Lessons from a Facebook Fast

On July 31st, I made a decision to step away from Facebook for a month. On September 1st, today, I went back in to have a look around with fresh and rested eyes.

I confess, I did log in a couple of times in August: to create an event, check to see if there was any posts regarding a bit of neighborhood excitement, and once or twice to make sure that a photo had been shared. But it was fewer than five times total, and never for longer than necessary. I would consider the month-long separation a definite success.

Here are some things I learned from the experience:

1. I am a productive person capable of balancing my life and appropriately managing my time.

2. I am perfectly capable of falling down internet click holes all on my own, without using Facebook as my starting point, thank you very much.

3. My family deserves and appreciates my undivided attention.

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4. There are a lot of mountains on Facebook that maybe would be better off having stayed molehills.

5. I was surprised how rarely the temptation to log on actually arose. I credit my fortitude to God’s grace, because much of my previously Facebook-allotted time was spent reading scripture instead.

6. I didn’t miss anything important because people talk with me and inform me of what I need to know or the occasional funny thing to make me smile.

7. I am more optimistic and at peace about my own circumstances and the fate of the world having taken this time for introspection and separation from so much competing and unhealthy distraction.

8. It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes I felt very lonely. Very isolated and distant. Though I reminded myself that those feelings don’t necessarily go away with constant online presence, just get pushed aside temporarily or change into different sorts of longings.

9. I think I may actually prefer the lonliness and isolation of real life to the lonliness and isolation hidden beneath the facade of connection presented by my Facebook feed.

10. I don’t want to fall back into social media addiction, so I plan to continue to limit my Facebook presence and interactions. And I feel pretty great about this decision.

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