So back in September I took the 99 Days of Freedom pledge to see how I’d like living without Facebook for 3 months.
This weekend I “returned” to FB, changed my avatar from the “99 Days” blue logo to an actual picture of me, liked a few posts and even wished some friends “Happy Birthday.” I’m back.
In full disclosure I didn’t completely abandon Facebook. Because of family and friends who only every contact me using Facebook Messenger, those apps stayed active for me. I didn’t stop using Facebook Connect to log into other web sites. I didn’t even make it the full 99 days before I had to log into Facebook to get details about an event I’d been invited to. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.
Being (almost) completely away from Facebook for three months was a great experiment. Like the calories in a bag of chips, I didn’t realize how much I was really getting in all my time on Facebook. How many hours I was wasting, no matter how much I rationalized it, towards liking, sharing and commenting often in an almost reactionary way.
Oh, just one more “like”, it’s just a click. It’s simple. Go ahead. A few more on your phone. You’ve got a few minutes between meetings or before you board the plane.
Did I fill all those voids with deep philosophy or reading more books? Not really. I do believe I spent my time more wisely because I didn’t just fall into FB out of habit. I didn’t, like that bag of chips, stick my hand in reflexively for another bite whether I was hungry for information or not.
I did use Twitter a lot more, and spend more time reading on Flipboard and Linkedin. The Facebook sabbatical will change how I use the social network, but I’m sure it will be good to be back.