Facebook Schmacebook and Other Thoughts on the Year Ahead

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This week, looking ahead to 2013, I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account. Is my life really enriched by knowing that an old classmate is having steak for dinner? Or my sister in law has a pile of ironing to do? Or by hearing my cousin’s offensive political opinions? I think not.

When I first signed up to Facebook, it seemed a fun way to keep up with those friends and family members that I didn’t get to see often. Then there was the novelty of seeing how former classmates had “turned out”. Over the last year or so, when I have been trying to pare down and simplify my life in many ways, it has become increasingly apparent that Facebook is not such fun. It has become, for me at least, a compulsive and yet irritating presence. Yes, I have had some wobbles (a Fear of Missing Out, as Leo Babuta might put it) but in deactivating my account, I feel that I have opened up a new space in my life. Facebook – I don’t need you!

Other internet sites and habits have been more of a support and inspiration this year though. I have really enjoyed being part of the Everyday Matters group, joining in with Daisy Yellow’s ICAD Challenge in the summer, and more recently signing up to the Love What You Wear project.

But one of the things I have been most proud of this year was overcoming my party-phobia to invite friends and neighbours round for a stitch-in as we took part in the Craftivist Jigsaw Project. Online groups certainly have a place, but sometimes you need to connect with people right where you are. And giving a thought to what the future world might need to look like, this community level involvement will become more important than over. So, for 2013, I would like to devote the time and headspace freed up by releasing myself from Facebook to make deeper connections with local friends and neighbours. Just call me an old-fashioned girl.

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31 thoughts on “Facebook Schmacebook and Other Thoughts on the Year Ahead

  1. Congratulations on quitting Facebook. I stopped Tweeting a couple years ago for the very reasons you’re canceling your FB page. Although I do get value from some of the people and sources I follow on FB, I think it’s just a matter of time before I do the same as you and simplify my life and gain more time in the day by not “Facebooking.”

  2. skalabara says:

    Well done. I think meeting and talking to real friends is much nicer. I had always doubts about joining FB and never did. But I enjoy sharing my interest in patchwork and quilting with other enthusiasts through a blog. Sometimes less (information) is better, you have more time for your own fantasies a new inspirations.

    • vivjm says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. I find blogging an excellent way of connecting with others who have similar interests, and also find reading other people’s blogs an endless source of inspiration. But yes, nothing beats meeting & talking to real friends.

  3. I use social media for professional means, but I’ve scaled back on personal use. Wish people still picked up the phone and called instead of posting for everyone.

  4. Ben Naga says:

    I have never wanted any truck with Fessebook I’m afraid.. (A little knowledge of the French language may be helpful here. 😉 )

  5. Andria says:

    Good for you! I have been tempted to leave Facebook behind, but it hasn’t had such an all-consuming draw to me that it feels unmanageable. Now, blogs on the other hand…But I could never leave those behind!!

  6. Good luck! I went facebookless for a while – and realized that all my friends had stopped using their phones. Seems no one calls to make plans anymore. What a drag. I signed back up and creepily all my old stuff was still there. Gave me the heebie-geebies! Good on ya, so much wasted time.

    • I’m going to create a social media website called Phonebook.com to get people on Facebook.com to contact their friends in a personal manner instead of only via timeline messages. What happened to the good ‘ol days when people actually talked on the phone to keep in touch and made plans to meet in person and did fun things together. Social media is making society so much less personal, even to the point where people are breaking up with each other by email.

      • vivjm says:

        Oh, I think you’re right about social media making society less personal – we know all sorts of random stuff about other people, thanks to FB, but actually really “know” fewer and fewer people.

    • vivjm says:

      Ooh, hopefully I won’t find that the case. A lot of my friends are older than me, and many have never signed up to FB so we still do phone contact. Yeah, that is a bit creepy finding all your old stuff there. Eek.

  7. Jen says:

    Well done you! I admire you, and am a little envious. I like to think I could do the same, but I know I would struggle, which annoys me 😦

  8. NatashaMay says:

    Lol! That’s funny. I don’t get much nonsense on my FB and if I do and it’s pissing me off then I unfriend them. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  9. Suzy says:

    Good for you! Simplifying life is a good thing. Talking to people in person is a good thing. And blogs are always fun! 🙂 Way to go!

  10. A very thought provoking post. Thankfully I have very few people in my friend list that irritate me! I have old friends from school and college days that I probably wouldn’t be in regular touch with were it not for FB, so for that I’m grateful.

  11. Stacie says:

    Awesome! I’m so happy for you for leaving FB. I have considered it, but haven’t been able to take the plunge. I have drastically cut back on it though. Kudos, and all the best to you in 2013!

  12. Renata says:

    Well done. I de-activated my facebook account for the first time about four months ago- and never even missed it. I re-activated just to catch up with people during the holidays, and will be deactivating once again in about a week or so. In my humble view I think facebook should be there for MY convenience, so now I will always be ready to let it go when it (once again) becomes a time-wasting annoyance.

    • vivjm says:

      Thanks for your comment Renata. From what you say, it sounds like you are able to use Facebook in a very mindful way, and I don’t think that is a problem at all. I may reactivate some time in the future if I need to catch up with people that I wouldn’t otherwise but I must say, I haven’t missed it at all yet!

I will reply to comments here on the blog, so please check back if you are looking for a response! I love hearing from you x

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