UPDATE: Just a few days in and I already find that I have extra time on my hands. It’s amazing how when I have a spare moment on the computer or in the shop or at home, my mind says “Check out Facebook” and then when I don’t I realize – “Hey, I don’t need to be on the computer and can step away to do something else” – it’s amazing how much of my precious time I was killing with FB.
Yesterday, I saw an interesting proposal online – it suggested that Facebook might be contributing to general unease and unhappiness in the world. I was already feeling a bit nauseated by Facebook in light of the recent behavioural experimentation the Facebook scientists have been conducting on users without their knowledge.
If you haven’t heard of it already, Facebook manipulated what stories showed up in the streams of users and then monitored what effect that had on the posting behaviour of those users. They then, rather naively, published the results which showed that by manipulating what stories users saw, they could manipulate what kind of stories users posted.
So, the chances are that you have already been manipulated by Facebook. And that’s only the study they are telling us about…It was in that context that I saw a Danish group suggesting that a lengthy break from Facebook might make people happier – in general. And they created a website and campaign to encourage people to give it a shot. 99daysoffreedom.com
Upon hearing about it, my first reaction was – “Whoa, that’s three months, I don’t think I could do that – I use Facebook all the time.” and then, those words hit me…What exactly do I use Facebook for? I use it to see what my friends are posting, to try to post things that my friends might ‘like’ and as a sort of ego extension. I use it to try to increase my readership and once in a while I use it to buy or sell something. The real question is Do I need it? The answer is very clearly “No”. I’ve lived most of my life without it and actually, I was happier with my use of my time during most of that time. In fact, Facebook has more or less become a defacto boredom time killer and I don’t need to kill time…it’s my most valuable assett. I have so much stuff I want to do and haven’t been doing because I don’t have the time – but suddenly – if I’m not spending my time scrolling through platitudes pasted on nice pictures – or looking at other people’s vacation photos – I’ve got some time.
I mean, you want proof? I’m writing this. I’m not writing it on Facebook, I’m writing it on my blog which I’ve been sorely neglecting lately. You might be reading it on Facebook though because my blog automatically posts on Facebook without me logging in at all. I’m not logged into Facebook, I’m not checking to see if people ‘like’ me or what I post and I’m not being pithy, smarmy, or snarky. It already feels good.
So here we are 99 days without logging into Facebook begins…if you want to see where it ends…you can see my countdown here..
And if you want to contact me – it won’t work to contact me on facebook. Try emailing me, commenting on this blog, calling me, or even sending me a letter.