My Experience Deleting Facebook

Recently over winter break, I deleted my Facebook account. Also, I’m not really sure why I did, it was an impulse decision that I didn’t really give a lot of thought to. I was in San Diego when I checked my phone and saw someone’s ridiculous status when I decided right then and there that it was time to stop giving importance to people on Facebook and start giving myself some importance. Two hours later, I deactivated it and haven’t returned since. The interesting part of this story is not why I deleted it. Most people know why I deleted it because most people think about deleting their Facebook accounts quite often. For instance, a lot of people are tired of constantly being bombarded with nonsensical statuses and pictures that force you to ‘like’ it. People are becoming restless reading updates of acquaintance’s lives, opinions that aren’t backed up, and pictures that we don’t really want to see. These things always manage to just pop up on our news feeds though. And somehow, some way, we always refresh the page to see more.

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I did not delete my account with any intention of what my future would be like without Facebook. But the more I go on not checking updates on Facebook, the more interesting the story gets on what happens after I deleted it. The first thing I got was questions. A lot of questions like, “did you delete me?” from friends and family as if I deleted them from life. People took it really personally and figured that I did not value our relationship anymore. Others didn’t understand why I did it. And a few don’t think I exist anymore. After all, I stopped posting pictures and other tidbits of my everyday activities for them to see. All of this really helped me to understand a true bond in a relationship. Now I just communicate with friends and family the old fashion way, by texting.
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After reading Attention versus Distraction?, Vishal is better equipped with doing work digitally because he has a passion for it and was brought up in the digital world. However, he and his peers get distracted by all the digital media just like most students do. After deleting my account, I realized how much of a distraction Facebook was for me on a whole different level. When classes started, I was bombarded with readings to read so quickly. Without Facebook, I noticed that I could read articles, essays, and even books for fun in peace. No distractions. When I don’t know a definition word, I open up the Internet page, look up the word, and go back to reading. While having a Facebook account, this would never happen for me. I would open up the Internet, subconsciously go on Facebook, scroll through the news feed, see repetitive posts, and then go back to the reading while forgetting that I had to define a word.

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Another thing is that I’m more productive with my time. I read more than I did last semester, or even last year. I enjoy reading the articles I have to read for class, books that I brought from home, the news, and other blog sites. I do all of these while having school work to do but I get it all done. The more I’m able to be surrounded by “digital silence” from Facebook, the more I’m able to connect with my thoughts, reality, my career path, interesting political topics, and opinions. Instead of checking the lives other people are living on my Facebook app when I am on the bus, I read the news, or listen to music. And my phone has been less of a bad distraction and more of a good distraction. What I mean by this is that I use my phone more to educate myself by watching videos, reading the news, or reading articles while I use it less for things that won’t educate me.

ImageNow I don’t have to read what people think is important. I just ask myself what’s important and focus on that. I used to give people a bigger importance than they really are. For example, I wanted to read my friend’s opinions rather than formulate my own. I focused on what other people were doing rather than putting an importance to what I was doing. And after deleting Facebook, I truly believe that I can focus on myself more. I’m not distracted by other people nor I let myself get distracted by people. I’m not sure if I will bring my Facebook back, it’s a great way to keep in contact with old friends but for right now, I like being in my mind thinking with my own thoughts and no one else’s.

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9 thoughts on “My Experience Deleting Facebook

  1. Its interesting how you have this experience. I also had a similar one but with I was not using my Facebook, even my photos were not accessible to my “friends” on Facebook. Then when I put a photo of myself as my profile picture and allowed all of these friends to see it, they all of the sudden treated me as if I was “gone” and came back to life. It was weird because people posted on my wall how much they missed me and loved me rather than send me a personal msg or even text me when they so obviously had my phone number. Sometimes I wonder if Facebook is just to show people ” Hey I have friends. I have a social life. I am not a loser, I get likes”. It made me think what kind of a life are we really living that our social boundaries start and end with these superficial ties. Also, I found it interesting that you said you started texting the old fashioned way 🙂 I really enjoyed reading your post. Great job 🙂

    • Thanks for the very nice comment! I agree with what you’re saying. I wonder the same thing. It seems like some people use Facebook accounts to validate their lives. People tend to post pictures of their friends to show they have a social life. They add people that they know but never had a conversation with just to validate how many friends they have as if they have that many friends in real life. And not going to lie, I’ve done that too; we’ve all been there. With my Facebook account, I felt like I did not have to keep in touch with my Facebook friends because I already knew what they were up to. Now when I want to text an old friend, I feel like it would be awkward since it’s abnormal to do things like that now. We basically gather information from people based off their Facebook. Otherwise, we don’t talk.

  2. you make a really great point in this post about giving people more importance than they deserve. I think that this is true when it comes more than just distractions and focusing. For instance, people are constantly making decisions based on their lives as depicted through Facebook such as making assumptions about others. Person A might decide that person B is not someone that they want to be good friends with based on their profile online. What happened to getting to know people for who they really are? Also, relationships are usually affected by Facebook too. Sometimes a relationship is not even considered real until its official on facebook and how folks interact after a break up through facebook can have a huge impact on a relationship. its a scary thought but instead of people using facebook, sometimes it seems as if facebook has the power to control people.

  3. I personally don’t consider Facebook to be very distracting. I go on Facebook at designated times to check things that people post. Some of my friend’s lives are pretty eventful, and sometimes I need to go on Facebook to get more of a jist as to what they’ve been up to. Most of these updates come from Facebook chatting. I laugh at pictures that I genuinely find interesting and I like posts of my friends that I genuinely find interesting. As a performer, I guess I have the mindset of entertaining people. I post pictures of myself that I think others will find entertaining, because that is what I enjoy doing. I enjoy being goofy like that. Facebook has also been a pivotal factor in the development of my social skills. Once Facebook came out, I found myself commenting on different people’s statuses and whatnot. I found it much easier to talk to people outside of school without having to ask for their phone number (this used to be very hard and nerve-wracking for me to do, and still is sometimes) because I could speak to them through Facebook chat. Your decision to delete your Facebook was a very bold one, I suppose. It’s certainly not something that I would want to do.

    • That’s a good point. It’s good that you can use Facebook to your advantage and not have it distract you. You shouldn’t delete it if you are benefiting from it. But for me, it was a distraction. It was getting to a point where I wasn’t even keeping in contact with anyone (I had other ways to talk to them) so it was just seeing posts that didn’t do anything for me. Yes it was a bold decision, but I might bring it back and just limit who I accept as a friend.

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your experience. I have actually been on the verge of doing this for the past year, but there are certain things that I need Facebook for. The main reason I have kept it around this long is for my contacts. Many people have their phone number and email address attached to their profile. By adding them on Facebook, this information is automatically pulled down to my phones address book. Even if someone does not have this information on their page, I still have a direct means of reaching them through the built in Facebook Messenger. Being able to message someone from a class about an assignment or something, even though I don’t know the person very well, has saved me several times. The other reason, is that Facebook provides an easy way to stay updated from groups which I care about, mainly bands. Liking mostly low key bands, I can quickly check a bands page or be alerted to when they are playing nearby or releasing a new song. Other than those two things, I rarely use Facebook. I can’t remember the last time I really scrolled down my news feed.

    On a side note, not that I want to destroy your productivity, you should really check out Google+. I consider it the greatest social platform around right now because you can easily navigate what you care about and easily share things with people who will care about what you are sharing.

  5. This interests me a lot because I feel the same exact way! Even though there’s no one beside me alerting me and yelling at me that “so and so updated their status” or “so and so posted pictures” I constantly feel the need to always have Facebook open in a tab so it’s easy for me to access when that little bit of reading starts to get boring. I think we put the pressure on ourselves to constantly be in touch with the virtual world and that as technology advances – we become more nosy because nothing is really private anymore. Being able to completely see someone’s personal life is somewhat interesting to the human mind, at least for myself. It is an internal pressure that we HAVE to know what our neighbors, friends, and family are doing because it’s all out in the open. It’s also the need to know because most conversations between friends consist of “did you see that on facebook?” I deleted mine for about 2 weeks when I got back from Europe only to find that I “accidentally” reactivated by just simply logging in. It’s extremely difficult even when you don’t have Facebook to not be distracted by it.

  6. I really agree with everything you say, and thank you for saying it! I deleted fb in October of last year and couldn’t believe how much happier I was and how much better my life seemed without it. Even I predicted that I’d be back within a week, but, as you say, the vacuum it left was so nice. Facebook had just begun to feel so tedious and petty, a stream of routine information, funny comments, and thinly veiled bids for attention — all in an environment with all the charm of a cinderblock college dorm built in the late 1970s. I have nothing against things that are superficial, but Facebook had become a superficial downer. Yes, I don’t know about events that I might have liked to go to, or missed some news story or even some momentous thing that happened to a friend, but I just feel like my world is my own again and mine to control, and that is really valuable. Nicely written piece.

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