughts of negativity. In some cases ignorance is bliss and I’m all good with that.
Finally the inconsistency of Facebook and their moderators was absolute bullshit. There was a massive double standard for what they censored and what they didn’t. A fine example is when I got into a ‘debate’ with someone over the topic of sex workers. I had an opinion which someone disagreed with, they called me a word I’d rather not say and I responded accordingly. Funny enough my response to being abused earned me a three day ban. This was the second time in about a month this happened.
At that stage several things were swirling around in my mind. The biggest question I was facing about Facebook was whether or not it was adding or detracting value form my life? The answer was simple, it was well and truly taking away valuable time, it was causing negative thoughts and I was getting frustrated by the lack of thought and civility online. It was basically a form of the wild west in digital form. A cesspool of shitty opinions, cat memes and uninspiring pseudo food photography.
Facebook’s initial phase became popular due to your ability to organise things among your friends and coordinate events (well that’s what it felt like to me). Then an era of internet experts and people of low value and opinion started becoming the norm. The whole notion of everyone is entitled to an opinion made me realise how much people really lacked a sense of nuance and thought. The tunnel vision became so malignant as people surrounded themselves with people with the same thoughts and ideas. This created an echo chamber of back patting and self serving clap trap. People were stuck in a bubble and became stuck ideologically rather than a frame of Socratic questioning and thinking.
“Opinions are the cheapest commodities on earth. Everyone has a flock of opinions ready to be wished upon anyone who will accept them. If you are influenced by “opinions” when you reach DECISIONS, you will not succeed in any undertaking.”Napoleon Hill
Etiquette to quitting Facebook
There is none, do it how you want. When I was quitting Facebook I didn’t make any self important announcement about how I was leaving Facebookistan for a sovereign social media nation. It was unimportant to tell anyone I was leaving, I mean if people needed me I could be contacted via Messenger. (It made sense to keep it so people could still communicate with me directly) The reality was, that the people who really mattered had my phone number if they needed me, they could call or send me a text message. You know get old school on contact.
So my method of quitting Facebook was to simply pull the band aid off. I of course downloaded all of my photos and information so that I could access it later in time if I needed to so. I must admit social medial platforms are a useful tool to store your memories. In the age of smart phones who really needs a brain? It’s kind of sad! If you need guidance on out how to do this simply Google ‘how to download my Facebook photos and information’ and you will be provided multiple methods of doing so. I recommend doing this before ending your Facebook life.
As I wanted to maintain the use of the Messenger application, I also didn’t fully delete my account, I just placed it on disabled mode. This would serve as a preservation method, so that I could continue to use Messenger and if I ever had the urge of wasting hours of my life again, I could simply enable the account and get back into it and waste away.
It has now been five months and I have absolutely no regrets about leaving the Facebook world. In fact it’s one of the best habit changes I have made in the last few years. Yes there were some side effects like missing out on your favourite band announcements and the not so subtle birthday reminders. But if this is something you want to do, there is the less lazy alternative version to these things like keeping a calendar of important dates. Everyones phone today has a simple calendar app, just use it.
The other thing to do is reconnect to the world of using your email for good, rather than spam. Sign up to newsletters that actually matter to you. Like your favourite band or sporting club. Having to know everything about all the things you love can be a tiring effort. Just filter what information is necessary and this will allow yourself to choose what information you consume and what you don’t.
You will one day realise as sadistic as it is how great to hear people talking about the latest natural disaster that you have no idea about. Knowing about this stuff doesn’t really change your life. It just adds negative thoughts that you personally do not need. The reality is if someone you love is ever in danger, I’m sure you will find out one way or another. Knock on wood this never happens.
What happens when you are quitting Facebook?
Nearly half a year post mortem of my Facebook and my life is full of so many positives. As mentioned previously the biggest advantage is the time you get back in the day. On average people spend about 35 minutes per day. Unfortunately, I was probably a much higher than the average user and I could easily have wasted 1.5 hours a day just scrolling endlessly at the crap on my feed.
The action felt similar to when you are hungry and you go to the fridge to get some food. You get to the fridge and open the door and there is nothing you want to eat, so you close the door Suddenly you get the urge a further 30 minutes later and miraculously you think some kind of new food has grown inside of the fridge. As the story goes you open the door and the same thing happens. No food. That’s what my Facebook feed had become. Yet there I was looking at it again. No more! Quitting Facebook was what I needed to do.
I had become more mellow. Typically I’m a fairly revved up person who is very passionate. Using Facebook was like an ignition to talk about and share things about my passions, ideas and thoughts. Many times a day, I was getting into debates with random people, which would create a level of frustration and anger. It’s just not the platform to have intellectual discussions in general. This change of mood would then transfer to the real world. I would be this agitated person in the realms of my normal life. It was odd. I haven’t been this level in temperamental in a very long time. I feel very positive about the world and the future for myself and my family. I have less ‘engagement’ with people, but the reality is none of that even mattered, it was part of the wasting time loop.
My mental health is in the best place it has been in many years, not having the information overload about all the shit things that happen in the world was great for my own sanity. It might sound selfish but the reality is I don’t really care. I only really care about how I am feeling and how that effects my loved ones. My wife has noted how much more positive and upbeat I have been, which is great feedback to receive from your life partner.
Life after quitting Facebook
With the extra time, the happier mental space and a new drive to create. I find myself in a spot in life with a massive want to share with others. Trying to add value to the world by serving people with knowledge and assistance in designing and executing mindsets. Anything that can assist people on their journey that will drive positive habits has to be a good thing. It ticked a few boxes of doing something I enjoyed and sharing positive vibes to the world and hopefully helping others achieve their goals.
I haven’t quit social media as a whole, but I think quitting Facebook is a move in the right direction to having the life I want. To be honest, it almost felt like getting over an addiction of somekind. Yes, Facebook is an addiction. Now that it is all done and dusted I have nothing but good things to say to people about dropping Sookbook out of their life. I recommend it to people all the time. But Jay you work in marketing? So what, if I need to use it for the purposes of my work, I work with people who can get it done. It’s not the be all and end all.
If you think Facebook is having a negative impact on you. Why not try dropping it for a while. Maybe try by not using Facebook for a week. Maybe try for a month. Try quitting Facebook all together. The point is, if Facebook is delivering negative results in your life, then stop doing it. It’s not worth it and you can reinvest that time into much more productive things in your life. Life is short, invest in things that add value to your life.
A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.Charles Darwin