Today I wanted to talk about my off-Facebook time. It’s been two months since I stopped using it.
People (read the older generation) tend to think that this generation is all about Facebook. However, after coming to Bangalore, I have seen so many people who are either not on Facebook or rarely ever use it. They are all my age!
When I was using my previous phone (Asus Zenfone 5 – my phone for 2.5 years), there was quite some memory constraint in using too many apps. So, I had started using Facebook from the browser. However, I used to get notified of any updates through the Google-pushed notifications. Often, the notifications were not relevant for me and it was a pain to go to the browser to check them.
Then, a week before I came back from Durga Puja break (which is also when I got my new phone), I decided to stop using it entirely!
I can think of a few reasons for this:
- The content on Facebook was no longer interesting for me
- I was tired of looking at other people’s photos of having fun, when I was practically not doing that great myself
- I did not have any meaningful friendships on Facebook
- Even though there wasn’t much interesting stuff going on, I had this annoying habit of refreshing my FB feed over and over again (within span of minutes or lesser), only to see the same stuff populated – I really needed to get off Facebook
My new phone, Moto G5 Plus, has enough memory for a bunch of apps like Facebook, but I didn’t bother. I decided against installing it.
In the beginning, it was difficult. My mind was so trained to find that blue icon on the bottom left corner of my home screen, that it took it time to get used to not seeing that app there. Suddenly, my phone felt empty! Like suddenly, I had nothing to do on my phone! I realized that Facebook was the single most (ab)used app on my phone. I did use WhatsApp and YouTube, but in much limited capacity.
I had put a perfunctory post before I stopped using it, directing people to reach out to me on WhatsApp because I will not be active any longer. A cousin called trying to understand why the hasty decision. There were other triggers to get back on the app – my brother wanted me to post a photo of the Diwali gift he had sent me (which I had put up as a WhatsApp status). I had to convince him to not feel bad about it because I won’t do it. It had only been a couple of weeks since I had gotten off the app, and I could not risk going back.
Naturally, something else had to take over. The two obvious ones are WhatsApp and Youtube. But WhatsApp by itself, does not present to you gossip (I mean it kind of does through the statuses, but only in limited quantity). So, I had to get used to the limited reach that I had to people. This, coupled with a free calling plan, triggered me to start calling people more often. I started doing video calls more. I started reaching out to folks whom I had not spoken to in years. Things began to change.
I also started using YouTube a lot more. I primarily browse videos on travel/cooking/financial stuff/work stuff/relationship advice etc. It has its own sweet way of helping me spend time. I have also started toying with the idea of starting to vlog. Actually, I did start my own channel in January this year, but it never took off. However, for last couple of weeks, I have been considering it again. Nothing is concrete in my mind, but I do want to do something in the visual medium at some point in time. I record myself sometimes these days, pretending as if I am on a vlog. However, it is going to take me a lot longer to put any content out there. I need to understand what gear to use, what the theme of my vlog should be. I am not planning anything right away.
Facebook, in its own way, tried to lure me back. They started sending me messages on the phone, with the notifications. But every time, I said I’ll pass. Now, I longer use Facebook (except for the automated blog-share feature) and I do not feel any urge to go back to it either.
How about you? Have you overcome a social media addiction or do you think you really need to give up on some? Share your experience with me in the Comments!
Until later, enjoy the lovely December days, as the Christmas bells come ringing along! ❤