The Facebook Experiment | Part 2

Oh Facebook…you wily little website, you.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to conduct an experiment, wherein I would only get on Facebook once a month. It was difficult at first – my brain was literally programed to pop open the app on my phone whenever I was bored – but after three months, it’s become easy.

In my journey towards simplicity, I’ve been working through the “excess” things in my life. These are things that don’t edify my existence and weigh me down. When I eliminate those things, or drastically reduce the time and energy I devote to them, it’s amazing how easy it is to focus on the more “essential” things in life.

Cutting out Facebook has good and bad sides, but the good is definitely outweighing the bad!

Benefits

1. More time to focus on things that matter (being with the Lord, marriage, schoolwork, blogging, etc.)
2. I’m less burdened by comparison to others (check out this lovely article that my friend Amy wrote about affirming instead of comparing!)
3. More meaningful connections with others (instead of “catching up” with someone online, being off Facebook forces me to connect with others in real life)

Drawbacks

1. Missing messages (I’ve missed out on a couple of events because I didn’t see the message or invite)
2. Missing “Big News” (Since most people announce news like pregnancies and engagements on Facebook, sometimes I’m a bit out of the loop about what’s happening in the lives of people I know)
3. Lack of promotion (In my blogging journey, I realize that posting on Facebook is great way to advertise your blog…so, I’m missing out on that)

Overall, it’s been refreshing to take a break from Facebook! I plan to continue this experiment through the rest of 2014, and then evaluate whether I want to continue it in 2015.

Have you ever taken a break from Facebook? What benefits/drawbacks did you notice?

Under Grace,
Rachel

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8 thoughts on “The Facebook Experiment | Part 2

  1. I am impressed! I can’t say for sure if I will do this- but maybe at least delete the app from my phone. Cause honestly- that is a TIME WASTER.

    I try to justify it, but no, it’s a waste of time- and I don’t need to check Facebook 40 times a day……I doubt that’s much of an exaggeration for me, and that’s depressing!

    Thanks for the shout out to my post! Comparing is a curse of facebook- I hate that it feels like a competition sometimes!

    • It’s definitely not for everyone…it’s just something that I felt super convicted about! The phone app definitely wasted a lot of time for me, too, and I realized that I could be putting those minutes (sometimes HOURS) towards better things.

      Facebook can definitely be useful, but I found that I was abusing it rather than using it wisely.

      Your post was awesome and it really fit where I mentioned comparison! Facebook does feel like a competition sometimes…and it got me super depressed!

  2. Hi Rachel! I love your commitment and what you say about abusing it rather than using it wisely. Social media can be sooo addictive, and I definitely feel that tug of war since so much of what I do professionally and with my blog involves social media! One of the best ways I’ve found to use Facebook as a source of fellowship is private community. When I joined (in)courage’s community groups it totally changed the way I connected to others on Facebook. I’m not in their groups anymore, but I have several other small groups of friends that connect in private groups for encouragement and prayer. It helps to weed out all the distractions and keep things about community.

    But on the real, I’m totally guilty of checking into Facebook to “tune out” or be all like “who’s liking MY stuff today?” Eeek! I hate when I catch that in myself!

    So glad you stopped by our blog last week. I’ve been reading and browsing and had lots to comment on (and so many things in common!), but rather than slap you with a dozen comments I’ll just say I’m so glad we connected! Also, I love that you wrote this because I just wrote a piece on social media that I’m going to share soon. I’m going to add a link to this post now, too! 🙂

    • Kim! I’m so glad you’re here!!! Thank you for stopping by!

      I definitely started feeling like I was abusing rather than using Facebook, so I chickened out…it was easier to cut it out (almost) completely rather than be responsible with my time 😉 But, I know I’ll have to start up again if I want to promote my blog (ick, that sounds so corporate).

      Yes – smaller groups (of people you actually like talking to!) helps weed out distractions!

      Kim, I’m tickled pink that I found your blog, and I am really looking forward to reading more…especially YOUR thoughts about social media! Thank you for adding a link back here!!

      Also, feel free to slap away with comments! I love comments like a fat kid loves chocolate cake.

  3. Oh my! Once a month? I am in awe. I am considering maybe cutting down to once a DAY. At least to start with, then maybe cutting down to less after that. We’ll see what happens… But I do like the idea of focusing more on what matters and not obsessing so much about online life and wasting time. Rarely do I come away from Facebook feeling like I really spent my time wisely or that it was a fruitful time. So I am challenged and encouraged to take my Facebook life to a different level. Thanks for this post!

    • Hahaha Camilla, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. Don’t be in awe. I didn’t have the self-control to go down to once a day…my personality is sort of “all or nothing”, and once a day still would have been too much temptation for me. You’re so right…I rarely came away from time on Facebook being like, “Yeah, that was a good way to spend the last two hours of my life”.

      Disclaimer: Facebook was quickly replaced by Instagram, but Instagram sucks you in far less.

      Let me know how it goes! I would really encourage you to stage your own Facebook experiment. After the initial withdrawal period, it’s not as hard as you think 😉

  4. I have a hard time dealing with comparison and craving praise so I had to cut out both Facebook and Instagram. I have given in up for lent and it’s been good. Just not having Facebook on my phone has helped a lot!

    But of course they just put the Influence Community groups as Facebook groups so I have cheated a few times.

    The hard thing is so much of our blog’s traffic is through Facebook. I don’t want to use Facebook as just a blog spot light but I also know how addicting it can be.

    • Ugh…it does make it complicated, doesn’t it?! There are a few groups on Facebook that I check in with every once in a while.

      I’m torn about using Facebook to promote blogging, you know? It could be a good source of traffic, but I also know how easy it is to get sucked in! What do you think?

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