During Lent, I gave up Facebook. I've been back on ever since Easter, but I have to say, my time away was good for me. Here are 5 things I gained from my Facebook Fast.
1. Detox of my Newsfeed. Now, I can't say for sure that Facebook deliberately put items in my feed that it knew would make me angry, but I suspect it did! Inflammatory memes relating to politics and religion were always showing up, and sometimes I admit, I took the bait. But reading Facebook to increase my blood pressure is a losing proposition, so after 40 days of freedom, I have detoxed my feed. For 40 days, Facebook had no idea what I "liked", so my feed became neutral again. And now I'm hiding posts that I find inflammatory, which keeps my feed nice and light.
2. Appreciation of Groups and Custom Lists. One of the biggest reasons I'm on Facebook is the awesome group 10 Minute Novelists. How awesome is this group? Oh, it just made Writer's Digest list of best writer's sites out there! Spending my Facebook time perusing my group feeds is much more interesting and uplifting than just accepting whatever Facebook dumps into my newsfeed. In addition, I've been using custom lists for a while now to stay informed about the people I'm truly interested in.
3. Back in the Twitter World! I've been on Twitter for a long time, and one benefit of cutting out Facebook was spending more time on Twitter. I had forgotten how much fun it could be, especially twitter chats and live tweeting TV shows!
4. Peace about the election. This is no small thing. Almost everyone I know is tied up in knots about the upcoming Presidential election. And I'll admit, the candidates are pretty awful. But limiting my election chat interactions to IRL encounters has kept my blood pressure at normal levels. It's so much easier to understand each other when we are talking face to face. I can toss off a joke about Bernie Sanders without a bunch of people assuming the worst, and the same about Donald Trump. What is the worst? I don't know, what did you just assume? Staying off Facebook has greatly limited the amount of propaganda from all sides that I've seen, and that is just wonderful! If you want real change in your community, forget about re-posting election memes - try actually voting in local elections and changing your local actions.
5. More time for my truly important hobbies. Facebook is a crazy time suck. It's like a black hole. Just as you finish going through your notifications, Facebook gives you new ones, and then new ones, keeping you online well past your intentions. By cutting this time suck out of my life, I found more time to cross stitch and read. Win all around!