dvdp:

1 minuteFollow one row from the beginning to the end.This is 1 minute of your life (ca. 40 million minutes).
1 minute can pass fast. 1 minute can pass slowly. It depends on your actual situation/conditions (even your body temperature).
Feel the time for a minute.

dvdp:

1 minute

Follow one row from the beginning to the end.
This is 1 minute of your life (ca. 40 million minutes).

1 minute can pass fast. 1 minute can pass slowly. It depends on your actual situation/conditions (even your body temperature).

Feel the time for a minute.

Goodbye, Facebook

I recently decided I would be deleting my Facebook account and wanted to share with my friends why. As difficult as it is to give up, I’ve come to the conclusion that the advantages don’t outweigh the costs, which I will now proceed to explain:

What does Facebook offer?

  • A way for anyone in the world to easily find anyone else by name and communicate with them instantaneously.
  • A way to find out how a person is doing and what predominates their life (assuming some level of engagement and authenticity).
  • A way to send and receive event invitations.
  • A way to share and receive ideas, opinions, and beliefs on a variety of topics.

Each of these involves some tradeoffs. Facebook can be a boon, a vice, or a nuisance depending on the time of day. It can be employed altruistically and selfishly. It is, without any doubt, a fucking amazing tool.

So what’s the problem?

Needless to say, Facebook is addictive. It’s easy to access and provides quick relief in the form of a distraction from X, where X is anything less interesting than what your friends did this past weekend. It also fulfills a need we all share for connectedness and offers a cheap form of external validation.

But that’s not why I quit.

1. Lost time

The deal breaker for me was the amount time I spend on Facebook (and the inherent difficulty in avoiding it).

If I visit Facebook an average 3 times a day for roughly 10 minutes on each visit, that’s 168 hours of my life spent on Facebook each year.

Facebook itself is not bad. Video games are not bad. The internet is not bad. Food is not bad. But when we consume a thing to the exclusion of other more healthy or enriching things, it becomes a problem.

2. Compromised attention

A constantly available and addictive product like Facebook can rob us of our attention, but,–as is the case with any addiction–the time spent actually using is only half the burden.

While I’m certainly more productive now, I value this far less than being rid of the consistent feeling of worry I began to associate with social media (Facebook, in particular).

From my own experience, Facebook exerts a stress on us to perform as we unconsciously feel as though we are being watched. Sometimes we react in direct response to an invitation, at other moments just to feel like we’re not being misrepresented.

This stress manifests in many subtle ways. If I post something to Facebook, I feel obligated to respond to invitations to converse on the topic (especially in the case of controversial material). It’s also not uncommon that after posting a sarcastic or potentially polarizing status update I feel pressured to “monitor” the response from my network). Of course that is if I decide to post at all given my awareness that what I decide will be permanently catalogued (c.f. “chilling effect”).

Of course, these are simply other ways of expressing the utility or “fun” of Facebook, but each comes at a price, which took me quite some time to recognize.

3. Lack of appreciation for time spent with loved ones

By allowing Facebook to become the primary mechanism for staying connected with the important people in my life, I unconsciously began treating those relationships as being on the same level as everyone else I was becoming “connected” with. Far worse, I disregarded many important people in my life simply because we weren’t connected through Facebook, which was fulfilling [read: exhausting] my “social needs” to the extent I failed to connect in other meaningful ways.

Having quit Facebook, I feel more rewarded in the ways I spend my time. My social interactions seem to serve a greater purpose by playing a functional role in “keeping me connected. When I’m working, I’m more productive and diligent; when on a break, I feel more entitled to spend the time how I please. And when taking time off, it now feels closer to “I deserve this” than “I really need this.”

4. Disenfranchisement

The most subtle. After years of using Facebook I became dependent on it as a broadcast medium for interesting things to do. Once I had left, it became apparent I had failed to develop any independent means of figuring out what the hell was going on. But since I no longer had the option of crowdsourcing my weekend, I actually did something about it

On the whole, I feel empowered to pursue my own interests and wellbeing rather than predominantly accommodate others, which it turns out I was doing far more than I realized.

Concluding remarks

When Facebook first took off it really was the new hotness. Times have changed:

And for actually finding out how someone is doing, at the very least there’s a phone call involved.

Why not deactivate, take a break, change your posting behavior, etc?

I have tried more than a few things to reduce my time spent on social media without satisfactory results. Unlike other possible addictions, as a society we simply haven’t yet developed customs to guide behavior. That said, I’m also not claiming everyone should quit Facebook. As previously mentioned, I believe I am particular susceptible to overuse. This is simply the path best fit for me.

But leaving Facebook doesn’t mean any of us have to leave relationships behind. For myself, I’m actively choosing to deepen the invaluable real relationships I already have, and create more space for new ones.

Thanksgiving, Big Sur
Zoom Info
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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  • Camera
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  • Canon EOS 60D
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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  • Camera
  • ISO
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  • Canon EOS 60D
  • 200
  • f/5.6
  • 1/200th
  • 53mm
Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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  • Camera
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  • Canon EOS 60D
  • 200
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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Thanksgiving, Big Sur
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  • Camera
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  • Focal Length
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • 200
  • f/9
  • 1/500th
  • 53mm

Thanksgiving, Big Sur