Pulling the Plug on Facebook

One of my daughters pulled the plug on Facebook recently. While I applauded her, and envied her, I couldn’t sleep because I thought—I can do this thing too!

Winter months really drag me down and I find myself “more addicted” to the social media, and this year the cold has dragged on extra long. In fact, as I write this it is 38F and snowing. Nothing will stick, but there is no sun to be found, and no baseball…

I began thinking of reasons to get off Facebook, besides the normal addiction thing. For instance: hackers near and far, false news articles, and nonsense posts. This brings me to the past election, which seemed more filled with hate than what candidates would actually DO for our country. Instead of pulling the plug, I limited my Facebook time to a couple times a week, for only 5 or 10 minutes.

 

Sooner or later I am sucked in again and find I’m wasting my life. Possibly sucking away at any creativity I may have, and packing my brain with unnecessary stuff.

This WordPress blog is attached to my Facebook author page, and this is also where I post Instagram photos, verses, and quotes. I have to have a personal page to have a “business” page. Could I just pull the plug on all that? Lose my readership? Possibly lose MOST of my readership? After all, it’s my hard work. I’ve been doing this thing since 2011…

This is not an ego thing, I don’t go to my author page and count the “likes” and how many people “follow” my blog. (Well, not usually). In fact, I usually have very few comments on my blog, and sometimes wonder if anyone reads it.

For me there is the constant push from Facebook for my “business” page; to post every day—at least once a week. While you’re at it, pay anywhere from $3-10 to boost your post so hundreds or thousands will have a chance to see it. Is my blog so captivating that I would gain that much attention?

Do I need this subtle pressure all the time? I’m sure some folks could dismiss it and not think of it again. But not me. It is a small pebble in my shoe, you know?

But what about those of us who have a small readership? It makes me wonder—am I missing out?

I love to read, but how many millions of blogs are out there trying to be noticed?Even if I read only blogs from writers about writing, I would never be able to catch up!

This is the key to my vacillating: Authors who want to be seen and read need to put themselves out there; they need social media.

While I am presently editing a book for possible contract, if I pull the plug on Facebook I am shooting myself in the foot.

So, what is the solution? Quit cold turkey?  Or steel myself from looking but once a week?

Last night I thought the answer was simple, but today I’m not so sure. I have many adorable Grands that show up on Facebook, and I would hate to miss ANY of their cute photos. I bet you have similar problems.

There are things we don’t want to miss, but as we are looking down at our phones are we ignoring people right in front of us? Do we want to stay so distracted by something other than real life?

I want to be present in the moment in this life, not looking at yesterday, or even this morning.

I want to look into people’s eyes and see if there is pain and give them a genuine smile, a hug, a listening ear. How do we know what struggles are in the hearts of others, when we are head down, or we are rushing on to the next thing?

If you Google social media and depression you will find more depression in our country than ever. Has social media built a glass bubble between us?

I can walk down the street and see the same people everyday, and wonder why they are afraid to smile, nod or say hello.

I don’t want to be worried that I only have 399 friends on my timeline, and only 139 followers on my author page. When I post a blog page, am I going to keep checking that day to see how many people I reached? It still doesn’t mean they read my page!

We all want to be noticed. We want to be loved, have friends and relationships. Facebook gives us this, and it also gives us that far away relationship. Facebook has brought me daily “visits” with my family in Europe. But in bringing us together, it has built a wall when we are person-to-person—real life.

I’m going to be honest with my readers and say that I am ready to feel the freedom of deleting Facebook from my life, but it is a real struggle, and I’m thinking through it.

I’d love to hear from any of my readers.

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Pulling the Plug on Facebook

  1. My advice would be not to completely delete your Facebook account, but to disable the app from your phone. This way, you are still able to post your blog links on to your Facebook page, but you won’t feel the need to constantly check your account.

    I did this for about a week and found that I wasn’t really missing out on anything on Facebook and I reconnected to my own creativity.

  2. There can be a lot of negativity on Facebook. Comments can bring me down or make me angry and want to debate. Sometimes I choose to delete the negative person from my friends list. I might be better off without Facebook but I am in touch with cousins that I would never hear from outside of Facebook. I would see very little of my daughters outside Facebook. I avoid the negativity as best I can and keep the good.

    1. Thanks for your comments. The negativity on Facebook most likely wouldn’t be spoken if someone was standing face to face. I enjoy keeping in touch with family in Europe, so that would be a difficult thing.

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  4. Donna

    I’ve thought about turning it off, but it’s my only way of seeing the pictures of my very large family. I have went through and deleted many contacts and blocked some ads. Right now keeping it but limiting time spent.

  5. Patty (Riley) Brake

    Dear Diane,
    I have a very similar struggle with FB especially in light of the recent revelations that personal info was hacked from it. I, too, enjoy the pics of grandkids and other people’s family pics. I have cut way back on my time but I wonder if I should stay on it at all. I would love to know what you decide. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do either and I don’t have the complications of being a writer like you do.

    1. Thanks for your words, Patty. Facebook seems to be in the news more than ever. Personally I still like snail mail and have always written letters or notes to people. I write emails to others too. I will certainly let people know my decision, but if things keep going downhill for Facebook it may be very easy to decide. Thanks again for sharing.

  6. Havergal Doherty

    I also am in contact with old friends, former classmates, and relatives that I normally wouldn’t be. Facebook has bridged that gap. For that reason I will not delete my account, however changing the settings and limiting activity to one device is my plan.

  7. meemanator

    I’ve been blogging since 2011 also but I didn’t know about your blog (and I know you don’t know about mine) until I saw the link to this post provided by Michele Morin on FB. I resisted FB until October of 2016, in spite of friends and family nagging me to join the ‘fun’. I preferred the intimacy of email but getting the youngers to check their emails, (for pete’s sake) has become like owning a flip phone (antique).

    I don’t like FB but it has its upsides. I remind myself ‘moderation in all things’. We all must choose, daily, that which is good but can be bad if over used. Sugar and caffeine come to mind.

    I am a writer and have been all my life. Am I good at writing? That’s open for debate. Good or bad, I write anyway. I don’t need affirmation or accolades. I write to find out what I think and if I write something that God deems useful, I trust that He will send someone to read it. I never know that part.

    So, all that said, my advise is – stop overthinking this. Do what you love, say what you must, then trust that being plugged into FB has a good purpose and you can take advantage of that without becoming a slave to it.

  8. I hear you! I’ve considered much of what you’ve said. Loved: “How do we know what struggles are in the hearts of others, when we are head down, or we are rushing on to the next thing?”

    1. Thank you for reading, and letting me know how you feel. I still enjoy connecting with friends and family, but since I took Facebook off my phone, it has really changed things up.

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