Quitting

I’ve heard how hard it is to quit things you’re addicted to. We all know how hard it is. We hear about Alcoholics Anonymous, where you have a sponsor to keep you on the road to recovery, and even then, do you ever truly recover? You’ve seen the adverts for Nicorette gum and patches to help quit smoking, something to ween you off.

I’ve been thinking for a while now, about quitting Facebook. I’ve done it before, logged off one night and promised myself I would take a week off. Facebook can be rather toxic without you even noticing. It takes up every second of your free time without achieving anything. Suddenly, the most important thing in the world is checking Facebook, updating your friends with pointless observations, liking things that you agree with, getting into arguments with total strangers about something you barely care about. Facebook can be as an unhealthy addiction as alcohol, drugs or sex.

So instead of just logging off, where the temptation still remains… What if a friend has messaged me something important? What if there’s an event I’ve been invited to that I might be missing? What if my friends are up to something awesome, I want to read their statuses! I chose instead to deactivate. This way, friends can’t message me… My profile is closed down for now. I’m not missing anything important, because no one can interface with my profile.

I let a couple of people at work know, so if anything went up about work, I would know. I let my friends with whom I only communicate via Facebook know that I had left, so I could stay in touch a different way.

I deactivated on Monday night. It’s been 6 days and I’ve only noticed it missing from my life a handful of moments… And those moments were generally when I was bored. So I found something much more productive to do.

I have noticed a few things to my detriment on leaving Facebook. It was unexpected, I didn’t really plan it, so there were a handful of people who I occasionally talk to via Facebook and now I’m off it, I have no way to contact them… Though there are ways round that. I’ve missed out on a few work updates from colleagues as the people I did tell forgot that I’m not on there anymore. Details from messages sent to me, I can no longer access, so information I relied on, I can’t see. But, again, that’s not the end of the world, just an inconvenience.

I’ve been so busy with work, I barely noticed the absence. I thought I wouldn’t make it a week, and yet here I am at day 6, unflinching. The aim is to make it through December Facebook free, and to come out the other side a better person for it.

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