My normal wake-up routine includes opening my eyes, reaching for my phone, and checking out what’s new on Twitter and Facebook. All the above actions are a lousy way to greet the new day. No day is guaranteed for anybody and I waste my precious first moments checking social media??
Ugh. I will never learn.
Twitter immediately shows me how few people retweeted what I wrote, and Facebook magnifies how few friends I actually have who care enough to click the thumbs up on something I’ve posted. Good news, bad news, doesn’t matter.
Both numbers are extremely disheartening, depressing, and dehumanizing.
Does Facebook Bring Joy?
Self-observation of my obsessive checking on the popularity of my Facebook posts, and how I feel after discovering fewer likes than I had hoped for, I decided to apply Marie Kondo’s philosophy about deciding what I allow into my life, and whether it brings me joy, to my Facebook addiction.
I asked myself the question the other day, “Does Facebook bring you joy?”
The power of one’s brain to know the truth is astonishing if you just stop long enough and listen to it.
And it’s so swift in its reply.
No Joy in Faceville
I’ve dumped Facebook before for 10.5 weeks. What made me go log back on? I was sitting around an AirBnb in Brooklyn, waiting for my daughter to come back to our temporary home after her stint at school.
I was bored of reading my insanely long book, didn’t want to venture out into the city without my girl, and don’t enjoy watching TV during the day. It’s just not my thang.
I’ll admit I was weak. And, honestly, I felt I had the secret sauce to reigning supreme in the kingdom of likes because I had some really cool pictures to share of everything Brooklyn has to offer in the fall. What a particularly beautiful time to be in New York.
Downloading the app was so easy. The only difficult part was resetting my password because I no longer knew it after being off Facebook for over 10 weeks, and then I was off and running again.
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, isn’t it?
And yet, here I am.
Facebook doesn’t bring me joy — it brings me frustration, loneliness, anger, bitterness, boredom, and turns me into a cynic. Posts only show the good parts of peoples’ lives which makes my somewhat sucky life appear suckier.
Although one would never know that my life is not ideal at the moment because, like everyone else, I only upload photos that demonstrate lots of travel and excitement.
Meanwhile, reality is quite a bit different.
So, for the month of February (yes, I know it’s a short one), I will be eliminating Facebook — a Facebook-free February. That has quite a ring to it, doesn’t it?
What Will I Do Instead? Panic Begins to Set In.
Part of the reason I keep going back to Facebook is out of boredom. What can I do to fill the time in a more productive way?
I can read real books instead of posts. I can organize my house instead of ignoring its cries for help. I can find a part-time job or volunteer somewhere. I can weed my garden. I can plant more greenery in aforementioned garden. I can write the books (yes, plural) I’ve started and haven’t yet finished. I can take day trips to nearby spots like Huntington Gardens and the Getty Museum. I can plan the trips I’ve put off. I can shop in mom ‘n pop shops instead of utilizing Amazon endlessly. I could take an online course. I can watch documentaries on NetFlix. I can visit friends in person.
Wait, what? Visiting People in Person?
One woman had the amazing idea of meeting her Facebook friends in real life. Now that’s one incredible idea since one of my friends is in Kolozsvár (the capital of historical region Transylvania, in Romania). Transylvania is one of those places you think only exists in old Frankenstein movies, but nope, there one friend lives and posts from a completely different time zone.
A couple (I’ll be honest, many) of people I’m friends with on Facebook I’ve never met in person, so flying to their states would be the first time laying eyes on them. Isn’t that odd? I have friends I’ve talked to for years on the phone and I’ve never met them in person.
Won’t you join me in my Facebook-free February? I know it’s already the 2nd day of February and you may have visited the behemoth social media site yesterday and maybe even today, but I won’t tell. It’s not a test. Join me and see if eliminating Facebook recaptures some time and joy.