Switching off Facebook can be surprisingly calming. Photo: Dado Ruvic
Every once in a while we all need a good detox. Grab a green smoothie or clean your liver with a forty-eight hour weekend cleanse that might leave you a tad hungry.
Being connected 24/7 with technology also warrants the occasional detox from some form of social media too.
And two months ago this is what I decided to do.
I figured the best way to start a social detox was to stop updating my Facebook wall. At the same time, I also deleted the Facebook app from my smart phone.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ we all kept though. These sites are much smaller and are somehow easier to avoid. They also have fewer eyeballs than Facebook, a site with nine million active mobile/PC users in Australia every day.
And here are the results.
Firstly, it’s actually easier than you think.
For some people being off Facebook for two months would seem like an eternity.
But for me, not having to think about posting every moment of my life was kind of calming. I still liked the odd post from friends, but I didn’t feel the need to share anything or add any photos of everyday life.
But the big question we all care about is, did I lose any friends? Or did I lose my reputation? Or did friends suddenly make me a Facebook acquaintance?
The answer is clearly no – the world keep spinning and I actually gained friends, in person rather than virtually. And I felt that I probably communicated better with people too in all of this.
The best example came last Saturday night with a few mates watching the rugby on the couch.
The difference was clear. Rather than constantly updating our Facebook walls glued to our phones, we actually discussed the game and tactics at length, with no disruptions. Just like old times.
What this short time off my Facebook wall has shown me is anything that I’ll post from now on should be truly memorable, special and not everyday content.
And a good old chat with someone still tops all of this.