Two months ago, without planning, I decided to go on a very special type of cleanse: I withdrew from all types of social media for one month.
We talk about simplifying, detoxing, cleansing, fasting even. We’re quick at buying into the juice cleanse, the tidying-up book, and what not. Yet, we still feel overwhelmed. In July, it was clear to me that Facebook was my starting point. Here’s what I learned:
1) You get lots more reaction out of people when you disappear then when you stick around. Note to Self: show some interest in the “real” people around me.
2) The first thing I did after posting that good-bye message on July 13: I called my mom. She lives in another century, where internet is science fiction, and Facebook is some kind of cultish sect. We had a really good hourlong talk. That doesn’t happen often.
3) I didn’t miss it a bit. I thought I’d think about it and wonder what everyone is up to, but no.
4) People no longer send invitations for events: they just assume that you saw their great happening on Facebook and that you feel invited via this mass diffusion. Result: I missed a few important events and some folks were disappointed. Next time, if they really want me there, they’ll phone, text, or email me.
5) I had so much time! I read, and wrote, and cooked and baked lots. I copiously enjoyed yoga nidra in the afternoon, and meditated. I’m not sure how that works out in the mathematical world (because I don’t normally spend that much time on Facebook), but it’s true - it felt like I had way more time.
6) Facebook-less days are the most creative for me.
7) During my summer vacation, I carefully selected postcards, wrote them, and sent them via snail-mail, instead of posting pictures on Facebook. What a treat! It felt good to do so, and the recipients were ecstatic!
8) I was actually reluctant and slow to get back into it. I have days when I get sucked right in. Click, click, click down the rabbit hole. And then I feel totally gross, and tired, and meaningless.
9) Facebook is no longer a daily routine thing for me, it’s more like a once or twice weekly thing, kinda like shaving my armpits or watering the plants.
10) And now I’m dreaming of handwriting letters. I used to enjoy slow exchanges on paper so much! I dug out my stationary collection and my nice pens. Let the adventure begin.
Have you tried Facebook cleansing yet? If a whole month seems daunting, try a day or two at first, and see how it feels. Let me know what happens. I always love to hear from you.