Is Facebook ruining your happy?

A little more than 30 days ago, I stopped opening FB to scroll through and see all the latest updates and pics friends had posted.  It wasn’t my idea really.  My wife first introduced the idea and dumped FB a few weeks before I decided to try reluctantly.  My first thought was about all that I might miss out on by not being on FB.  After all, the whole world is on there.  If I am not checking it daily, I might miss something important.  Here’s the truth about giving up FB.

First, FB gets ‘mad’ at you

After only a few days of not clicking on my FB app, the emails began.  So and so just updated their status.  So and so just posted a new pic.  “You’ve missed 35 updates on FB.”  I’d estimate that I was…and still am now getting 2-3 emails a day from FB.  Honestly, the emails just reaffirmed that I was doing the right thing.  I had gotten trained to the little red numbers of notifications and always felt the need to click and “see what I was missing” and I think FB knows the psychological training that goes along with this.  The emails prod you, reinforce the you might “be missing something.”

Second, you realize that nobody cares

Do all those ‘friends’ I have on FB really want to see my photos?  Do I need to see all those photos they post of their vacations, the awesome meal they prepared or OMG, their thoughts on politics?  I maybe would’ve said yes pre-FB-cleanse but, now I’d say I don’t really care.  My theory is that most things folks post are “humble brags”.  They post a cool pic of their vacation spot not because you would want to see it but, in hopes that you will think their life is awesome.  There’s a reason no one (well most people) don’t post on FB when they get fired from a job or have a crappy day.  Sure, there are legit reasons I could fathom to post that aren’t humble brags.  You may want your far-away relatives to see pics of your kids or maybe you need people to reach out to for support.  For those case however, I’d encourage to try an old-school method.  If you really want to keep in touch with family, call them.  Better yet, use Facetime.

Third, you focus on your own life

All that time spent scrolling through FB that you think is productive because it allows you to ‘stay in touch’ is really just distracting you from your own life.  We all need distractions for sure but instead of using a tool that really just makes us wish we were on that beach too, get yourself a hobby or focus on work that’s going to create action to make your life better.  Pick up a deck of cards and teach your kid how to play.  Go for a walk.  Look people in the eye when you talk to them.  Strike up a conversation with someone.

Give it a try for 30 days.  Stay away from your FB app for just that long and see if you actually miss it or if you actually find yourself getting a little happier and just a little more focused on your own life.  I think you will like the results.  Yes, there will be those that will come up for reasons why they can’t dump FB.  I get it.  You might have to keep the app and jump on from time to time to communicate with certain folks but, I’d argue that taking a 30-day break from FB will clue you in to just how much happiness it’s stealing from you.  And, it may just change the way you interact with social media forever.

Good luck!