For 5 straight days earlier this month I did not log onto my Facebook account, or use any other platforms owned by the social media behemoth (i.e. Instagram, WhatsApp or FB Messenger.)
You might be wondering how someone who works in the media was able to do their job without Facebook? It’s actually a lot easier than you would think! I didn’t quit all social media, so Twitter was a great source for content, plus local newspaper and TV stations websites, along with News.Google.com, which curates a good cross section of news from all over the world.
Another question you may have is; exactly why did you decide to quit Facebook? In light of the social network’s numerous security breaches, data sharing and privacy issues, I thought it would be a good time to sort of test the waters and see what life would be like without Facebook, in case someday I decide to leave for good!
The first thing I did was post an announcement on Facebook about temporarily leaving and telling people where they could find me.
I was going to use Signal to keep in touch with people, but after realizing my Facebook friends weren’t joining me there and finding only one or two acquaintances on the platform, I decided to go somewhere more “familiar.”
I chose Google Hangouts , since I’d been using it years before, and several of my family members were on it as well. Be warned though, if you plan on cutting the Facebook cord too, you should use something else, since Hangouts is being shut down soon. Read this Wikipedia article for a complete list of alternative IM options.
I mostly use my phone to go online, so the next thing I did was to remove the Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps. If I did end up using a computer somewhere, (which didn’t happen,) I’d just try not go onto any Facebook territory.
And that was it! I was officially off Facebook!!
So over the next 5 days I did the following.
- Played more mobile games.
- Downloaded the Medium app and read some articles there.
- Went on Reddit and Pinterest a lot.
- Asked and answered some questions on Quora.
- And, did some Twitter de-cluttering, deciding who I did and didn’t want to follow anymore!!
Want to know the truth? I really didn’t miss Facebook all that much. If my family and friends weren’t so far away I’d probably never use it!
Before I knew it, the 5 days were over and I was back on Facebook! One of the first things I noticed upon returning (besides having fewer notifications than I thought I’d have,) was the over abundance of posts from pages I follow and groups I was a member of! So, here’s what I did.
- Left or unfollowed many groups.
- Unliked a number of pages.
- Instead of sharing articles that I find interesting I’d actually write status updates like I used to back in the early days of Facebook.
- Started following more news accounts on Twitter so to move that kind of content off my news feed.
- Go onto Facebook less, to appreciate it more when I did go on.
Taking these steps has greatly improved my Facebook experience.
If you did want to try totally disconnecting from all social media, but still stay connected to the world, try…
- Getting your news from RSS feeds.
- Subscribing to email newsletters.
- Going on to newspaper websites or actually paying for a subscription.
- Writing letters, either using paper or email.
- Sending text messages or calling someone.
I hope sharing my experience quitting Facebook will help when you do the same! If you have left Facebook, please leave a comment on this blog with your experiences and what steps you took to stay connected to the world!
© 2019 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.