For the past two months, I had used up 1 gigabyte of my data plan before the new cycle began.  I’m not completely sure how I did it.  But because of the undisciplined way I was constantly checking into Facebook, I had a feeling if I could minimize using Facebook, maybe I could make it through this month’s cycle without running out of data on my smartphone.

I just decided I needed to check out of Facebook totally for a week to break my addiction. My first day away was the most difficult because at this point, my fingers were like those of a smoker.  Instead of reaching for a cigarette, every free moment I had, my fingers checked in on Facebook.  Because I had installed the app on my smartphone, it made it that much easier to check it.   In reality, I’m really not a nosy parker.  I don’t feel the need to know what my friends and acquaintances are doing every moment of their day-to-day life via a status update.  In fact, I prefer the old-fashioned means of communication: face-to-face conversations and phone calls.

After making the promise to myself to not to be on Facebook for a week, I felt proud of myself, then was irritated whenever I felt the urge to check and realized the vow.  But then I started to notice an inner calm.  My attention span began to improve and I was becoming more productive.  The time I had not spent on checking on friends’ status updates and reading all the articles in my news feed was used to organize my bedroom, clean up and organize my kitchen cabinets, try new recipes, have longer conversations with family members, read Phyllis Chesler’s Death of Feminism, and even meet a friend for lunch.  During this time I discovered that I really liked Stanley Tucci as an actor, and have been on a quest to watch some of his older films: one gem is Montana filmed in 1998.  I also did a better job tackling my constantly growing to-do list.  Overall, I had better control over my day-to-day activities knowing I couldn’t use my free moments to check on Facebook.

The times I sat down on the computer to check my email and look up stuff on the internet was so hard.  It would have been so easy to go on Facebook again.  But then I would have been disappointed in myself.  I eventually deleted the app on the smartphone so I wouldn’t be tempted to check on the phone.

There’s plenty of Facebook users that can check it once or twice a day and be satisfied with that limit.  Why can’t I be that way?  But I realized, to me Facebook was like shopping, the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it.  Best way was to go cold turkey for a while.

It’s amazing how Facebook had so deeply affected my thinking process.  And I didn’t notice it until I was off it for a week.  I was constantly thinking of posting things on Facebook instead of just enjoying the moment.  Does a wonderful day need to be shared on social media to make it that more enjoyable?  Not necessarily.

After being away from Facebook for a week, I came to the conclusion that I could totally live without Facebook.  The people that I truly want to stay connected to can be contacted by other means outside of Facebook.  There are some friends that aren’t even on Facebook and we’ve still managed to stay in contact and maintain our friendship.

So what do I take away with me from this past week’s self-imposed ban from Facebook?

1) I had indeed spent too much time on Facebook.

2) That I can live without Facebook.

3) True friends stay connected with you outside of Facebook.

4) I can concentrate better, the less I am on Facebook.

5) I am more productive when I’m not on Facebook.

Is my life better without Facebook?  I’m not ready to draw that conclusion yet. 🙂

I’ll write more about my experiences with Facebook if I think it’s interesting.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.  Has anyone left Facebook for good?  How do you stay in touch with your friends and acquaintances?  Is anyone else thinking of leaving Facebook?