2.25.2015

8 Things I Learned from Deleting Facebook

What I learned from deleting Facebook
It has been over four years since I had a Facebook account. Although I recognize this is not the norm, more and more people seem to be moving away from it. Personally, I have no plans to ever return to Facebook. However, the point of this post is not to tell you my way is better, but instead to share how deleting my Facebook account has impacted my life in a positive way. Here's what I learned:

1. Who my true friends are. When you no longer have a Facebook account, your social circle decreases significantly. You will often be overlooked when it comes to event invites, simply because they cannot add you to the event on Facebook. At first, this really hurt. However, instead of being upset by it, I chose to view it in a positive manner. Those friends who really cared if I was at an event or actually wanted to have a genuine conversation with me would reach out by phone or text to personally invite me to something. This fostered REAL friendships and honestly made my life much more simple.

2. How to make a REAL effort with friends and family. Similar to above, when you are not on Facebook, people cannot just see what is going on in your life 24/7 through status updates and photos. It goes the other way as well. Although I realize I often have no idea what was going on with some of my friends, it makes me want to reach out to them in a more personal manner so I can catch up on what was new with them. I am now an active participant in their lives instead of just a passive Facebook stalker.

3. How to communicate more effectively. It's easy to use Facebook to avoid communication or communicate in unhealthy manners. Without Facebook, all you will have to rely on are your communication skills. This can really teach you to be more effective in the way you communicate.

4. How to be more intentional with others. Not being able to just look someone up on Facebook requires you to be more intentional with them. You have to ask the important questions and not just make assumptions based on what their online profile suggests.

5. How to effectively use other social media outlets. Without Facebook, I can spend more time investing in and mastering other (and in my opinion, more healthy) social media outlets like Twitter.

6. Setting healthy boundaries is important. I used to spend a lot of time looking at old friend's Facebook accounts. This honestly just made me feel bad and it was not good for me. Comparison is too easy on Facebook. Without Facebook, it's easier to set boundaries with the kinds of things you know get you into trouble. It was almost like unsubscribing from a trashy magazine subscription. Ditching Facebook also helped me to be more careful about what kind and how much information I was sharing about myself online.

7. You will get significantly less "Happy Birthdays" on your actual birthday. Whenever a friend I haven't talked to in a while actually remembers my birthday (since Facebook cannot remind them), I always feel really special. A simple happy birthday is so much more significant when people remember without being prompted.

8. You will be less irritated. Honestly, Facebook just irritated me. When people get behind a computer, they often feel this sense of anonymity that leads them to do some pretty entertaining (and frustrating) things. I didn't want to read all about my friend's recent breakup via status updates or see my uncle's political rants. Not having to see everyone's dirty laundry aired on the internet is AWESOME.

Do you have a Facebook account? Why or why not?

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87 comments :

  1. I've been thinking about deleting Facebook lately but I just can't bring myself to do it because that's how most of our family sees pictures of our daughter. But I bet it would be healthier if I emailed them or something...thanks for the post!

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  2. My thought exactly! Or even just shooting them a text or skyping! More privacy that way anyways!

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  3. Jason and I discussed this topic over the weekend. I really hate Facebook (for many of the reasons you mentioned above), and rarely sign on. I've spent more time on it lately because of the weather and felt inundated with bs. I was told during a blog consultation that I needed a Facebook page, but that seems less and less necessary. I much prefer other social media outlets. Terrific post!

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  4. I have gone back and forth on deleting my Facebook account SO MANY times! It just seems like it would make life a little easier. In the end, I usually decide to keep it because I have a few family members that like to keep up and stay "in the know" via Facebook. Ultimately, I know it isn't about them, but it really doesn't bother me to keep the account - I rarely use it anyway!!

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  5. I would disagree. I don't have a Facebook for my blog and I have no problem sharing my content via other outlets that result in more engagement overall :)

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  6. All. of. this. The only reason I haven't deleted my Facebook is because of the groups that I'm in. Some are local running clubs, a few others are industry related, and then I have one other one from my Weddingbee days that connects me with all those women. If it weren't for those group (where information is exclusively shared) memberships, I would delete mine in a second. Right now, I just avoid it unless someone specifically asks something about it.

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  7. Yes! That's one of the hardest things about not having it. I often can't be in the know about groups which can be frustrating! One day people will start switching to something different and I'm willing to wait until that time comes :)

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  8. Ya, for me I decided to actually delete it because of privacy and the fact they can use your data for whatever they like. Otherwise I might have just chosen to use it less!

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  9. I seriously have been wanting to delete facebook for a long time now. I actually did but reactivated it once I got pregnant the first time. We do not live super close to any family so it made since to keep it so they can get updates on the girls. But now with all that is happening for us we have to move back down near family. So what is the point of Facebook!? I plan to delete once we get down there.. Facebook is nothing but drama really.

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  10. I agree. Plus, with a blog, I feel like family can just hear updates that way! or they can always call hahaha

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  11. You have made such excellent points. I do have a Facebook account but I sometimes find it draining. No matter how emotionally healthy one is, there is always the chance of comparison and I find that what others post is often draining. Facebook truly brings out the worse in individuals. I have moved to the step of deleting it but I use it sparingly.

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  12. It's really great to know your boundaries! It's definitely rife with opportunities for comparison, something I really struggle with as well!

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  13. I still have mine, but honestly I'm about ready to let it go. I only ever get on it for real after Josh gets home so he can see what I'm doing on there. If you look at my posts it's always just pictures from instagram, I never contribute anything on there. Well, except for blog groups that I'm in. lol. good for you for ditching facebook!

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  14. I deactivated my account in the Fall and couldn't be happier about the decision. Initially it was just to take a break, but now I don't think I want to get back on at all. I did feel like I was missing some networking opportunities for my blog though, so I made a dummy account, just for my blog, so I can stay up to date with the Atlanta Blogger Network and events. I don't care about actually promoting my blog posts via Facebook because it was never actually much of a traffic source to begin with.

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  15. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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  16. I had the exact same feelings. Sometimes I feel left out of groups but the pros definitely outweigh the cons!

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  17. Exactly! My hubs thoughts exactly! lol. He does not have Facebook or anything. He says that if people want to know how we are doing and see pictures of the girls they can call or visit.

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  18. I'm not a huge fan of Facebook, but I love the groups that there are. I have found so many other bloggers because of those groups, that I can't let it go. I wish you could just delete all your "friends" and then just be a member of groups privately or something. But that, I don't think, is the case. Hmph.

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  19. Absolutely! and the people that really want to put in the effort to do so will!

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  20. That would be cool! I still get sketched out by the fact that they can use your data too (maybe that's the researcher in me)

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  21. Yeah, it gives you the chance to see who actually cares, and not just a half hearted facebook message to see how you are!

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  22. I would love to get to a spot where I can delete my FB. Unfortunately, I'm in the beginning stages of my blog and that's where my primary source of readers comes from. But trust me! I want it to be one of the first things I purge when it is necessary. **ALSO! I have to work on getting all of my pictures posted on FB either printed out or saved. Oh the joy of having printed pictures again! I miss that.**

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  23. Love this, Cassie. #1, 6 and 7...yes. FB "happy birthdays" almost irk me because they are only telling me because of FB. Some close friends have resorted to that and it hurts me. If it weren't for my essential oils team, I'd delete it. I'll still consider it though.

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  24. I deleted my Facebook a couple years ago after I'd been dating my now husband for awhile.. he didn't have a Facebook and it just wasn't as fun not being able to tag him. And it was so drowning. Everyone flaunting their "lives" and all. the. drama. I felt so relieved after it was gone and I've never looked back! It's true, you find out who you're real friends are. That's one of the most refreshing things I think.

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  25. These are all so true, and things I experienced when I deleted my Facebook! I will say though, I am glad that I ended up bringing mine back a year later to use as a ministry platform. It has been a huge difference for me from having it previously - I've cleaned things up on it, use it to promote the Gospel (and other positive things), and I can set up women's ministry get together's and reach tons of ladies. It definitely helps that I don't have the app anywhere on my phone lol!

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  26. I've debated for a long time if I should get rid of it. I use it a lot for my blog now though and try not to get on for other things very often. It's true that facebook can be super frustrating and annoying. I get tired of seeing my sister in law whine about how hard her life is: "we aren't making enough money, my kids are sick, and oh, I'm going on a $2000 cruise because my myself because I need a break." Anyway. I guess my point is that when I feel my blog is in a healthy spot and gaining readers, I'd like to do that too. I think I'm also nervouse about how many "friends" I would lose. I feel like I'm one of those people who others wouldn't miss or even notice I'm gone and I think if I found out that was true, it would be really hard for me to handle. Sorry for the rant haha.

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  27. I've never had a huge issue, but you're not the first person that I've heard of deleting it. I do agree that a better effort would probably be made with family that is long distance. I could send them pictures instead of posting them of random things. I do have a pretty good following on my blog facebook where a lot of friends and family share my posts, which is nice. Interesting post, I like your points!

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  28. I've been Facebook-less for years now, and I'm posting my reasons on my blog by Friday! *fist bumps*

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  29. I remember that post of yours!

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  30. Ive been without facebook for 5 years now. Best decision ever made :)

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  31. I have a Facebook account for now but have thought about erasing it a few times. I kept my personal account just because a lot of my family lives in another state so it's an easy way to keep in touch with people. I still rarely on there or updating my status. I have unfortunately let my blog Facebook go a bit too...I prefer Twitter to promote my blog

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  32. I actually gave up FB for Lent. Would you believe that FB sends two emails a day letting you know the number of notifications and messages waiting for you?? It says "we've missed you". So far I am not missing it for personal reasons, but one volunteer organization that I am a member of, we use our private group to communicate a lot. Not sure if I am going to go back to it after Easter or not!

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  33. That's great you have found a way to make it work for your blog, I hear such conflicting information about Facebook's utility in terms of blog promotion! AND YES!!! I saved all of my Facebook photos back in the day so I would still have them!

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  34. YES! I am bummed I can't be a part of groups, but for me that's not a big enough reason to keep it. And seriously- the birthday thing is the worst. We have become WAY too reliant on the internet.

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  35. YES. I had a similar experience before deleting mine! It's definitely refreshing!

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  36. YES. Facebook CAN be used for good, but I think just the company of Facebook is off-putting for me just based on privacy, etc! I'm glad you have found a way to make it work for you!

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  37. HAHAHA I CAN SO RELATE JENNY. It might also be refreshing to know that you are just maintaining friendships with the people that also want to put in effort to maintain it instead of just comment on your Facebook photos once a month. Just a thought ;) thanks for the awesome comment!!!

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  38. That's really cool- I usually hear that Facebook isn't useful for blogs, so it's interesting to hear that it's working for you! Keep up the good work!

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  39. SO REFRESHING RIGHT?!?! I couldn't go back now.

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  40. I do too! I feel like I get more productive and genuine interaction on other social media outlets

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  41. Ooooh! What a great thing to give up! I USED TO GET THOSE E-MAILS TOO. Horrible. And yes, private groups I do miss!

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  42. ​I completely agree - sometimes it's so overwhelming lol! Happy Wednesday :)

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  43. This is so good Cassie. It is so true, I often feel my blood pressure rise when I read Facebook and even though I have less than 100 friends on it, it feels very unintentional. Like its okay to like my post, but actually speaking with me is too hard. I love twitter because for some reason it feels so much more like a conversation with friends, even though I mostly follow bloggers I don't know in real life!

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  44. YES! I am 100% with you! Thanks for reading :)

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  45. This was an interesting read. Honestly, I've never really thought about deleting Facebook. I would definitely consider it if I hadn't lived in so many different places and could keep up with my friends & family better in-person. I also use it to share more personal things that I don't want to put up on the blog for the entire internet to see! That said, I've gotten pretty good at not trying to compare my life to everyone else's perfect-looking Facebook life, which has helped make it so Facebook doesn't bring me down. On the other hand I can't think of anything that causes more negative drama than "Facebook defriending." Anyway - I'm glad it's worked out well for you. Any decision that makes us happier and more fulfilled in our lives gets a big thumbs up in my book!

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  46. I couldn't agree more- glad you have found a way to make it work for you! :) And thank you for the thoughtful comment!

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  47. I understand the frustration with Facebook, but it's a big way I keep in contact with my extended family. I've honestly interacted more with my aunts and uncles through Facebook in the last few years than I did my whole life! We live all over the country and many I won't see anytime soon.

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  48. Facebook is such a pain. Just today I was thinking about how I really like it for just my blogging groups that I'm in. I really detest the passive aggressive bragging behavior I see. And this is from adults!

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  49. Hey- if that's enough to keep you on Facebook, seems like it is the best decision for you!

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  50. I honestly love facebook, haha, but I think part of that is because I have lived in various cities and have both family and friends around the world, so it's a great tool for me to keep in contact with them. I'm a really social person - ha - so I'm glad I can keep in contact with 500+ people that way. BUT I can totally see the benefits of not having one, and I while I sometimes contemplate going on a FB fast, I don't think I ever will, because to me, the pros outweigh the cons. But again, that's just me :) And I totally understand and even applaud those that can live with out it!

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  51. Definitely! I shouldn't make blanket statements like that, haha -- I love how many social medial platforms there are now that we can connect with people on. I sure am thankful for technology! :)

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  52. I deleted my Facebook for over a year several years ago. Then I was peer pressured into joining again. It really is the biggest waste of time. I hate how it makes us compare ourselves to others and people just post too much perfection on there, or they go the opposite and are overly negative or political. ugh! I'm curious in if you've seen a change in blog visits by not having it... I have a Facebook blog page and enjoy networking through groups, but that's about all I use it for anymore.

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  53. So I have only had my blog two years so I didn't even have a Facebook when I started it! But I've done just fine growing my blog with other social media networking options :)

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  54. I totally understand all of these points.... but I like many of the things that it does bring... like being in contact with my family in Argentina.It's much easier to share things with them and see what's going on with them - including pictures.

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  55. This is a great list and I can see such validity in each point! I've given up FB for lent many times before and experience what you're talking about above but never have the desire to sustain it. Maybe I'll one day take the plunge and get off- I really notice how it can make me grumpy because I'm basically comparing my life to a highlight reel. Thanks for the great post!

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  56. Totally understandable. However, personally, I feel more safe sharing via email just because of the crazy stuff Facebook can do with your photos and data. Did you know when you post photos on Facebook, even if you are private, you no longer own those photos- they do.

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  57. Haha yes it made me grumpy too!!! Thanks for reading and for the thoughtful comment :)

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  58. You make a lot of good points!! Facebook is how I communicate with so many - including all my church groups, etc! I can't imagine NOT having it for that reason, but glad you made the best decision for you!!!

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  59. We use an online forum system at our church which makes it easier to stay connected!

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  60. This is wonderful! I only ever opened an account, b/c my friends really wanted me to do so. I was so behind "the times" with it. The only thing I worry about in regards to my blog is that I am not on Twitter or Instagram, so I feel like FB is my biggest traffic source for my blog now. I would need to work on other sources. But I love this post! Thanks for sharing :)

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  61. Yeah, it would be hard to promote your blog without Facebook if that's the only method you use currently! Why not give twitter or Instagram a try? :) thanks for stopping by and for the thoughtful comment!

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  62. I could seriously talk about this topic for hours. I've gone back and forth for YEARS. I'm certainly not on there as much as I was in the beginning, but the reason I've kept it is because it's been a way for me to stay connected to my family who lives in other states. I'm not a phone person - like AT ALL - so if I only talk to them on the phone about once a month or every few months, FB seems to fill in those gaps as we share pictures and random/funny updates throughout the week. While there are plenty reasons for me to quit it (don't even get me started), I would really miss those little interactions with my family and friends who are spread out everywhere.

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  63. I had to laugh at the happy birthday one. I've deleted my Facebook for years in the past and been perfectly content with it. Even now I am not very active on Facebook at all, and because of that I don't receive a ton of happy birthdays...oh well. I know people that look forward to that. They spend their birthday on Facebook looking at who sent them a message or post. It's quite sad. Facebook is the one platform I don't enjoy that much. I just can't get to the point of deleting it again.

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  64. Hahaha I could too. I find that even with friends who are spread out, I have more genuine connections with them through texts (I'm not a phone person either), but maybe that's just what works best for me :)

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  65. I'll pray for you. JUST KIDDING :)

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  66. I have been going back and forth for a while now. The older I get the more annoyed I become with Facebook. I've deleted half the people on my friends list and "unliked" a whole bunch of pages. And I still find myself avoiding it like the plague. I forget to post on my blog page too! The only people that really read from there are Hubs and my mother-in-law. The more and more I read articles like this, the more and more I want to just delete the stupid page.

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  67. I'll be praying for you too ;) hahahaha

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  68. Slightly repeating what I said on Instagram, but I do keep it around because of long distance friends and blogging. I'm not under any illusions that I'm good friends with my DC friends or most of my college friend anymore - they made that clear when they stopped returning emails and texts, but it is nice to see when people get married or have a baby because I'm genuinely happy for them. I don't have any bad feelings towards them. Life moves on, and like you said, without Facebook interaction, you have to make a real effort to be friends.
    I guess I never relied on FB for communication purposes because we all communicated via email (a lot of government friends up there didn't have FB, too) and those faded away quickly. All of the party invitations and things like that were disseminated through email, so I thought I could at least stay in touch by email, but I quickly noticed that after a few months, I didn't get them back.
    Your points made me realize that when I went to a much larger church in Charlotte, things were done (like invitations) through Facebook. It's pretty impersonal. Now, we go to a much smaller church. I'm not Facebook friends with anyone in our small group, and when I do have the ability to attend a monthly potluck with some friends (not frequently, but I still get invited!) even though I am FB friends with some of those girls, I get the invitation by email. Not even like an "evite," but a regular old email. It's kind of refreshing. I hadn't thought about that until I read your first point. My only problem is when I'm trying to be SUPER careful not to "reply all" with some health-related thing to the organizer and then I go and hit reply all. Never fails.
    You also made really good points about boundaries. I used to feel compelled to immediately look at a notification, respond, etc., no matter if it was FB, Twitter, IG, or Email. Really, anything. Also, the urge to check it was overwhelming. I turned notifications for everything but personal email and text messages off - separating my blog email on my phone to the iphone email app and moving it, too, from my personal Gmail app (because of doctors communicating via portals)- and putting blog and social media on the back page. That way, I have to be like "oh, I have time to do this now, so I will read through Twitter. It's been helpful.
    All of that being said, I'm STILL working on it. I don't want to be legalistic, but maybe some type of timed system to scroll through things or figuring out a better way to prioritize which emails to respond to first (because, as you can see, I write a lot). I also have a lot more time on my hands since I stopped working, but I still don't think that makes it ok to get sucked into the laptop/phone/tablet. I'd rather spend it reading or working on a goal. However, I find that a whole day can pass and I won't have even watched my favorite TV show from last night! How crazy is that?
    I just wrote way too much. But you've got me thinking, Cassie. That's good. You did your job as a blogger!!! :)
    I actually have some other thoughts about some pro's of FB, but they are more related to networking with other patients like me because we're few and far between. The only ones I've met in real life were at a conference. And I know one other girl with my condition who used to work with me, but we've never met in person because she was at an office in another state

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  69. Comment of the year. I'm so glad I could stimulate some GREAT thoughts on this issue!

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  70. Great post!!! I for sure have gotten away from Facebook! It just stresses me out! There is always drama and that gets on my nerves!!

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  71. I've never had one and don't plan to. It can be frustrating when people think you know something because it was on Facebook. But really, most of the time it is just gossip which is not building anybody up (in my personal experience - I realize that it may not all be gossip when looking at Facebook as a whole).
    I have such a different definition of friend - I am friendly with a bunch of people: I know their names, greet them with enthusiasm, know surface facts and can inquire about them. I have a small handful of friends: secrets are known, conversations delve beyond what we've been busy with in generic terms to what is really weighing on our hearts.
    One thing that I don't understand is the peer pressure to be one Facebook...those that are have a really hard time understanding why/how one does not want to be on Facebook.

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  72. If I could only see what my family posted, I might be swayed. . . but I don't want to see what their friends post.

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  73. Oh yeah, people are CONSTANTLY nagging me about getting back on Facebook, but I think they have realized I'm not going to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  74. Might be something to think about :)

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  75. Thanks Kaelene, I love your name! It can definitely make you the odd man out. When I lived in Scotland I reactivated for a few months just to be able to use the chat feature since I didn't really have a phone, so I can definitely relate.

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  76. i deleted my account last march, so it's been a year now. and i agree with all of these points! esp. the first 2 - it forced intentionality with relationships, but that is not a bad thing! it's nice to be able to tell a story without someone interrupting "yeah i saw your picture on fb" or something of the sort. actual real conversations! :)


    one thing i want to do is simplify my life and i feel like not having FB definitely aids in that. i don't want to keep up with everyone i've ever talked to in my life, i want to cultivate meaningful deep relationships with the few people that are in my regular circle, if that makes sense. yeah sometimes i feel left out b/c i don't necessarily hear about everything but the pros outweigh the cons!

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  77. YES! I'm so much more intentional now and conversations are so much more meaningful. And yeah, being left out can suck!!

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I would love to hear from you! I try to respond to all comments.