My Facebook Detox: 10 Observed Symptoms
Generally, I’m the sort of person who hates addictions (let’s put caffeine to one side for the sake of argument). I consider them to be pointless, time-wasting, and ultimately demeaning. So when my daily two- or three-times-a-day Facebook check-ins turned into a six- or seven-times-a-day obsess-fest, I decided it was time to enter Social Media Rehab and go cold turkey, by staying off Facebook for a week.
Here are the things I observed in my self-imposed social media exile:
1) I started enjoying experiences without thinking about how I would share them. I went to an art exhibition and found it oddly liberating, realizing that I wasn’t searching for my profile photo opp. or wondering how I would wittily spin the visit into a comment-worthy update.
2) It was easier to give up than I thought. After a little more than a day and a half, I found that my Facebook compulsion had disappeared almost completely.
3) People aren’t so keen to do the online/offline shift. I spoke to a friend at the office who’s a prolific F/booker and asked her what was new and she immediately pointed me toward the latest posts on her Facebook profile, almost as though she couldn’t communicate outside the land of the little blue ”F.”
4) I quickly stopped wondering whether I was missing something momentous and realized that I didn’t really need to see another dredged-up ironic ‘70s video or fall prey to the latest cute viral film starring a cast of cats.
5) I started to suffer from “overshare paranoia” – when something happened to me that I’d have normally posted on my wall, I realized that the world wouldn’t necessarily be a worse place for not having been subjected to my latest pearl of trivia.
6) When a hardened Facebook friend sent me an email about his impending trip to San Francisco, I realized that when people actually have something important to impart, they will resort to that now almost-antiquated method of communication.
7) I began to obsess about the first post that would signal my return to the Facebook arena, thinking I’d have to go back with the news that I’m a crack-addicted transvestite or something of similarly earth-shattering import. (Editor’s note: as of this writing, the author is not a crack-addicted transvestite.)
8) I realized that, after a week, I had no real desire to return to the sticky clutches of Zuckerberg, and my imminent social reunion felt a bit like going back to an old relationship that had gone stale. (I actually prolonged my return by a day, so reluctant was I to re-establish Facebook contact!)
9) I came to the conclusion that as I’d spent the week writing a blog about not being on Facebook, I’d not really escaped its infernal influence at all.
10) I felt utterly weak and slightly ashamed when I realized that one of the first things I was going to do with this finished blog was to…post it on Facebook. Damn!
Written by Mark Blanchard« Back to Blog