A month without Facebook on my phone

With social media an ever-increasing intrusion in our lives, I decided to take a break and deleted Facebook from my phone. Thirty days have passed and I don’t expect to reinstall it.

facebook-zombies

I observe that I am increasingly compelled in moments of free time to check my phone. Instead of reading a book, listening to music or podcasts or otherwise engaging myself constructively (daydreaming!) I instead compulsively scroll and click, scroll and comment, scroll and scroll… and so much of what I see there brings little value to my life.

So I announced one Saturday last month to Tawn that I was thinking of trying a month without Facrbook on my phone. Not deleting my account but instead removing the temptation to keep checking my phone.

He doubted I could do it so challenged me to a bet: he would pay me 500 baht ($12) if I made it a month and I would pay him 5,000 if I relented and reinstalled the application.

A month has passed (I haven’t seen the debt settled) and I find I don’t really miss Facebook. I check  on my laptop from time to time and it only confirms I am not missing much, especially in this election season. I do miss the updates of friends and family, their children and important events in their lives. Those seem to be a minority in my newsfeed, which is mostly filled with pithy political opinions, “what Galxay Guest character are you?” click-bait surveys, and “sponsored” posts.

Meanwhile, I find my reading and enjoyment of music and podcasts has increased. And my attention span is recovering.

8 thoughts on “A month without Facebook on my phone

  1. You’ve also blogged, so that’s good. Good to hear this bit of distraction was gone.

    Ever since coming back, I’ve noticed how much time is spent doing certain boring things (browsing aimlessly on the phone) and then adding all those days, weeks, years together and it’s a mighty useless way to spend my life.

    • That’s an important realization. Not that you are going to be productive every waking minute of the day but one thing I started asking myself: while I will find enjoyment spending ten minutes reading or ten minutes scrolling through facebook, which will I enjoy more and which will better me?

      • That’s a question I ask myself at times too. In fact I even asked that question today as I drove home – should I listen to more of the pop music I’ve been listening to all day or should I listen to the BBC world service? I chose the BBC this time and learnt more about the different perspectives people have about world events. Hearing more about North Korea’s nuclear program also was pretty scary.

        You’re right, it’s not realistic to believe every minute will be productive, etc.

  2. I also found that a lot of material on my feed wasn’t very meaningful, so I unfollowed those groups and pages and now I get updates only from the people I do want to get them from. Time better spent I guess?

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