Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lessons From a Facebook Fast

 (Pictures from the kids' Washington DC bike tour)

Today marks 15 days without Facebook.  I will confess that I had reached "heavy user" status.  It was time to step away.  And now that I have reached the end of my self-imposed hiatus, I am wondering how to better use social media in general.  So I thought perhaps my little blog here would be a good place to "think" through what I learned from this experience.

Firstly, I must say it was not a social media fast, just Facebook.  I continued to post pictures on Instagram because I have found a nifty little app called Chatbooks that will turn my photos into a darling little paper book and I no longer have to worry about how to get them out of my computer! They automatically send me a book every 60 or so pictures.  And it is $8 a book, cheaper than printing prints, finding an album or scrapbook!  Also, I continued to use Twitter as it is so boring that I only check for weather and local news.  I only have one friend who post there, and I love hearing from you if you are reading this!

What did I learn?  Here is where I will switch to bullet points!  I love bullet points!

  • I am not really addicted to FB.  I did not pine for FB.  After the first couple days, I did not think about it except when an occasional email came about a birthday or picture notification.   This made me hugely happy.  I was worried that I was becoming dependent.  
  • FB really does add both good and bad to my life and I need to figure out how to eliminate the bad and keep the good.  For example, I did not miss the DRAMA, the political mud slinging, the bad news.  I actually did not know that Mohammed Ali had died and I did not know about the FL shooting.  My husband told me of both situations and can I tell you how wonderful it was to learn of these things from him and not a newsfeed.  (Not that I was a fan of Mohammed Ali.)  The takeaway will be that I need to unfollow anyone who shares things on my newsfeed that I do not want to see.  Unlike and unfollow will be my motto!!  
  • I need FB to keep up with certain family members, as it is their "thing."  That is OK.  It is not mine.  I would totally quit FB, but for these dear people.  
  • The nicest thing I learned is that those who really matter to me, sought me out and we kept in contact through blogging, texts, emails, Twitter, Instagram.  Thank you, dear friends!  I love you, too.  
  • I found more time to read.  I was in the bad habit of getting sucked into reading all those little FB posts, saving them to read later, instead of reading books.  Gasp.  I got a lot of reading done in the past two weeks.  
Therefore, I am going to log into FB in a few minutes and get to work "unliking" and "unfollowing".  I am not going to put the app back on page one of my phone.  I buried it deep.  I am not going to get notifications ringing for every little thing.  I am taking control.  If I find it is not going to work, then I may just ditch it.  

Now, for Instagram and how I am using that nifty app, Chatbooks.  I have my setting on private, so if you want to follow me (jennlyhoo), just ask. I will warn you, I post a couple pictures a day during the summer with all our activities that need to be preserved in a Chatbook!  

OK, so all this makes me wonder, what are your thoughts about Facebook?

UPDATE:  I logged on to FB and after a few moments got that feeling of "in your face" and just yuckiness.  I asked myself,"Why am I here?"  Really there is no reason to be there.  It is all a giant time-suck!  


  1. I'm not a good one to comment since I'm not on facebook and never have been. At first, I wanted to join facebook, but at the request of my husband we have kept it out of our home (husband is in law enforcement and his request was out of safety measures for our protection). I've heard time and time again that it is a time bandit. Now, I don't even have the desire to join.

    I hope that you find the balance and enjoyment that you want. I can imagine that being in touch with family and friends is special and I know that I miss out on some of that end, but I guess what I don't know I'm really missing is okay :)

    1. You are not really missing out, because I am sure that you make an effort to keep in contact with those who really matter, and I am glad your husband is wise. I am going to have to find a way to do the same. It is a shame because I had discovered some cousins and have been trying to get to know them better through our FB group. I need to figure out a way to avoid more people who are unfortunately toxic in my life.

  2. I haven't Facebook but my brother and sister are alsways on it. I love Google+

  3. Good post Jenn. I'm right along with you and I know I'm on FB way too much. Funny thing though, just yesterday, after getting fed up for the umteenth time with sites that you have to go into to read the whole story, only to then have to go into yet another link and then while reading, four pop-ups block & lock me (AUGH). It's not like I have SUPER SPEEDY internet to begin with... anywho, that was the last straw & I started unfollowing a bunch and will continue to do so & streamline. Generally I do like FB for keeping in touch with family & friends. It has been so fun finding friends I grew up with and we just pick up from where we left off. I also like getting the news from certain sites on FB rather than the slanted mainstream media. I understand the drama though... just yesterday (must have been a bad FB day) one of my FB "friends" really went on a rant and hurt me in the process which I thought was totally uncalled for. I think it is easy for personalities and tempers to shine through, but they don't see the casualties in their wake. I've been tempted to quite FB many times, but for me the benefits still outweigh the negative, but have also started limiting my time on it and reading real books again -- I think the books stimulate my brain cells more. :)

    1. Exactly!!! I hate those click here, page through articles. I got my mom on Instagram. Maybe I can get others to go over! But you have to have a smart-ish phone. Mine is old, but smart enough, I guess. Haha. Yes, this picture is one that Mom sent me from their DC trip. They are on their way home, praise God. I miss them.

  4. Nice picture of the kiddos btw.

  5. I hate drama...there is enough in my life. Facebook has to much drama for me. I don't even have a noble reason for never signing up. I'm just anti drama ;)

  6. I have been facebook free for I think now almost 2 years? Even when facebook got popular I still didnt jump on the bandwagon right away. Anyhow.. As time marches on, you will find that it does get easier to be facebook free.. If anything you will become a rare treasure, if that is the route you go. I have many people just gasp when I say I dont do facebook... then more often then not, they will then whisper, I wish I could NOT do facebook, its addicting.

    In a spiritual manner, I find myself thinking a lot about how it talks about the ME ME ME that society will become as it falls away from Christ.. and I think.. its not all just Facebook, but in the way we run ourselves daily.. Facebook and the stuff alike is but a spring board into the pool of social media

    2nd Timothy 3:2-4, “...lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

    I get on Twitter for You my friend.. :)

    1. I remember when you left FB and I was like,"How am I going to cope without her there?" Haha. Thankfully, you have kept in touch! I think you are the only person I know who actually talks to me on Twitter. Twitter is kind of odd or maybe the platform is. That's OK. I look forward to hearing from you over there. :) So, I really think I don't need FB in my life for those who really matter.

  7. I just got started on FB after having so many in my family just not keep in touch with me despite repeated efforts over many years to do so. I have not received a single picture of anyone(meaning baby cousins, etc.) in years even though I always send pictures in the snail mail and email to them. I really just wanted to see my cousin's children grow up and feel somewhat a part of things back home where all the family is.

    After my siblings visited, they showed me their FB accounts and all the pictures I was dying to see, and said this is just how everyone does these things now, at least in our family. So, I signed on and am loving it. I am only doing this with family and really close friends of the family.

    I'm only on once maybe twice a day, and I only post our pictures once or twice a week. I don't have time for anything else, but I sure can see how someone could spend a lot of time there, especially with the notification ringing all day. I was actually scared the first time that happened, and once I realized what it was, I turned the volume down on the computer.

    I don't have a phone, so I actually have to sit down at the computer to do anything online, so maybe that helps keep me from checking it all the time. With phones, I can see how things might become compulsive.

    Your blog is a great place!!