I believe that small changes and tweaks over the course of time, add up to a whole different life. Big changes are obviously, big, but it’s the small daily changes we make that add up to those big changes.
Deleting Facebook from my phone is one of those small changes that I hope will become big. Before I go too much further, I should point out that this is not a criticism of Facebook. I could have had an unhealthy relationship with any of the social media platforms. Facebook just happened to be the one that was the worst for me, personally.
I decided to finally take the final plunge because of one pesky thing that constantly threatens to derail our day – notifications.
No matter how hard I tried, Facebook always found a way to show me a notification, whether it was something for my blog page or some random game that a friend had invited me to play. That darn notification icon was always glaring up at me from my phone. And it was really draining me.
I’ve written about this before in my post on meaningful social media, but I just don’t like Facebook as a platform. The app itself is unbelievably slow to load, and, when it does finally load, it doesn’t show me anything I actually care about (most of the time).
A couple of years ago, I did a serious friend purge from Facebook. I could honestly care less what the troupe of mean girls from my high school is doing these days. So, I just got rid of pretty much anyone I didn’t have a more recent relationship with. As of right now, I’m sitting at 117 friends. Of that number, I can count on my hand the friends I actually talk to on a weekly basis. Bottom line, there is very little I can see on Facebook that I can’t see on a platform I like better (namely, Instagram).
And, that’s so key! If I care about a person and what’s going on in their life, I’ll text them and ask. (Yes, I know I could call them. But, talking on the phone is the worst).
Since deleting Facebook from my phone, I’ve actually noticed I’m reaching out more to people on other platforms and in real life. It turns out I don’t mind interacting with others. I just need to have the right amount of headspace in order to do it without feeling overwhelmed.
But, wait! I hear you ask – ‘don’t you still post on Facebook for your blog and other volunteer pages?’ Why, yes, dear reader, I do. But, this is actually why deleting Facebook was such a benefit to my work there.
I can now control my access to the various pages I manage in a much more intentional way. Previously, I would go into the app constantly, just to clear the 10 (mostly useless) notifications I had without really dealing with them. Now, I check Facebook in a browser once, maybe twice a day. I deal with everything at once and then I’m out of there.
Deleting Facebook from my phone has given me back a chunk of my brain and free time that I honestly never thought possible. I’m just as susceptible to FOMO as anyone else. Ok, maybe a little less susceptible because of my introvertedness. But, if I don’t have one-touch access to it, I don’t worry about it. It’s out of sight. And, therefore, out of my mind.
This whole experiment has made me wonder about the nature of convenience.Is having immediate access to everything we think we need, actually convenient? Click To Tweet
Or, is it a way to trick our minds into spending time on things that don’t actually matter to our lives? I happen to love cat videos, but scrolling through Facebook for hours to watch them is not a good use of my time. I’m sure the real truth lies somewhere in between.
Something else I have realized from this process is how connected everything else online is connected to Facebook.
I currently access 41 other apps using my Facebook login details. 41! Everything from my music streaming service, to my health & mediation app to blogging and real estate apps. They all offer login integration with the almighty Facebook. That gives you the sense of the scale of Facebook’s influence over the internet, beyond your small (or large) group of Facebook friends.
There is nothing inherently good or bad about the size of Facebook. But, it does give me pause to reflect on how I want to interact with such a behemoth.
Will I ever put Facebook back on my phone? My guess would be, unlikely. I’ve had a taste of the notification free life. I’m not going to give that up easily.
Do you keep social media apps on your phone? Do you think they are more helpful or more of a hindrance? Let me know in the comments!
Did you miss last week’s episode of Tiny Bites all about what I spent on clothes in 2017? You can listen to it here. If you want to read more about my journey to simplify my social media, you can do so here.
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions