I have had such an amazing response from my post yesterday about why I have decided to quit Facebook. So many people have emailed me and DMed me on Twitter voicing their support and similar concerns.
It has got me thinking a LOT about why I decided to end it. It seemed like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that Facebook is an addiction. It’s weird for me to admit that, because I honestly wouldn’t say that I use Facebook any more than your average desk-bound person. In fact, in many ways, I use it a lot less (don’t use those stupid applications like Farmville etc). So it’s weird that I would be saying that I feel “addicted” to Facebook.
It makes me wonder out loud how the brain responds to notifications, messages, likes etc… and whether there is some propensity in people to become addicted to an endorphin rush via a psychological reward system… and that withdrawal from that is something similar to an actual physical withdrawal.
It’s weird, because when I sat down today to start work, I checked Twitter. I checked email. I didn’t check Facebook. And it was all compete in 20 minutes. My typical day would generally be me checking email, checking Twitter, checking Facebook, getting lost in Facebook for half an hour, wondering what this-person-meant-by-this and why-they’ve-commented-on-her-status-but-not-mine and my-friends-obviously-all-hate-me… then checking email & Twitter again until it was 11am.
Today, I did some work, my phone rang. I spoke on the phone, found a pause and, like some sort of weird automatic nervous tick, opened Safari. Then realised that I didn’t have any Facebook. I have done this at least… 3 times today.
It’s at that point that I actually realised how many times a day I would log-in without even thinking about it. Not to mention the times I have been out and about somewhere and been on the iPhone app, or whatever.
If you had asked me a week ago how much I use Facebook, I would have said maybe once or twice a day, some days more, some days not at all, because that’s about the time I am active and reply. But the number of times I CHECK Facebook per day would be at least 8–10. Possibly even more. And I would honestly not have even realised I was doing it, because I stay logged in all the time.
I genuinely feel at a bit of a loss for myself because I am quite literally fitting in a work day and having spare time. I NEVER have spare time. I am studying full time, running a business and trying to be a parent for at least 5 minutes a day. Suddenly, I can fit it in.
I really had no idea how much of my day was taken up with Facebook till I quit cold turkey.
How about you? Be honest…