By Danielle Gorman
Yesterday marked the four-week anniversary of my giving up Facebook. And I’ll be honest, I’m glad I can stop talking about it after today. The irony isn’t lost on me—for someone who gave up Facebook, I’ve been talking about it an awful lot! Stepping away from it has allowed me to see the negative affects it has had on my life. And I can honestly say that the negative aspects of Facebook outweigh the positives in my case.
As I said, however, it’s not all bad. Facebook kept me in touch with people when I moved away from all my friends and family and no longer saw them in person. It was great for me when I graduated from college and moved back to Texas, leaving all of my friends in Idaho. And then when I left Texas to move to Utah last year it helped to keep me in touch with family and the new friends I had made there too.
However, keeping in touch with people is a double-edged sword. If I truly cared about keeping in touch with them, I would get phone numbers and addresses so I could text or email or write letters. I realized that Facebook is really good for keeping you in touch with people you don’t care very strongly about.
Take a look at the contacts in your phone; everyone you seriously love and care about is in there. But the 500 friends on Facebook? A very high percentage of those people are made up of acquaintances—people you met at parties, old coworkers, people you had crushes on who moved on and married other people…it just doesn’t make sense to keep in touch with them when you know you’ll never call and chat.
Now, when I started this journey I made a few predictions (which you can read here) about what I thought would happen to me, or what I wanted to happen.
There you have it. My experiment has come to an end. Except, it hasn’t. I think I’m going to keep myself off Facebook for the foreseeable future. And it’s not like I’m going to miss out on important milestones in my friends’ lives. My family is still on Facebook and if there is anything truly newsworthy to report (we’re talking engagement announcements and births, that sort of thing) then they will relay the information to me.
I only have one regret: I’ve never had the chance to change my status to “In a Relationship.” That was always something I wanted to do. But in the grand scheme of things—WHO CARES? If and when I enter into a relationship, I don’t need to parade it in front of the world because a relationship only involves two people.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope you’ve learned something, like I have. And maybe it’s time you took an assessment on your Facebook situation. If you find yourself scrolling through feed for seven hours straight, maybe you need to take a break too.