1.28 billion users are monthly active (March, 2014) in the social network service named Facebook. The user amount is growing everyday and many of us are getting truly addicted to the service. So how easy is it to take a step back and take a break?
My workdays is IT related and my hobby is IT, wich results in alot of computer time during the hours i’m awake. At work i’m blessed with double screens and that results that i often have Facebook open and upfront on one display, while working on the other. That has therefore resulted in a pretty active following of what happens on my homefeed. This also means that i have the tendency to post a lot, in different visibility groups. And as a interesting side effect i have noticed that other’s comments and likes to my post has started to be of some importance.
As a ripple effect i have also noticed that i can get irritated on people who likes/comments on everything i post, either it concerns them or not, and this resulted in a little personal challenge and test. The first idea was to stop using FB totally for a month, but after some pondering on the issue i decided that i will just stop posting anything myself, and keep on participating in others post, as well as liking. But my activity on all fronts shall be minimal. So starting my challenge the question would be the following:
- Can i be a whole month without posting anything on my own profile?
- Can i minimize my participating overall?
- Will anybody notice and ask/comment on my inactivity?
- Will there be any withdrawal symptoms in me?
First 5 days
As in all addiction the first days are the hardest. I actually noticed that it was hard not to post anything, no pictures, no status updates, no nothing. As i decided to take a hard break, and not comment or like anybody’s content i suddenly noticed that it was seriously hard. Day 1 thru 3 was the hardest. I found myself a couple of times writing a post, and just before i was about to click post, i woke up and restrained myself. The further i got the easier it was and soon could loosen my self made band and by day 4 i “liked” some things, but only the most funny/important/required places.
As i scrolled thru my activity log i noticed that during the first 3 days i only liked 2 things, and commented on nothing. But i also noticed something i hadn’t thought of. As i listen to music at work thru Spotify, the songs i listened to was posted on my FB profile, wich wasn’t planned, and that changed my starting criterias, slightly.
Day 4~5 i loosened a bit, liked and even commented on some things. But at the same time i started feel unconcerned with other peoples posts, and started to notice that some peoples updates irritated me, wich will leed to unfriending. At the start of this challenge i had 596 friends on FB. It will be intresting to see how many there is after this FB “free” month.
Days 6 – 12
Although i’ve been keeping following what happens in my FB profile and wall, the interest has fallen on what other’s post and therefore in general activity on Facebook. I liked and commented on somethings, but overall at very few posts. What i have done is moved attention to Google+ and i have posted there, so i haven’t totally stopped using social medias. Also Twitter has been in normal use. A interesting side is, that as G+ ain’t as active for me as FB, there has not been any “likes” on what i posted there, and that feels kinda liberating to be able to post without all the fuzz of like notifications.
So the result, that i’ve taken noticed in, is how every notification from FB often tends to result in me checking what it was. So a majority of times when i open FB, on either computer, tab or phone is not to check what other have written, on what’s “trending”, but only to check what or who have commented or liked my content or content i’ve liked or commented on. And a interesting side effect is that my phone’s battery last longer. That’s because the largest battery drainer is the screen on my phone, and as i doen’t pick it up all the time to check what the vibration or sound is, the phones battery last’s longer.
So during this month i will/have remove all the notification “plings” and vibrations from my phone. By the way, my friend count dropped already: 565.
Days 13 – 19
Days keep rolling on and the urge to post something myself has kept on falling. During theese past 7 days i can hand on my heart admit there’s been 4 things i wanted to post, but there’s been no “close call” that i would have done it. As the time on FB has decreased i now use my time to read other things wich include world news and for instance others blogs. It’s been fun and eye opening and some new ideas and thoughts has been awakened during theese last days. I also checked thru my friends one evening and unfriended inactive people who actually wount influence my life that much, so friend count at the moment is 556.
I read one day a post of a guy who wrote on his wall a post where he asked everyone who wants to stay in his friend list to like or comment the post. Everybody that didn’t do this he removed from his friend list. The result if i remember correctly was that 64% of the people didn’t respond in the timespan he wrote in the post. (Think it was 2 weeks) He then removed all theese people and during the first 3 months after this action only 5 had requested to be friends again. Pretty radical move but it got me thinking if i should try it myself.
Mentally of course it could be a challenge to notice if only, lets say 10 would respond, but then again, maybe that is the truly keep worthy people in one’s friendlist and Facebook “life”?
Days 20 – 30
I’ve noticed that the thing that draws me to FB the most, is the game Farm Heroes Saga. I’ve grown to like the game a lot and i’ve been hooked on it for some time now, and played it so much that i’ve gone past all my friends who play it. At the moment i’m on level 621. Addicted = yes! 🙂
I haven’t really gathered up material to post on FB as this month is over, but in my plans there has been to gather photos from during this FB free month, and add them. That way get a small collection of the past month will be posted. The intresting side is that i also unintentionally slowed down posting on G+ which means that the only active social media is Twitter at the moment and i actually don’t miss FB or G+ that much. It’s been a intresting month with on the mental side but also because i have read a lot of other things and not just followed my FB friends posting.
I can honestly say i haven’t noticed that much “more” free time to something else, when not active on FB. But i think a big part is that before this, i haven’t been living my life on or thru Facebook. But i do challenge others to try try a FB “free” month, it’s actually kinda fun in the long run. 🙂
And maybe the result of this month can be visualized by the picture below. 😉