I quit Facebook around a month back and I am happy that I did. I know it is not something to be proud of but it is a big achievement for me because Facebook was the only kind of addiction I had. It used to eat up most of my time for no reason. I do not know why but it never let me go. I used to wake up in the morning and first thing I checked was Facebook. I was not looking for anything particular but I still used to do it. Over the course of the entire day, I would check it multiple times to see if there was something interesting or important that needed my attention but there was hardly anything except the one like = one prayer stuff, all the clickbait articles and rehashed jokes. Slowly I began to realise that it wasn’t the Facebook I thought it was. It started serving bullcrap and became a platform to sell you products and rubbish. My timeline was cluttered with things I had no interest in.
One day I decided to cut the crap that was on my timeline. I went through all of the pages I had liked and disliked all of them. Then I liked the pages that were truly amazing or added some value to my life or skills. It was better than before. I also unfriended some of the people I had never talked to or didn’t know. My friend list used to have 800 friends, most of whom were bloggers. After sometime I had around 500 friends. So why did I quit it? Well, I would love to tell you my story.
I started back in 2010 when I was in first year of Engineering. Orkut used to be the popular platform at that time. Orkut has connected me with some of the best people I have ever met. I can never forget it. After some time Facebook took over and reigned the Social Media platform; Orkut perished. I began to expand my virtual friend circle on Facebook. In 2010, I started blogging and it became a necessity to expand my business. I had several Facebook pages that I used to generate traffic to my blogs. It gave me huge traffic and revenues. I also sold some of the pages I had created just for selling. It was all good until I lost interest in blogging. It was not a source of revenue anymore. Since then, my life has taken a big U-turn which I never thought it would and Facebook played a big role in aggravating the problem. So I decided to quit it. it was not easy but with a peoper strategy I was able to pull this off. Given below, is the rationale behind my decision to quit Facebook. These are the reasons that made me Quit Facebook.
1- It Makes You Feel Pathetic About Your Life / Lowers Your Self-Esteem
I had hundreds of FB friends, a job and good people to connect with and still felt sad at times. Everyone goes through hard times; everyone is sad inside for some reason but they don’t show it on Social Media. You get sad because you see people enjoying, you see their awesome lives and all the awesome stuff that they do. You see all the beautiful places they are visiting and all the beautiful cafes they are having a party at and you start comparing albeit you do not want to. You start comparing your life with those people and you feel miserable and sad about your own. But the reality is that no shares the reality. Behind every picture, there are stories that you do not know, behind every lol there is a serious grimace and behind every smile there are struggles. They are not what they seem. Only selective stuff makes it on Facebook; We project our best-selves on Facebook. We post things that will fetch the attention of others and give us false sense of appreciation. I realised it a long time ago but could not muster the courage to quit but one day while talking to my friend, I decided I was going to do it. Her words resonated true to my ears.
So my point is that, it makes you feel bad about yourself. I do not know about others, but it made me feel pathetic about my life for no reason at all and I have met many people who agree with me. If you are depressed or already going through tough times then it makes you feel more and more pathetic. When it happens, you know it’s time to leave it or else it will damage you to the core.
2- We Are not Connected on Facebook
We feel that we are connected on Facebook but we are not. Most of the people remember your birthday because Facebook reminded them. It’s not a bad thing. I mean, everyone is busy and not everyone is going to remember your birthday but it tells us how close we truly are. We add most of the people on Facebook even though we have hardly talked to them in School or College or Office. We add them not because we want to be their friends but because we want to expand our virtual friend circle. We hardly talk to 5-10 friends on Facebook and yet there are more than 200 in our friendlist. Adding more friends gives us a false sense of pride.
How many times have you talked to your FB friends face to face or on phone and remembered the olden times? Facebook disconnects you more than it connects you. I got measles last year and was inactive for over a month. Yet no one messaged me to see how I was. Only one of my friends knew about my condition because he called me to see why I was inactive. One friend among 600. That’s truly an achievement, isn’t it? This made me realise that I was wasting my time on Facebook for nothing.
3- It Promotes Narcissism and Obsession
Facebook is the biggest reason behind the disease which is talking the world by storm – Selfies. It has lowered out self-esteem so much that we don’t appreciate ourselves for who we truly are but by the number of likes our pictures get. Looking at yourself in the mirror all day long, clicking selfies everywhere, even in washrooms, feeling happy after getting a lot of likes on your new profile picture, all of it makes us feel happy. I never clicked too many selfies, in fact I hate them. I have updated my profile picture 5 or 6 times in 6 years. But I do admit that I used to feel happy after getting likes. It makes us feel like getting appreciation from people and who does not love getting appreciated. We check for the sources of those like and label our friends according to that. The one who likes most of our stuff is a good friend in our list and the one who does not like our pictures and statuses is somewhere there in our subconcious. I have seen people do crazy things so that they could post it on Facebook. It has become a disease. Fortunately, I never became a victim of these things.
And when you post something and it does not get the kind of reaction you expected, you suffer, you obsess. I have met people who post pictures on Facebook and then check it every half-an-hour to see how many likes they’ve got. This obsession with likes and retweets is not healthy and adds up to our anxiety.
4- It Ravages Your Productivity/ A Time Waster
You can not work while Facebook is open in one of your tabs. You do not know why but your feel the urge to check it just one more time to see if something important has missed your ears or eyes. This is what you tell yourself but it is not the truth. The real reason you check it is that you want to see the flavoured and spicy stuff. You want to see what others are doing while you are stuck in this rotten bubble. And when you do it, you waste your time that you could have used in meaningful things otherwise. I have wasted many hours and days that I could have used in good ways. I am never going to get that time back. The problem is that most of us think we are using our free time but this life is very short. We can use that free time to learn something new and improve our skill set and once we have achieved something meaningful, we can spend the free time on FB. I am talking about people like me who haven’t achieved anything big in life.
5- It Controls Your Life / It is Designed to Be Addictive
After a while, FB starts controling your life. You don’t go to places to have fun and explore but to click selfies and post them on Facebook. You do not go to big restaurants to eat but to put up a checkin. Selfie sticks have become a huge hit for no reason. People are dying while clicking selfies. It has started taking control of your life. It does not let you go that easily. Once you decide to delete it, it does not let you. It gives you an option to deactivate (not delete) because it knows that sooner or later you are going to come back. If you try to deactivate it, it shows you the pictures of your friends and tells you how they are going to miss you. It manipulates you emotionally. It showed me the photos of my friends saying they would miss me. Fortunately, I did not know any of those faces so it was easy to hit deactivate.
6- All Hail the Keyboard Warriors
Another super stupid way to waste time – Get indulged in online fights with keyboard warriors. They have the solution to everything. Economy going down? Well, they have a better solution than the Governor of the Central Bank. They know everything and would not let you question anything. They will bombard you with notifications and hurl abuses. Unfortunately, I’ve been a victim and it was too late before I realised I was wasting my time.
7- It Turns You Into A Stalker
We are always interested in the lives of others, aren’t we? Sometimes we go a bit further and start stalking people. It results in obsession and meaningless actions. If a person says that he hasn’t stalked anyone on Facebook then he is either lying or does not have an FB account. I was a victim of this thing.
What Can You Do With the Free Time?
Iam not saying that Facebook is evil. It is a good platform to expand your business and reach more people. It is a good platform to raise awareness about issues. It is a good platform to help people. But we are not using it the right way and there lies the problem. We are wasting out time in meaningless activities and that is why I think it is a waste of time. After quitting Facebook, I have a lot of free time now and I can do whatever I want.
After quitting Facebook, you will be amazed by how much time you have. You can read books, learn to play an instrument, follow your passion or hobbies, focus on your career and sharpen your skills. There are so many things to do. I personally am reading more books since I have a lot of free time. I can use it to improve my knowledge. I have also purchased a Kindle to read books since it’s not easy to carry books. I was never interested in these things but they are growing on me. You can do whatever you want to do.
In the end, I would like to say that quitting Facebook is as hard as Quitting smoking. You always delay it saying you would take that one last puff, but there is no last puff. You keep delaying it albeit you know it is not good and all it does is make you sad. One more glimpse into the perfect life of people and you will be fine, you think. For a procrastinator like me, it was very hard but I did it anyway. and I believe you should too, if you are an under-achiever like me. I will be back when I have achieved something or done something meaningful that makes a difference. Peace…