About two weeks ago I logged off facebook and have not visited it since (I literally got my friend to screenshot my status and send it to me for this blog). On 26 Jan. I had gotten up, poured my coffee and sat down on my couch planning on doing my morning devotions (reading my bible). I sat down and clicked the facebook app on my phone instead. After a few depressing moments of reading status after status, I realized I had wasted nearly 10 minutes. I wrote a “goodbye” status and didn’t look back. It has been so wonderful that I am starting to wonder why I had not done it a few years ago.
Reader’s Digest has talked about a few negative effects of social media. They said it encourages you to spend more money, alters your appetite, makes you unable to think independently, hurts your self-esteem, and hinders real life conversations. According to Statista there are 214 million Facebook users in the United States and 1.8 billion monthly users worldwide. That is how many people are handcuffed to their Facebook account.
Making this move resulted in many life changes, more than Reader’s Digest realizes. First, I get a full night of sleep. You can’t get lost paging through your emails, so the phone gets turned off and a successful night of sleeping occurs. According to Medical Daily, “When it came to a correlation with computer/phone use, the researchers found the greater the sleep debt a student accrued, the more time they spent looking at social media, regardless of whether it was on their computer or their phone.” Many frequent Facebook users (or Pinterest users as a matter of fact) can attest to just checking their phone in the middle of the night and then being sucked into the black hole of cyberspace with no escape except for the dreaded alarm clock.
The second area that logging off effects is the wallet, and everyone needs to save money (those student loans/mortgages are not getting smaller). Besides not seeing as many advertisements that are catered to your personal interests, less data is used. Because less data is used, a cheaper phone plan can save hundreds of dollars yearly.
The third area is actually one of the core reasons I deleted the app. Facebook had poisoned my daily life to a sickening degree. Politics. Scrolling down my news feed you could put every other status against one another. Unlike The Wall Street Journal’s article “Blue Fee, Red Feed” I have a purple feed. Being from the “far middle” political view and reading both left and right articles, Facebook was unable to filter my feed to the left or right. Rather than feeding and catering towards my views, it seemed to show me everything wrong with the world.
This brings me to the fourth area of stress. Being relieved of the constant political banter is one way that stress was relieved, another is not reading persistently negative statuses. People mainly go on facebook to complain or share ideas. While the sharing of ideas is wonderful, the complaining can become overbearing. Another aspect is time, find out how much time you have wasted on Facebook from Times magazine. Instead of feeling the social pressure of participating online there is a void created, and with that void comes profitable and interpersonal relationships.
Rather than devoting time to past relationships that are essentially no longer existing, I have time to devote to the present, to the people actually in my life. What truly matters? If Time from “Alice Through the Looking Glass” taught us anything, we shouldn’t dwell in the past.