I recently did a two month Facebook Detox. To those of you who aren’t on Facebook, this might seem like no big deal. However, for those of you who like me who use it regularly, you know this is harder than it sounds. Note: I only did a Facebook Detox while I was still active on other social media (they weren’t a problem for me).
Before I get into the details of how I did my Facebook Detox, a bit of setting the stage is needed to help you understand how I got so far off course.
I was fairly late to join Facebook, I resisted for a long time. I just didn’t get why anyone would want to waste time like that? “I mean really I am a busy gal and a solopreneur. I don’t have time to waste reading silly status updates every 10 min.”
Over time, it became crystal clear that I was missing key information and inspiring moments from my close friends. They were sharing and chatting on Facebook and assuming I knew all their recent news just because they had shared it on Facebook. I was getting a lot of, “oh, that’s right, you’re not on Facebook” from those closest to me.
So I reluctantly signed up. I created a personal profile and a business page otherwise known as a Like Page (Facebook didn’t have the “follow” option on personal pages back then, or I would have just stuck to one page). So I joined the masses on Facebook or what I affectionately called “Fakebook”.
For a while having a presence on Facebook served me well. I was able to see glimpses into my close friends day to day life and stay up to date with them more effectively. I was also able to connect with my students on a more regular basis. I could share things I found inspiring or funny. I was able to share Yoga and Meditation video’s and articles to help them on their path and with their practice. Facebook seemed like a pretty handy tool. Yup, in the beginning, it was all going swimmingly.
However, more recently I had started to become disenchanted with Facebook. Somehow my “friend circle” got larger than I had intended. I felt bad about refusing friend invites from people I knew… but hardly considered a friend and so I ended up with a lot of people I hardly knew or hadn’t met in person yet as “friends”.
This meant having a lot of things show up in my feed that I had no interest in or worse a lot of negativity. As a Highly Sensitive Person and an Empath, this was really taking it’s toll on me, damping my spirits and running me down.
I had also gotten into the habit of randomly and frequently checking Facebook repeatedly throughout the day… I was starting to become a Facebook addict!
Facebook also changed it’s algorithms so most of the people who had liked my Yoga page weren’t actually seeing my posts anymore (if that sounds like you, follow the steps in the image below).
I was starting to feel like Facebook was using me, instead of me using Facebook. “My Little Facebook Problem” wasn’t serving me, in fact, it was keeping me from being present to my life. I wasn’t being mindful of the magical moments that happen all around me. And it was adding unwanted negativity to my life. What started as a way to stay connected was starting to make me feel anything but! I knew it was time to take my power back!
So I decided a Facebook Detox was in order! If any of this has been resonating with you, you may also be a Facebook addict. If you are unsure if you do indeed have a problem, here’s a Fun Quiz to help you find out.
If you’re considering a Facebook Detox here are some tips to help:
- Mentally commit. Yup commit to yourself that no matter what you’re not going to login into Facebook. Remember there was life before Facebook and will be without it. Facebook isn’t going anywhere it will be there when you get back.
- Write down your “why”. Take a few mins to write down why you want/ need a detox and keep it with you. It’s super helpful to have this handy in weak moments to remind yourself why you want to do this.
- Let people know. I put a banner & profile picture up on my profile with the dates that I was going be gone and told people if there was anything urgent to share with me, to do it the old fashioned way email or text.
- Remove all apps and bookmarks from your phones, tablets and computer. Yes, of course, you can search out Facebook from the internet but you’ll be less likely to cheat if you don’t have quick easy access.
- Sit with the discomfort. The first few days are the hardest. When you find yourself being pulled, sit with the urge to ask yourself why you are craving Facebook? What need are you attempting to fill? Dig beneath the surface, and chose to fill that need in a more mindful way.
- Get out that to-do list. You will be amazed at the little tasks you can get done when you’re not wasting time on Facebook.
- Find new ways to connect. It’s likely you will miss some of the interaction with close friends and family. Find new ways to reach out, either virtually or in person. Texts, Emails, Facetime or Skype work great for those out of town or with full schedules. Or even phone calls, letters and cards for those of you who like to kick it old school. Make more dates live and in person with those you can, nothing beats face to face.
- If you have a business or “like” page use a tool like a buffer to pre-schedule your posts in advance so you are not suddenly awol from your page. Or tell your followers your plan, use it as a teaching opportunity.
I have to admit the first week of my detox I felt really antsy. It was like I had forgotten what I had done in my random spare moments before I had Facebook. I quickly got used to it though, and to be honest, I didn’t really want to log back on when the detox time was up.
I’m still pondering all the changes I am making to my Facebook presence and what guidelines and restrictions I will be making, but now feel like I can make informed and wise choices. I can get back to using Facebook And Away from Facebook using me.