I took a break from Facebook back in August with one goal: to cut the addiction.
A little back story: When Tommy was in Iraq last year I got a little... ridiculous on twitter. As in, I probably tweeted 30+ times a day, no joke. It was as though twitter was my only friend and the responses I would get from followers were the only thing bringing me adult interaction throughout the day. That sounds really awful... but truth be told: working from home can get lonely. And when there's no one but you coming and going from your home for over 9 months... that's a pretty limited social life. :)
It got embarrassing, really. I was saying too much (duh)... sharing too much info about my day-to-day life.
So I made changes. I cleared my twitter history... I changed my username. I wanted to make it more professional. I thought if I changed the name to reflect my business, it would help hold me accountable for the silly personal things I wanted to tweet about. And it worked! I am still having a hard time remembering to tweet things and checking in over there. I love Twitter and think it is an awesome tool... so hopefully I will start remembering it exists and use it more than I have in the last year or so. Just... not as much as I was while Tommy was gone. ;)
So... that brings me to my recent Facebook hiatus. When I started spending my days this summer browsing facebook for hours instead of doing actual productive work on my computer... I recognized that I was filling the hole of my social media addiction with FB. I was straight up wasting time - no doubt about it. In addition, almost every time I would close the site, I would find myself feeling negative. I mean... all types of negativity: annoyance, frustration, sadness, jealousy, conviction for wasting time... just yucky stuff. And if you think about it... don't you feel that way a lot of times, too?
So I took a break. At first I set up my profile to be permanently deleted. But you have to wait 14 days for that so I had some time to really think about it. A LOT of my friends on FB are friends through photography: either prospective clients or photographers wanting to connect. I knew if I deleted my account and wanted to return some day, I'd have to start over with the friends. Not to mention... I didn't want to seem all wishy washy re-requesting friendships on Facebook. So I logged in and changed my deletion request to a deactivation request.
I held it there for about a month. It was so refreshing. I started reading blogs again - topics and people that actually teach and inspire me. I left my phone in the car when I was meeting people for coffee or dinner dates. I left it in the back bedroom when Tommy came home from work. I was able to let go of the regular distraction. Again, it was refreshing.
However... I also missed out on a few networking events. I couldn't see pictures of a birthday party I missed. I didn't know that so-and-so had their baby or that people who didn't have my email address were trying to get in touch with me. And while it's a little bit sad that we are so dependent on FB these days that our lives are pretty much lived through it... it's just how it is. I was missing out on those things. So I came back.
I am happy to report that so far, the addiction has been under control. :) I don't really use FB on my phone anymore and I usually only check in on days when I have long hours at the computer. That way I can still stay up to date on things with faraway friends and still receive invitations and information about events and groups I want to be a part of.
So far... so good. The hiatus was successful and I am glad I did it. Will I do it again? Probably. But maybe not so intentionally in the future. I'm hoping I'll have some other distractions in my life that will give me an entire internet hiatus by default. ;)