So about 3 weeks ago I decided to take a break from Facebook; it was the direct result of commenting on a post and offended one of my “friends”. I immediately deleted the comment and made my apologies, a short time later a I thought that it may be time to take a step back and rethink how much time I spend on FB and what was this “friendship” that FB has me hooked on.
My first action was to sign out of the website and delete the FB apps from my iPhone and iPad. I had decided that I may still post the occasional item from other apps like Runkeeper or share interesting news items. I would not, though be active on my account. I also decided that I would still use the chat functionality of FB as I felt that this was like using text messaging. I am not going to detail everyday of my self made sabbatical but I will summarise what i found; In the first few days I actually felt a weight lifted off my shoulders, I had no interest in being on FB or wondering what was going on. The battery life of my phone also went through the roof. After about 3 days I did start looking at what was happening on my newsfeed. This was mainly to do with the fact that I missed finding out what my “friends” were doing - basically I became an FB stalker. This was good experience but didn’t actually make me want to check more than once a day and I still had no interest in posting. After a week I had decided that I would remain off FB for the rest of the school holidays and then more than likely return. It was fun asking my wife what was happening and she would tease me to check - hilarious. During this time I also removed some of my “friends” and moved some to “acquaintances” which meant I could use the “visible to friends but not acquaintances” feature of status updates. So basically I would lessen the number of people I could offend. Once the 2 weeks was over I did announce my return and was met with the “buzz” from receiving “likes” and comments to my status update. It was at this point that I realised the addiction and where it comes from - there is a great desire to get a response from my “friends”. My immediate response was to remove the app from my iPhone. I made this decision as I have my iPhone with me at all times and I did not want to return to writing status updates only for the sake of getting the emotional reaction that I had became addicted to. The app is on my iPad as I mainly use that connected to the Internet when I am at home. I also made it quite clear in my first post back that I would not be offended if my “friends” “unfriended” me if they did not like what I said. I have no idea if anyone took me up on my offer. In writing this post it is a week since my return and I have certainly not been as active as I used to be. I really don’t miss FB as much as I thought I might and I’m not sure it’s my imagination but my newsfeed seems like there are less post than before, so maybe my experience has brush off on to others. If there was a moral to this story I would have to say that FB doesn’t need to run your life, but it is a great way to keep in touch with “friends”. Use it when needed, use it well, make your friends happy and be yourself! PS as I post this to FB I am now sitting waiting for my “friends” to comment or like.