I have been Facebook-free for about six months now. What does it feel like to be disconnected from the largest social network on Earth?
I am liberated from the incessant bombarding of inane posts from people I really could care less about. What is the Internet-dwelling population's greatest fear? FOMO (fear of missing out). Well, I can tell you I am a lot less anxious about getting likes or being tagged in photos, etc. In the weeks leading up to the deactivation of my Facebook account, I noticed that I rarely posted and merely used the social platform as one of my many news sources. There was quite a bit of useless information floating through my news feed, so I made the ultimate decision to cut all the crap out of my digital life. I was going to streamline my digital exposure and reduce the time I spent on my phone. So far, it seems to be working. I have redirected the time I would've spent on Facebook to watching films, reading books, and exploring the city of Chicago. Eliminating a major part of my digital life has made me more active because I physically have to be out and about to be connected with the real world.
I will admit that it can be difficult to communicate with various acquaintances if I don't have their numbers. However, the ever-crafty Facebook graciously allows us to continue using Messenger even with our Facebook account deactivated. You can find people's contacts through search feature on Messenger. Another inconvenience that may arise is the inability to find out about upcoming events or group activity without the access to Facebook Groups/Events. This is something you will learn to deal with because you will be forced to talk to people to find the information you want/need. Isn't this a great way to rediscover your social skills?
Here are my top five tips for you:
1. Delete the mobile app and your auto-login credentials.
2. If Twitter is your secondary social media platform, make your account private and follow mainly news sources (if you have no other way of getting news). Minimize the number of friends you follow (>30) and who follow you otherwise you run the risk of creating a new Facebook-like environment.
3. Create new logins for services for which you used the Facebook login feature. Spotify and Instagram seem to be the common culprits.
4. Delete Facebook from your browser's cache and history so the URL doesn't come up in recommendations.
5. Do not reactivate your account for ANY reason. This is the hardest during the first few weeks, especially if you use Facebook for group communication and event discovery.
For those of you who are brave enough, I urge you to purge your digital life. Disconnect from Facebook and feel the freedom of being Bookless!
P.S. Yes, I do continue using other social media platforms (e.g. Twitter, Instagram), but I severely minimize my time spent on them and limit what I use them for. That will be another post for another day :)