Should I delete my Facebook account?
I want to delete my Facebook account but I just can’t pull the trigger
I’ve been listening to podcasts and reading about the evils of social media. I started asking myself: should I delete my Facebook account? But how will I find my friends when I need them? How will I follow the school PTA? What about my family members?
I have a few friends who have taken the Scorched Earth Approach. I salute those people who have deleted their Facebook accounts. The ultimate middle finger to the man. I want to be you someday. I have attempted the temporary approach, in other words deleting my Facebook app from my phone and logging out on my desktop, but it has not been enough to keep me away from the slot machine.
How to keep using Facebook without being addicted to it
If you are saying, “I can’t delete my Facebook account!” but you don’t want to be addicted to social media, I present to you the #sorrynotsorry approach (created by my husband, named by me). This process is for people who need to use Facebook for something (which is part of HOW THEY GET YA). In my case, it’s things like my kids’ school PTA and events, the Girl Scout troop, book club, and craft club among other things. My husband uses it to invite people to his bands’ gigs. If you’re tied to Facebook and you feel like you can’t delete your Facebook account, this approach is for you. I felt a little guilty as I did it, but remember these people are your friends and you can actually talk to them in real life. In fact, you may be more likely to do so if you don’t have their posts popping up in your feed. Following someone on Facebook is not how we express love. So here is what you do:
Unfollow EVERYONE except your spouse/brother/child or the specific things that you are there for (book club, PTA, etc). Seriously, only make a couple of exceptions or you’re not going to get the benefit. You can also unfollow groups that you are a member of, and then check them if you need to. For individuals, click Unfollow so-and-so every time another friend’s post comes up. This is emotionally taxing but it has a very satisfying result, which is that your Facebook feed is now BORING AF. It is no longer a magnet for your attention. You will no longer feel your fingers itching to click on the blue F icon on your phone, even if you have left it there, because it is no longer a slot machine. If you have been trying to give up social media and struggling, give this a try. It’s fully reversible and I can say it really works. I can check Facebook once a day or every other day, see if there are any issues with the PTA or Girl Scouts, and log right back out 5 minutes later.
If you need some motivation to do this you can read this recent WIRED article about how Facebook marketing works, and about how it is promoting “provocative” content (i.e. getting reality show hosts elected to public office). I don’t want my life or politics to be a reality show, thank you. (Well, unless it’s the Great British Baking Show because they are a NICE reality show).
I hope this helps you re-connect with your real life and enjoy disconnecting from Facebook. Here is my previous post on how disconnecting has improved my life.