Thursday, March 29, 2012

An 8 step program to rid your life of Facebook.

Good morning.  You have taken the first step of deactivating your Facebook.  Perhaps it was tough to get yourself to do it -- to get past that last screen where Facebook tries to tell you who will miss you.  They post pictures of loved ones, acting like once you leave their precious site that those loved ones will somehow leave your life.  Again, that is what they want you to think.  They want you to think that in order to be social you need Facebook.  They want you to think that once you deactivate that you can not contact those people, hence they will miss you.  Chances are, you are moved by that, as there are probably some people on there who you have developed strong relationships with.  However, if the relationships are really that strong, you will not be leaving them, and hence, they will not have reason to miss you.

So, now that you have deactivated, you are ready to face the real challenge.  Not going back.  For this reason, I have created an eight step program. 

1.  First, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself.  It was not easy to leave a site that you have probably logged countless hours on.  Facebook should have came with a clock to count the time you were on there.  I would not be surprised if some people have spent in excess of 100 days total on that site.  And, totaled throughout life, one could easily spend a year of their life on Facebook.  Scary huh?  Some people have multiple profiles, but that is not you, so now you can congratulate yourself.
2.  Treat yourself to something nice.  Make yourself a good breakfast, buy yourself a nice new book, go to the park and take some pictures (remember: you don't have to post them to Facebook!  They are yours to cherish). 

3.  Do something productive.  Chances are if you have just got rid of Facebook you have a lot you want to do.  Maybe start writing a book.  Make up the house, light some candles, put on some relaxing music.  Sit down and create some goals.  Do a couple of homework assignments.  See how productive you can be when you are not being nagged by that mental voice that keeps telling you to take a break and check your Facebook.

4.  Get away from the computer.  For many people a $1200 computer is really a Facebook machine.  Chances are you see it all the time at school or at the coffee shop.  People using a Macbook Air or similar expensive device almost exclusively to check their Facebook.  Perhaps most of your computer time was spent checking Facebook.  So, try to get away from the computer for a while.  Go for a walk, and maybe leave that cell phone home as well.  This is your time.

5.  Celebrate each day away from the ball & chain.  Keep note of every day you are not on Facebook.  When people ask you if you have Facebook, tell them that you have not been on it for (insert amount of days here).  Be proud when you say it.  If they ask why, tell them your views on it.  Tell them what you have accomplished with out it.  Keep track of what you have done since getting rid of it.  I promise you that your life will in many ways improve.

6.  Find a non-Facebook hobby.  Sometimes you may find yourself bored and drawn to the computer.  Perhaps you will think "there is no where else to go other than Facebook."  That is very wrong, however.  The internet is full of interesting blogs, webpages, and learning tools.  Facebook is in no way, shape, or form a learning tool.  In fact, one could say that with all the political propaganda and skewed statistics, Facebook actually DESTROYS THE MIND. 

7.  Clear your computers Cashe, History, and Cookies.  You do not want Facebook appearing ANYWHERE on your computer as you type a website.  It is all too easy to hit enter and find yourself reactivating it.  You must get rid of the temptation, especially at the beginning.  Remember, in many ways Facebook is a SERIOUS obsession, like alcohol or drugs.  You may not want to admit it, but if you feel drawn to it in such a manner there is no doubt that Facebook is indeed an awful obsession.  Restrain yourself!

8.  If you long to be social, be social.  Facebook is not social.  In fact, Facebook calls itself a social networking site, but is, in reality, an asocial networking site.  In reality you are networking with other asocial people who are hellbent on getting the most friends possible.  Sorry to sound like Yoda, but by Creating an army of friends social does not make you.  Facebook does not allow one to express their deeper self.  While you can share photos and short statuses, Facebook runs afoul of giving a person a way to truly express themselves.  There are far better ways to express your creativity to the world than through Facebook.  You don't need it to be social, and the reality is, by being on Facebook you may actually have been less social than you would have been without it.

It's shaping up to be a beautiful new life.  A life without Facebook. 

An International Obsession

Facebook Addiction?

Facebook has become an international obsession. Chances are, no matter where you go, you will see someone checking their Facebook status on a mobile phone or discussing Facebook. It is everywhere.

Don't Worry -- There is a way out!

Facebook, a website created out of the ingenious (and some say devious) mind of an ex-Harvard student, has taken the entire world by storm. Chances are, you have a Facebook account and realize that it takes up a lot of your time. Time that you could put to other uses. Perhaps you are like me, who has recently left Facebook, and still is bombarded by family and friends regarding that decision. Perhaps you want to leave Facebook, but don't know how?

It is no secret that Facebook makes it easy to come back. Unlike some websites that delete all your information when you deactivate, Facebook keeps all your information there for you, sitting idle, until you return. Granted, others can't see it, but it's saved so that when you decide to go back it's a breeze. But say you don't want to go back. Say you are tired of the political nonsense, senseless discussions, pointless chit chat, and the MASSIVE time drain that Facebook causes. Perhaps you are sick of living in a society OBSESSED with Facebook. Perhaps you reminisce of earlier years when Facebook did not exist, and when you were not bumped into on the streets by an oblivious kid checking his/her Facebook profile.

Do you really need Facebook?

There are many reasons why you may think you need Facebook. Maybe you think that there is some benefit to having your profile up. Perhaps you think it will help you find a job (chances are it will hurt your chances of finding a job, actually). Maybe you think that you are missing out on something. Maybe your friends and family are talking about you? Perhaps you are an (online) social animal that desires to be a part of the big juicy conversations that take place on Facebook. Perhaps you think that Facebook would be a great way to advertise your life, share your great accomplishments, and become closer to family. There are hundreds of reasons one can come up with that may make them long to be on Facebook. However, I strongly believe that the cons of being on Facebook greatly outweigh the pros

First, you are NOT missing out on anything. Once you deactivate your profile for a while and go back, you WILL see that everything is the same as it always was.  Nothing will have changed! Chances are, if there is a big life event, someone will contact you, and if they don't, are they a real friend in the first place?  You may think that, as I did, as a college or graduate student, Facebook is a great way to network for jobs.  Well, ask yourself, how many people do you know who got a job by networking via Facebook?  I'd venture to say "not many, if any at all."  I do not know of one person who has landed a job due to being on Facebook.  I don't know of a single person who would have not landed a job had they not been on Facebook.  In fact, many would be employers actively search out a person's Facebook and use it as a tool to screen candidates.  If you don't have a Facebook page, you have nothing to worry about in that regard. 

You may think that not having a Facebook page makes it look like you are not social.  Perhaps you are one of those people who thinks that the more friends you have on Facebook somehow equates to how popular you are in real life.  Well, let me be frank and say that the number of friends one has on Facebook is inversely related to the amount of friends one has in 'real life'.  While there are exceptions to this, the more one person is on Facebook means the less one is out with their friends and being a productive member of society.  The more one is on Facebook means the less one is producing.  Time spent on Facebook takes away from achieving the life goals and dreams you may want to accomplish.

But I have enough self control to only go on Facebook for a little while.  I don't use it often.

Really?  If so, that is great.  However, most people think they have a lot more self control than they actually have.  And if you have come to this blog, chances are you feel that you may lack the self control to make it so that Facebook is not overrunning your life. 

Do you feel angry, upset, or saddened later on after using Facebook?  I know I did.  I would think about what others posted and said long after I logged out.  I felt the need to log on, to get my point across, to state how I felt, to check up on them, to make myself be validated.  I realized that such mental anguish was not worth it.  When I deleted my profile I started to think about Facebook less.  I started to focus on my homework, study outside subjects, read books, create websites, go out, exercise more.  I noticed my grades improve when I was not on Facebook.  And not just improve a little.  My grades without Facebook were in the top of my class.  With Facebook they were much, much lower.

Spending less time on Facebook made me focus more on my own self development and improvement.  I spent more time working out, watching what I eat, and caring about my health.  I have found myself cooking more, doing a better job at housekeeping, and being overall much more active.  Of course, this all depends on the person, but chances are you want to be more active.  Chances are you know that there are some things that Facebook is keeping you away from doing.  Sure, you could perhaps have enough self-control to visit Facebook less, but once something is said that gets you worked up, chances are you will be watching hours fly by as you monitor the lives of others and try to validate yourself to the rest of the world.

The goal of this blog is to chronicle my life and thoughts while away from Facebook.  I hope that others will join me and share their thoughts on being without Facebook.  Perhaps you have thought about leaving but have not made the jump yet.  That is alright.  It is hard to do.  Like I said, Facebook has become an international obsession.  Obsessions are rarely, if ever, healthy.  Spending one's life in front of a computer monitoring the actions of others is in no way, shape or form a healthy activity.  I dare you to try to deactivate Facebook for a week, a month, or even during a school term and see how it improves your life.  It will be hard, people will ask you if you have a Facebook, and they will want to friend you.  You may feel that you want to reactivate so you have more friends, but just because a person is linked to you on Facebook does not make you 'friends'.  You can create a much more meaningful relationship with another person by saying, "I don't have a Facebook, but I would like to be your friend.  Would you want to study together/go out to a movie, etc. sometime?"

Think about it...