I recently did what I had always thought was impossible: I left Facebook.
I joined Facebook just before my 13th birthday (sorry, Terms and Conditions) because all of my friends were starting to get theirs and my family all had them. Obviously, this was a signal of adulthood.
So I logged in and immediately starting filling Flair boards.
As I got older, I came to dislike the site more and more. While others were building up their friend lists to brag about who had the most, I was routinely removing people I didn’t want to be updated on every bit of my life. Around 15, I seriously considered deleting my account for the first time.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become acutely aware of the fact that I’m a fairly private person. This resulted in me posting minimally, and usually for work. I finally decided I didn’t want it anymore, so I deactivated my account.
Within the first 48 hours of being Facebook-free, I learned a few things. If you’re considering logging out permanently, I hope these thoughts will help you decide to go for it. Even if you’re interested in just trying it out, do it. You can reactivate your account at any time by simply logging back in because Facebook will keep your data forever and ever (and ever).
1. How much of my internet presence is linked to my account
It's all connected. Seriously, my Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Spotify... the list goes on and on. It's scary how much of my data is all linked together through this one central point. It's so much easier to hit the "Connect with Facebook" button than it is to keep track of a dozen different passwords. And for those of you saying I should just use the same one for everything: shame on you. You should know better.
2. How often I went there out of habit
I found myself over and over again going to where Facebook used to live in my phone and not knowing why. I realized that it was because anytime I didn't have something immediate to do, I would mindlessly go to Facebook. I wasn't a heavy Facebook user, and yet I was almost hypnotized into opening it over and over.
3. The amount of useless and unreliable information I was taking in
When I replaced this habit by going to Twitter or my news app every time I caught myself jonesing for the 'book, I also learned how much of my time was being wasted on Facebook. My life is made better by learning about why our government shut down than seeing yet another batch of engagement photos. And speaking of which...
4. I am so much happier not knowing what’s on my feed
As it turns out, ignorance is bliss. I do not want to know what is happening in the lives of people who I don't talk to from high school — if I wanted to know, I'd be in contact. I do not want to know the political opinions of acquaintances who I am only friends with to be polite. I do not want to know.
Maybe this is a sign that I was born to be a hermit. I may not be there quite yet, but I think this is a good start.