I had been debating about shutting down my Facebook account or not for a few years now.
I often found myself unintentionally wasting time or stalking other unnecessarily and was sensing that it was starting to become a little unhealthy.
Part of this was probably because I had gotten married and moved to Rochester, a city where I didn’t have any community, and was simultaneously experiencing a lot of regret from decisions I had made about the wedding. It unexpectedly became a way of feeding my longing for friends to connect with me, and for me to be ‘in-the-know’ of people’s lives. It became a common source for reflecting a bit of my jealousy of those who seemed to have a wedding that didn’t upset anyone or leave any guilt. It also just fed my curiosity. I’ve always liked learning about other people’s lives, and where their story has taken them.
The debate with myself occurred at first because Facebook is super useful for my job. It helps me stay connected with students, get in touch with potential partners, and keep current partners informed about what ministry is like. I was nervous about what I would need to do in order to make up for this useful tool.
I thought about shutting down my Facebook account and making a brand new one to use only for managing my Facebook page for work.
I even started unfriending or blocking the newsfeed from every individual that popped up.
But then in the midst of participating in this time-consuming, tedious activity, I happened to see a newsfeed post from a friend who had downloaded this newsfeed blocking add-on to her web browser. The extension allows you to keep your Facebook account while blocking the newsfeed that immediately shows up every time you sign in. It even posts up a cheesy ‘inspirational’ quote that encourages you not to procrastinate.
It was absolutely perfect.
Since I’ve downloaded this add-on, it’s actually helped curb my “need” to go on Facebook altogether. The lack of newsfeed dries up most of the interest which would normally be piqued once I saw an interesting status or picture. This then allows me to stay focused on my usual original intention – to do something for work – or makes the desire to pass my time on Facebook less desirable and therefore helps move me on to pass my time with better activities.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to pass time with going on Facebook, or that I’m super perfect and never stalk anyone’s Facebook page ever again. I still do sometimes. And I hate to admit it, but I sometimes experience a bit of insecurity around the idea that I’m going to be the last to know big news in someone’s life. Which sounds really silly.
But something really cool I’ve been finding is that when I do find myself on Facebook on a browser that doesn’t have the blocker, the newsfeed is often too overwhelming with information and becomes off-putting to be on it.
I’m hoping to continue doing better with that this year. I want to replace those precious minutes with those spent on reading books and news, crocheting projects and gifts, having conversations with real friends and people, and hopefully, posting on this blog more often.