40 days (And Beyond)

I write today with the news that I have successfully completed my goal of 40 days without Facebook! It has gone much faster than I have imagined and during this time I have learned a lot about myself. What started out as a challenge has evolved into simply a regularity; my dependence on using a social network to facilitate my life has waned from necessary to insubstantial.

What have I learned from this experience?
  1. First the obvious: I wasted a lot of time on Facebook. I was doing nothing more than snooping on other people’s lives. I have seen productivity rise in multiple areas of my life without it.
  2. Facebook never really connected me more to the human experience. In fact, in a lot of ways, it created a disconnect. It often made me lazy and more ready to accept the status quo. I am more willing to make direct contact with both the people I am close to and others I want to know better.
  3. Facebook often makes your communication with others very PASSIVE. If you fear communicating directly with people, I suppose it’s the thing for you. I’m sure we all have stories of people who communicate to you on Facebook and them pretend like they don’t know you in real life. That’s pretty unnatural.
  4. Despite all this, it’s really hard to manage your social network when going “cold turkey” from Facebook. I had relied on it so much that I don’t have the simple things like my friend’s email addresses. This has been an inconvenience at times, but not one that a little maneuvering and adaptation can fix.
  5. People still find you – with or without Facebook. In fact, it can be a lot more personal interaction because they must be more direct with their communication. In my book, that’s another bonus.
  6. The less you are social networking, the more time you can spend in the present moment. Facebook is the opposite of being present- it’s all stories, narrative and self-centered ego-building (or destroying!). Being in the present is something we all need to work on.
For all of these reasons I am choosing not to reactive my Facebook account at this time. Maybe there will come I time when I see value in it again, such as relocating to a new city. For now, I have made better use of my time by being less connected to the virtual network, and more connected to the network of individuals right in front of me. 

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