5 months off Facebook

Well before the scandal at Facebook broke out and well before Mark Zuckerberg was invited to speak (defend?) to the US senators regarding Facebook data privacy, I deactivated my profile. Honestly, I thought it would be for a week or two - like the previous times I had deactivated my profile.
But it's been 5 months. I think I was concerned about the inappropriate amount of time I spent scrolling through the timeline - often times commenting - in my head - on every single post that appeared on my feed (how narcissistic was that?)

Photo by Rawpixel
Facebook is great - but lately, I prefer a more 'pick up the phone and talk' kind of approach. I talk to lesser people than I used to. I struggle when someone asks me, 'so who all do you keep in touch with?' I can count the people on my fingers. But I have better conversations with those fewer people. And that's working for me.

Photo by Pavan Trikutam
Recently, a close friend of mine mentioned how she had over a thousand friends on Facebook (1000!!!) but she hardly knew a handful. So why did she have so many FB friends - like was that a parallel universe where she was concerned about her perception I asked her? Sort of she said. Also, she didn't know how to ignore/ reject a friend request. Seemed legit to me. Even though this is only an anecdotal evidence - I am sure this is the case with so many people.

The global average is around 2 hours and 15 minutes on social media. 2 hours! - that's precious time taken away from actual conversations, sleeping, maybe a good swim? And every year - the amount of time spent on social media is increasing - there's an easy to notice upwards trend. Data privacy in itself is super scary - but more than 2 hours a day on something that was not there 10 years ago - that sounds appalling. 2 hours which translates to just above 5 years of your adult life. Oh the things you can do in those 5 years. Interestingly, 51% of users who use FB visit the site several times a day.. (source). Like what is anyone missing out on between those two visits?

Photo by itsportadelaide
So why did I decide it was okay to not be updated about what's happening in my friends' lives? Why Facebook? Why not a moderation, why a complete deactivation? I realised that good and bad news, both, have a way to reach our ears. Someone had a baby? Great - I'll find out soon enough. I realised I didn't mind not knowing and congratulating immediately - my comment would in all probability be lost in the hundreds of happy congratulations messages anyway.
Someone had a great vacation to Peru? Great - I'm sure that'll make a great actual conversation at some point - I mean it's that or simply liking (or the happy, laughing etc emoticons) the FB photos - right?

Why not moderation? I tried moderating my FB usage - but it did not work for me. Simple. Deactivation worked for me.
Why FB and not Instagram? FB bought in more negative vibes compared to Instagram.

I am not saying I am a social media addict - in fact I am now concerned about my Instagram engagement - but one platform at a time. Time off Facebook helped me - reduced a small amount of negativity - no more mentally commenting on everyone's posts, reduced time on social media over all, better quality time with people who matter - actual conversations where you can actually hear the laughter instead of an imaginary lol, and generally - lesser distractions on a day to day basis.
Though I do have those days where I have literally gone through every last photo on Instagram and I don't know what else to do. Oops, no FB!
Can you live without FB?

Update - After around 6 months off Facebook, I reactivated my profile recently but I use it moderately - a couple of minutes every day.

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