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Could I dare take a Facebook break?

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Something has happened to me since turning the big 4-0 this past weekend. Suddenly I'm re-evaluating lots of different things in my life, and for some reason, my personal Facebook account is taking top billing in the "re-evaluation" category.

I'm trying really hard to decide if Facebook has added or detracted from my life the last few years I've participated in it. It definitely has detracted from my TIME, for sure, but I'm having the most difficult time putting all that time spent on the social network into a "positive" or "negative" category.

The biggest FB upside - - at least on the surface - - is that I get a lot of self-esteem from the interface. All I have to do is share the most mundane opinion, and within minutes I'll have positive reinforcement coming from various places across the U.S. Who doesn't want to feel as though they matter? For me, Facebook often acts as an instant ego boost. Sort of a Sally Field "you like me. you really like me!" effect.

Following close behind the psyche-building aspect of Facebook is my appreciation for how easily I can share information. Just about every blog I read, or article I check out, or sale I come across has that lovely little FB "share" button below it. Before I've even read the second sentence of the piece, I've already hit said button to share with my "friends." I may not even read the article in its entirety, but I am just sure that others will appreciate it. And yes, maybe they will even thank me for sharing....another lovely shot in my ego.

Finally, the other reason I find Facebook so hard to divorce is that it has become the only way to communicate with certain friends. It would seem that I am not the only one to hand over my Daytimer to the Facebook gods. Many of my acquaintances have even dropped their personal email accounts in the belief that everyone they will ever need to communicate with online has a Facebook account. If I don't have those folks' telephone numbers, then Facebook is the only way for me to drop them a line. (Of course, if I actually used my FB message center to invite them out to dinner, they would probably have to decline since they are too busy socializing on Facebook, but nevertheless...)

Granted, in the position I'm in, when social networking is a vital part of my day-job, I can't viably QUIT Facebook, but I'll admit I'm desperately in need of break. I'd love to experiment for a while and see what the quality of my life and connections with others turns into when my communication with them isn't only of the virtual type. I'd be interested to see what information truly resonates with me when I can't just push a button and call it "share-worthy". And I'm desperately curious to see exactly how my day-to-day rhythm is affected when I'm not stopping every thirty minutes to see who has left a message on my wall.

Anyone care to experiment with me through the end of the year???

Please say yes, or else my ego is in serious danger of asphyxiating from sudden lack of "Likes."
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  1. allisonsracquet's Avatar
    So funny....I just dropped mine (about three weeks ago, I was trying to convince my niece who shares WAY too much to let it go...she didn't). I went through "withdrawls" for the first week (like what do I even click on), and had to miss viewing some great photos etc. The thing I am finding I miss the most is my "wordscraper" (scrabble) games with people from across the country. During the may be especially tough (getting addresses for cards, keeping in touch, viewing photos, etc). But I am getting used to it. I checked "I'll be back" when I canceled my account...and I have been. Each time, I realize, I am not missing so much, and I am off in 5 minutes. Either way, funny post...glad to know I am not the only one.
  2. UrbanHomeschool's Avatar
    Funny, I have recently been going through the same. I am barely using FB anymore and really only hold on to it to check on what is going on with certain family and friends in NY. I do, out of habit, share certain blog posts and news stories I find, but no one really reads or responds to those anyway. LOL Otherwise, I really feel that my time on FB is coming to an end very soon. I have already turned off the app platform, don't upload photos anymore and have deleted all but 3. I am just hesitating to deactivate because of the aforementioned family and friends.
  3. shanajo's Avatar
    I'll experiment with you! I've been thinking about this a lot the last few weeks. I completely understand feeling like I can't quit FB, because there are many friends and family whom I only talk to through FB. A lot of these people depend on me to post photos of the kids, because they live far away and that's the only way they can see what is going on with them. But, I know that I spend too much time on there and that is a habit that I need to break!

    I think what I'm going to do is start a family blog to put photos and such on. That way those that really care to keep up with our lives can check that. The rest I'm not going to worry about!
  4. Emerald's Avatar
    I deleted my Facebook a few weeks back. I've been on it almost since it opened (and was college-only). I don't miss it, largely because there was so much negativity and people bashing other people/viewpoints/politics. I am spending my time in far more positive ways!
  5. inmom's Avatar
    I had an "enforced" experiment for a couple of days when we lost internet access. At first, I felt isolated, especially as the internet is how I primarily communicate with my husband when he is traveling.

    But honestly, I got SO MUCH done in those days since I wasn't plopped in front of a screen. Something to consider. It's amazing how much one can complete, even in 10 or 15 minute intervals that might have otherwise been spent on facebook, email, tweets, etc.
  6. inmom's Avatar
    Oh, and by the way, welcome to the 40's! So far, I think it's the best decade to be in yet!
  7. shanajo's Avatar
    Topsy, did you end up taking an FB break? I finally shut my account down this morning. Yesterday I posted to let people know that I was taking a break and if they needed to contact me they could do so via email or phone. Then I emailed a few key people to make sure that they got the message. This morning I made things official and closed my account. (They make it way too easy to open it back up, btw!)

    Anyway, so far so good! I feel almost......relieved. It's almost like I felt pressure to keep up constantly with what everyone had going on and now I can't. I like it. :-) So far anyway. We'll see if the withdrawls kick in soon!
  8. Topsy's Avatar

    KUDOS to you!!! I keep meaning to update with a new post to share my progress, so hopefully I'll do that today or tomorrow...stay tuned. But congrats on your relief...I know EXACTLY what you mean by that!!
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