Thursday, November 17, 2016

3 things learned from leaving Facebook

Taking a Break From Facebook

When I joined Facebook several years ago, one of my daughters warned me I'd find it "as addictive as crack." In many ways she was correct. Eventually, I found myself diving into FB numerous times a day, liking posts willy-nilly and taking part in quizzes designed (supposedly) to test general knowledge, vocabulary level or history recall when in truth, although fun, they are time wasters.

Not to say that there are not good uses for Facebook. Getting to know other authors on various writing groups, getting photos and video clips of grandkids far away, chatting with friends and learning their opinions, and following links to useful writing articles is all good.

Fish Beta Reader

Time is the issue. 

For some of us, it can become addictive, and if one is to be writing, pursuing Facebook is a detriment. I started to analyze what I was getting from and doing on FB.  First, I stopped liking most posts. Then I hid everything that was an ad. And finally, I closed my account (with an option to return). I went without for a total of 44 days. 

1) Did I miss any great and wonderful news? 

Not in the least. People who wanted me to know things sent emails or used Messenger which was functional on its own. It turns out that I do not NEED what comes in on Facebook. (As interesting as it seems.) I wrote more personal emails to several people instead of assuming they'd see my updates on their News feed.

2) Did I have withdrawal symptoms? 

Without an active ICON to tempt me into its pages, Facebook almost never entered my mind. I found myself doing other things: more brainstorming, more reading, more (necessary) housework and more writing. When I give my brain a bit more time on its own, it comes up with some pretty unique ideas.

3) Will I go back to using Facebook? 

Yes, I already have. It does have benefits such as keeping in touch with the writing community, family and friends and letting them know what's going on in my world. (Especially bigger events like a new book coming out / mine or others/ - or a spectacular sunset or sunrise - two of my weaknesses) FB also has distractions and those I need to ignore..

 However, I keep in mind that balance is needed.

FB won't melt, disappear in a puff of smoke, or disown me if I don't visit five or six (or more) times a day. Balance people, balance. Once in the morning and once after supper (sort of like dessert) is plenty for me.

And a great big hello-type hug for all those who put up with me on Facebook.

QUESTION:  What does FB do for you? Are you addicted? Or a casual user? Thoughts and comments welcome.