Maybe it was my upcoming birthday, or the arrival of fall, or simply an icky sense that I spent too much time on Facebook and the quality of my life was affected. I don’t know. I do know that, with a spontaneity that surprised me, I decided to take a Sabbatical from Facebook; an extended break.
Once I decided I wanted to do it, I wasn’t entirely sure how to do it.
I’ve been active enough on Facebook that friends consider it a way of reaching me and sharing things. I get messages from friends, invites to events, and news.
I thought, what happens if I just don’t show up? If I stop reading my news feed? Stop “liking” friends’ posts? Stop posting things and sharing things? Simply, quietly, disappear?
On one hand, I worried no one would notice.
On the other hand, I worried people would expect a response from me when they sent me something and they’d be met with…silence.
So, I decided to announce my Facebook break on Facebook itself.
I decided the best way to do it was to change my cover photo. I quickly designed a new banner:
“I’m taking an extended break from Facebook*
*If you want to reach me, call or email”
I uploaded the new banner to FB. My announcement was officially made to the world on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 1:45 pm.
I logged off, all the while feeling itchy-fingered to log back on, anticipating a rush of comments from people as my news filled their feeds.
“No, really? You’re leaving FB? Why? How?”
I deleted FB from my tablet. I logged off the app on my phone. I wanted to make accessing FB a bit harder. But I didn’t cancel or delete my account, so the siren-song of FB notifications remained. I knew the candy was still in the house; it just required a few more steps to get to it.
I wanted to log on.
But having just announced to the world I was taking a break, what incentive did anyone have to comment about my departure? I certainly wasn’t going to be around to read it and “like” it, right? Hadn’t I just informed everyone of that?
It turned out that, except for one “like” and one “heart” on my post; a private message from a friend; and one comment from Bubba, my decision to take a break went largely, quietly, unnoticed.
The feeling inside? A weird combination of distress/disappointment and…relief.
Distress that disappearing didn’t result in anyone sending out a search party to look for me.
Relief, in knowing that the consequences of disconnecting were, in fact, pretty non-existent. Nothing blew up. I didn’t miss anything important. And without the temptation to share and read and post on Facebook, I actually freed up some quality time.
Daily Post Prompt: Rush