Thursday, September 19, 2013

Facebook Sobriety

I knew what my time suck was, but I didn't want to admit it. I was spending too much time on Facebook.

So I'm in the midst of trying what I'm calling an "experiment." It's less anxiety provoking than saying I'm going cold turkey and never going back to it. I'm on day five of my Facebook sobriety. I even have an accountability person for when I'm feeling weak. Yeah, it's that bad.

There were many factors that went into the decision, but one was time. Some things such as my day job aren't negotiable and it takes 40+ hours out of my week. Sleep is not negotiable. Showering is not negotiable.  I realized that despite the advantages Facebook gives to writers to get in touch with their readers or simply provide a link to their newest blog post, if it's taking time away from when I could be writing then there will be no audience. Nothing to market.

I'm working through my withdrawals and so far it hasn't been as bad as I'd feared. I have urges to check it, I'm a little jittery. In case you're considering it, my hint is that it's helped that I could temporarily deactivate my account so no one can comment or message me and therefore, I'm not as tempted to check it. It's also a relief though that not everything is lost (it's the closest I ever came to compiling a "wedding album" of pictures) so I can go back to it at anytime and everything will be there. My "experiment" is to take it one day at a time and see how long I can go.

I was aiming for more time, but I've been surprised at how much it's decluttered my mind. I don't need to know all those details about everyone else's lives. I don't need to witness the drama that sometimes unfolds from a simple post or picture. Why fill my mind with unneccessary information about everyone I know? I'm learning to be more thoughtful about what occupies space in my mind. The same applies to commercial ads, TV, the Internet etc. If I'm going to have more room in my mind for creative ideas and story tidbits, decluttering your mind is just as important as providing yourself with more time in a day.

Maybe it's something about fall and hibernation, but I've also felt a need to close some of the shades in my life. I'm naturally a fairly private person, but removing myself from Facebook is also my way of focusing inward, regaining more privacy so I can be more aware of the creative thoughts that bubble to the surface.

Tangible differences: I've been journaling more, reading more, and I'm writing this post (which I sometimes run out of time to do).

If you're one of those disciplined individuals that checks Facebook once a week or once every few days, this may not apply to you; maybe there's something else that's a time suck or that clutters your mind. For me it was Facebook.

It's also a relief that you can't "like" this. That's awesome if you do, but it's not essential for me to know either.

Lynn Doezema


Lisa Orchard said...

Great post Lynn! :)

Patricia Kiyono said...

Yes, Facebook is a definite time drain. I haven't been able to drop it entirely, though. Hope you're able to use your new-found time productively!

Cheryl said...

You can preschedule your posts. It takes me less than 1/2 a day, but I tend to bunch my time, like when I'm sitting floor duty - waiting for someone to call or wander by our display window gives me 3 hrs a week to update my FB and Twitter pages without being chained to them.