A Year Without Facebook: My Social Media Experiment

anti-facebook

Overview

During my sophomore year in high school I became good friends with my classmate Ben. We talked frequently over instant messaging back in the day, and one of the topics we often discussed was music. Ben knew a lot about music and was always sending me links and files of songs for me to listen to. However, instant messaging was not always the most convenient place for this. That is when Ben introduced me to Facebook in April of 2008. I spent the following months creating my profile, adding friends, posting statuses and photos, and generally learning how the site worked. Facebook’s popularity has only increased since the day I joined.

Why Quit Facebook?

The first couple years on Facebook were great. I could see what all my friends were up to, stay in touch with certain people, and inform my friends how I was doing. In June 2010, the Celtics lost a heartbreaking Game 7 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. My last status before the game was “Game 7. Let’s go.” It was at that point that I realized Facebook was starting to control my life. The sports fan in me was posting statuses about sports or reading sports pages on Facebook practically every day. I decided that I would not post another status until a Boston team won a championship.

In January 2011, I was casually spending time on Facebook going through my profile. That was when I realized that I had way too many photos and other things that were old and outdated. I decided I wanted to “clean up” my profile and update my information so I could start fresh. Five months later, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and I posted my first status in about a year. However, at that point I realized that posting statuses really wasn’t that important, so I only posted a status once in awhile after that.

In Fall 2011, I found a Madden football game on Facebook. This game required you to build a team by collecting cards and winning games. However, there was a time aspect to it as well. You received a game ticket every two hours, but could only hold up to a maximum of four at a time. Practices to help your team were also time oriented. Therefore, this game required you to play it at least twice a day in order to get maximum performance. I became so addicted to it that one point I gave my brother my Facebook information and instructions on how to play the game so he could manage my account while I was in New Orleans on spring break that March.

In February of 2012, I was finally forced to deactivate my account. Facebook had taken over my life and become a huge burden. I was obsessed with the Madden game, frustrated at seeing other people’s posts that I didn’t like, and getting into arguments with people on Facebook. I officially deactivated my account February 5th, 2012.

The Good

There were several advantages to not having Facebook. The first was having an average of 2 hours a day more of free time that wasn’t being wasted on Facebook. I used that extra time to get better sleep and be more productive during the day. Anohter advantage was not having to see people complain about their lives or self promote themselves on Facebook, something that constantly irritated me. I found that I could stay in touch with my real friends through e-mail or texting, so my social life did not suffer that much.

The Bad

The disadvantage to not having Facebook was not being able to stay in touch with friends whose numbers I did not have. Another disadvantage was not being able to get invitations to events that were only on Facebook. There was one particular instance where my former youth group leader invited us to his house for a reunion through Facebook and I only found out at the last second because my friend texted me. Not having Facebook was also very inconvenient when my phone was not working for about a week.

Conclusion

Overall, I would have to say that I do not regret deactivating my Facebook account for a year. I proved to myself that I could still do all the things I wanted to socially without Facebook, and I was definitely more productive. Despite the few disadvantages, if worst came to worst I know that it is not the end of the world if you cannot access Facebook, despite what some of my friends would say. That being said, I decided to return to Facebook on January 11th, 2013, with the confidence that I could use Facebook in moderation and still maintain a productive and healthy lifestyle.

Thank you to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading it, comment if you have feedback, check out my other posts, and most importantly share this with your friends.

Advertisements

About Pierro Perspective

Die hard Boston sports fan
This entry was posted in Science/Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Year Without Facebook: My Social Media Experiment

  1. japierro says:

    Hey Jeff, interesting experiment. I think the key to your whole post is in the last sentence: “…use Facebook in moderation…”. I joined Facebook initially just to see what it was about and to interact a bit with family and friends. I thought it was a good idea, but I never really liked the interface, and it’s gotten worse since then in my opinion. One has to be careful to friend only those you’re truly interested in keeping in touch with and turn off those who just provide a lot of “noise”. Now I go on only occasionally and have learned to skim very quickly through the posts to find ones of interest. I’m sure it will continue to evolve so it will be interesting to see what changes they make next.

  2. Aunt Do says:

    I think it was a great experiment, and way more people should turn off social media for a while to live real life. Just to see how much time is actually wasted reading mindless posts!

  3. sjcoop says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Thanks for inviting me to read your blog. While I’m not so interested in the sports stuff, I really liked this post. You did the rare thing of looking at the issue from both sides. Too often people just rant about one side and don’t thoughtfully think about the other. Keep writing and keep thinking. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  4. Terry Crockett says:

    I totally understand this. I also deactivated my Facebook for a few months last year. My reason was that I was looking for a new job. Some Facebook friends don’t get that not all pics are appropriate to share with the world. I think everyone is getting better about it. I hop on once a day to get updates. Like everything else, be careful and everything in moderation.

  5. smokless fag says:

    I know this site offers quality dependent content and additional material, is there any other website
    which gives these information in quality?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s