It has been two full years I've deactivated my facebook account and my life has completely improved from then on. Turns out it was one of the best decisions I've taken till date. There was a point in my life where I use to have a lot of time and don't know how to spend of which Facebook had a lion's share. There were other things besides Facebook where I had wasted (wasting at times) precious time on like the below ones.
- Youtube deadly suggestion cycle
- TV Series like Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Suits, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, The Wire, Supernatural.
- Texas Holdem poker by Zynga
Not just a few hours, lots and lots of hours even days if you combine in a given week. Not just during off-work hours, but even during work hours - I had developed the habit of casually spending time on Facebook. At times it was very less and at other times, it was so pathetic that I could not control it. I was under its control. There were many addictive pages I used to follow, I had developed the obsession of looking at all the posts they have put - just to keep myself updated. There were lots of pages focussed on trolls and I was voraciously following them just to have giggles all over the period. It felt really good as I was not using my brains at all to learn something, it was just a large amount of information retrieval. I was not reading something useful, but it may be something interesting and funny. It was not adding any sort of value to neither my professional life nor my social life. The lie I use to tell to myself is that I am "in" facebook to be in touch with my close and distant friends whom otherwise I will not be able to contact or spend time with. This virtual connection I thought was a noble reason. Had I used facebook, say, for promoting my product or advertising about something that would yield a return in the long run or say develop an application on top of it that would either give me knowledge on understanding its architecture or would yield some profit, then it would have served as a proper cause. But the cause itself was a stupid one.
I tried many ways to quit FB. I installed some plugin in Chrome that would limit my time on Facebook - that did not help me for a long time, I tried other techniques on limiting the usage of Facebook, even that I could not maintain the discipline to follow up. I went and read all the bad things that Facebook could do to you assuming that they would give me enough moral incentive to stop using Facebook - nope did not work out. Seems it was a very bad habit that I could not stop.
So instead of trying to stop something that is resistive, I use a technique of developing something else. Coach.me helped a lot in that aspect. I started to learn piano, started meditating, started doing Asana, started brushing teeth at night, started sporting activities. These commitments did not immediately make me come out of FB, however, I slowly started to feel the reduction in my stress levels as FB not only gave me entertainment - it used to stress me out as well for various reasons from hatred posts about religion, race, politics to my friends/acquaintances brag. It was a bit overstretched. So, one fine day I just stopped using it. The results were phenomenal! I could concentrate more on things that I had long wanted to perform. Some kind of transformation took place within me and I was more attracted towards the positive side of things.
(I often could stray from what I am trying to convey, but I don't give a damn, this is an exercise I am doing towards improving my writing skills. So I just want to vomit whatever thoughts coming out of my head and trying to curb my inner critic telling to write this article in a structured way. Screw that!)
Let me change the tone of this article from rant to wisdom. I am not going to ask you to come out Facebook and stop using it altogether - that would be a stupid advice I know. But ask yourself these basic questions. What is the motive behind me using Facebook? What are the things I am gaining by using Facebook - Is it just entertainment or is there any sort of wisdom this gives to me? How long am I using Facebook on weekdays and on weekends? On weekdays, I check during work hours?
Answer to few of these questions and do a retrospect you should get answers in some time if not immediately.