I finally snapped. Sitting at my computer at 9:30 one chilly autumn evening, I realized that I had spent WAY too much time mindlessly scrolling through a sea of photos, and rants, and opinions, and articles full of clickbait.
This is it, I thought. I’ve had enough.
I swapped over to another tab, opened Google, and searched for “How to Quit Facebook.”
Ballsy, right? Facebook is literally everywhere. It’s how we sign in to other apps (hello Spotify, Soundcloud, Groupon, Zulily…), how we find services, how we keep in touch with loved ones and friends. It’s where we chronicle our lives. I’ve spent eleven years of my life on this platform, sharing snapshots of my life with anyone who cared to look. One of my favorite things to do is scroll back through my pictures, looking at what life was like eleven years ago, and see how far I’ve come. This is the positive side of Facebook. The nostalgia, the memories, the warm fuzzies that cheer you up when you’re feeling down.
But there are downsides, too.
Cyberbullying. Political rants. People being nasty. People threatening to run your business into the ground, or unwelcome memories popping up in your TimeHop. There are things I’d rather forget, like the night my now ex-husband proposed to me, or that really embarrassing timeline post that I thought was hilarious at the time. Having grown up in a pre-Facebook era, I know what it’s like to have a portion of my life where things have been forgotten, where mistakes were made, apologized for, and hastily amended. Not here in Facebookland, where everything is searchable, everything is downloadable. Everything exists forever.
The first step was to download an archive of my activity. The main thing that has always held me back was losing my pictures and videos. Yes, I know I just got done saying that I didn’t want to remember some of this stuff, and that’s true…but there are a LOT of great memories in there that I want to keep. Luckily, Facebook has a handy little archive download feature. It took about thirty minutes to have the link emailed to me. Eleven years of my life crunched down to a little over 800 megabytes.
The next step was letting my folks know that I was quitting. I didn’t want to just disappear without giving people the chance to keep in touch, especially since I didn’t have intentions of coming back. I decided to give people 48 hours to get their rears in gear and get my digits if they wanted them.
And that’s where I am now….in that grace period, waiting to pull the plug. It feels like my Facebook is on life support, barely hanging on, waiting for the inevitable. And I’m excited. I’m ready to get back to things I love doing, like reading, and creating, and playing with my dogs, and not being on the computer constantly.
I’ll check back in in two weeks to update on my progress.