As you most likely haven’t noticed, I deleted my Facebook one month ago. It was the best decision of 2017. It all started back in March when I decided that I should also get an Instagram. I would post photos that I thought represented me. I would like photos that I wanted people to see that I liked. I would scroll endlessly. It was a huge distraction. Eventually I even started doing it for my Facebook. I was carefully curating the image I wanted others to see as me. I would be in a blissful moment, and I would think, “this would be perfect for Facebook!” It was only later that I realized that the moment was perfect even without Facebook. I didn’t need Facebook to enjoy my life and I didn’t need others to enjoy my life.
In June I watched this video by Cal Newport. It’s about how deep and intense work is where breakthroughs happen, while at the same time, deep work is getting rarer due to distractions such as Facebook. Facebook seemed like a mildly positive boon to my career, a fun past time, and a way to stay relevant with my social circle. Since watching that video, I’ve realized how little I actually enjoy Facebook, how it’s a huge time sink and no employer really cares what I had for breakfast, and that I stayed plenty relevant with my real friends. I decided to delete the Facebook app, block it at work, and de-activate Instagram, G+, and Twitter.
Then in July I read this great article by Wait But Why called “7 ways to be insufferable on facebook.” Then it finally dawned on me, that Facebook is all about vanity. We don’t really care what other people do, we want to know what they think about us. We want to picture ourselves on the leading edge of our timeline, with other people commenting on our lives. We post wisdom, and celebrations, and break ups, and the mundane, because we want others to react to our lives, as if we were the center. But in reality the world is much bigger than me. Everyone pictures themselves as the victim of fate and a champion over adversity. Facebook feeds that fantasy. We need to take a step back and picture ourselves as the background characters, the mentor, the lover, the confidant, the messenger.
In the month I’ve been without facebook, I can honestly say that I haven’t noticed any draw-backs.
Delete your facebook, engage with the real world, do deep work.