Jewish Journal

Happy Quit Facebook Day

by Mihal Levy

May 31, 2010 | 11:00 am

It is official, May 31st marks the “Quit Facebook Day.”  Along with alcoholism, drug abuse and apparently the now trendy good excuse to cheat on a spouse sex addiction (according to Charlie Sheen and Jesse James), there is also Facebook addiction.  Has FA (Facebook Anonymous) been established yet?  I am the first to admit that I was once a Facebook addict and have been sober from Facebook for over a week and have never felt better.  (And I didn’t even have to supplement my addiction with coffee and cigarettes).

Many users have threatened to leave and others have already done so (like myself).  Facebook claims to be a social networking site, but I found it more like a social-hindering site.  SInce I quit, I actually have spoken to and seen more friends and family members than almost the whole time I have been on Facebook, my husband included (well, maybe I stretched the truth about my husband a bit, but the rest is true).

If I left Facebook, you can too.  I feel like I should have a sponsor or something or at least a ring on my keychain commemorating my “sober” days.  And the good news is that it did not even take twelve steps, but one; hitting the “Submit deletion” button.

I remember joining Facebook and thinking how exciting it would be to reconnect with old friends.  And it was.  Then there was the constant updating of statuses and reading of others’ statuses.  Eventually the statuses got a little overwhelming, i.e.:  Getting in the shower.  Out of the shower.  Getting dressed.  Eating breakfast.  Sometimes I just did not care what others had to say and I am sure they felt the same way about me, except of course when I just had to post something brilliant that my four-year-old said.

I honestly thought it would be difficult to be different, go against the grain and leave a world that everyone else was a part of.  But I feel thankful that I have reconnected with old friends and connected with new ones and will be keeping them around.  Now my friends actually call, instead of writing on my wall.  Ok, so they still text message as well, but at least it is not posted for the world to see or for Facebook to sell to third parties. 

I would like to think that I have started a trend to leave Facebook and truly begin social networking, the way it was meant to be: socially interacting with people (in person).  I know that I did not start the Facebook exodus, but glad that I have contributed to it. 

I listened to a podcast by tech guru Leo Laporte, who also left Facebook for the mere reason of privacy issues on Facebook.  He also stated how difficult it is to leave a site that “everybody else is on.”  So if everyone were to jump off a bridge, would you? 

Facebook is probably just another passing trend like Frogurt, bell bottoms and Myspace.  I just decided to move on a little quicker than others. Leaving Facebook has been extremely beneficial for. of all things: my social life.  I have actually found in the last week that I have picked up the phone more often than not to actually talk to someone.  I found not worrying about what a “friend” ate for dinner or was missing from Farmville was actually comforting.  I found that it is actually more important to be living one’s life than updating a status about it.  I found that I did not stop the activity I was enjoying to write about how much I was enjoying it.  And all the times I could have been checking Facebook, I spent playing with my son, spending time with my husband, writing, sleeping, cleaning, thinking, exercising, and thinking about how much time I saved not running to facebook.

If you are still on the fence about leaving Facebook, check this out on Wiki-How : http://www.wikihow.com/Quit-Facebook
And if you have come to the conclusion that you are ready to delete your profile then here’s how: http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account

Whatever you decide, enjoy “Quit Facebook Day” and celebrate with a barbeque or day at the beach and maybe even think twice about updating your status about it…I’m just sayin’.

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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