For Lent this year, I decided to take a break from my normal sacrifice of sweets or pizza (these are a few of my favorite things) and really take the plunge. I gave up Facebook. That’s right – I spent more than 40 days and 40 nights off The Book.
Chris didn’t think I could do it. I wasn’t sure I could either. But I did know I was on it way too much despite the fact that it generally did not make me feel good on the inside. I started to feel like it was cluttering my mind and my life with junk. But in typical millennial FOMO fashion, I was worried that if I gave it up, I would miss out.
I figured Lent would be the perfect trial period for a break. I decided not to delete my account entirely, and I didn’t even delete the app on my phone. I simply moved it to one of the secondary screens, so I wouldn’t see it on my main home screen.
Giving up Facebook was surprisingly easy. Maybe because I knew it wasn’t permanent. I can almost say I did not miss it at all but there were a few bloggers (such as Story of this Life and Momastery) that I followed mainly from their Facebook content and I did miss reading their posts.
I can tell you what I definitely did not miss – the junk. The shares of bad memes and quote graphics. The “share this if you …”-type posts. (Disclaimer: Totally guilty of sharing this type of stuff myself every now and then.) My lack of information overload led to a clearer mind. And, maybe more importantly, I did not feel like I was missing out.
Yes, I may have missed a photo of one of my friend’s babies. Yes, I might have missed a call to action or a news story. But the truth is – I didn’t actually miss those things. I know what is going on because I listen to and read the news. I don’t need to see every picture my friends post because I get to see them in person. And when I don’t, we share pictures via text or email.
Don’t worry Mr. Zuckerberg, I have no plans to give up Facebook permanently, but I learned a couple valuable lessons from my experience. 1) There just might be something to that whole “decluttering” rage happening right now. If you’re obsessing over a social media platform and yet it leaves you feeling empty or bad inside, it’s time to declutter. Take a break, and when you come back, stop following the things or people you didn’t miss. 2) I love social media and I love connecting (I just started a blog for pete’s sake), but I don’t need to be on it all the time. I first learned this when we started doing social-media-free weekends when AJ was younger. Although I don’t follow that strictly anymore, I still rarely get on during the weekends. It gives me the offline time I need to recharge and make sure I’m not missing those precious moments.
Has anyone else taken a break from a certain social media platform or thought about it? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience!