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Taking a Break from Facebook: Day 1

Is too much social media usage causing you anxiety?

· anxiety,Facebook,social media burnout

So let me start off by saying that I love Facebook and social media. I am a professional social media manager by day and I use social media a lot to promote my writing and also to communicate and connect with my family, friends, business colleagues, and acquaintances.

That being said, exactly 24 hours ago at the dinner table I had a conversation with my husband John. I was feeling stressed about being on my phone so much. I do it by day for a living and I found myself increasingly feeling wary about being so connected during my
free time. John, who does not care much about social media and although he has a Facebook account rarely goes on it, nonchalantly suggests: delete your Facebook.

"What"?!!!!!! "Did I hear you correctly"?, I asked. He just nodded and walked away. I thought he was crazy but then I got to thinking. My analytical brain began a pro/con analysis.

The pros of my Facebook activity:

1. Connect easily with family, friends, and business colleagues

2. networking

3. entertaining

4. Keep up with breaking news

5. A place to share my life experiences (celebrations, times of challenge and sadness, and the daily observations my life).

The cons of my Facebook activity:

1. A need to always be checking my phone

2. The impulse and drive to be "documenting" everything in my life by taking photos and posting with something clever or fun to share.

3. After posting, obsessively checking to see who responds, likes/reacts, comments, etc.

4. I am doing the above three activities in place of: reading a book, writing, and being present in my life.

5. Increasing anxiety as a result of all of this.

Hmmmm.... maybe my husband is onto something. Just the idea of not being so tethered to my phone was appealing. I also love the idea of just living my life for myself in the moment and not always be thinking about how to capture it perfectly to share it for others on Facebook. Lastly, I love the idea of going to sleep peacefully and not worrying about whether I over shared something on Facebook or what I may be missing by going to sleep....

I slept on the idea last night and when I woke up at about 7:00 am this morning I decided to just go for it and take up my husband's suggestion. I deactivated my Facebook account! Now, this is not as serious as deleting it (which Facebook does not make it easy to do). At anytime, if I simply log back in, the account will quickly be reactivated and nothing will be lost and I can just pick right up where I left off.

As I write this, it is 9:40 PM. So I have not had my personal Facebook account for 14 hours and 40 minutes but who is counting?

How am I doing? I juggle between feeling liberated and lost. I can't tell you how many times I have reached out to check my phone and then remember, no Facebook (I also deleted the FB and Messenger apps from my phone). My husband and I were driving home from dinner tonight and as we were driving west across the intracoastal, there was a beautiful North Florida sunset taking place. Without thinking, I immediately whipped out my phone (my husband was driving) to take photos. Then I realized that I could not immediately share and post them on Facebook. This was very disappointing to me. How will my friends and family live without seeing this glorious sunset that I just witnessed? How selfish of me to deprive them!

Above photo is what everyone missed out on because I could not share it on my Facebook tonight. My husband encouraged me to put the phone down and just enjoy the sunset. Hmmph. I did my best.

Now that I am home and it is getting closer to bedtime I am seeing the humor in this a little bit. I miss not knowing what is going on with my friends right now. I don't have the satisfaction of having had shared my sunset photos tonight. They are still on my camera roll but have no place to go unless I wish to share them on my other less-used social media platforms that I still have. Sigh... I am getting tired and I know I need to sign off soon. Once I publish this post I am used to sharing my blog posts on Facebook of course. I do still have Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon so I know it won't go unread. But it won't be on Facebook! Sigh....  

To be continued....

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