Three Months Facebook-Free

After about three months of being without any Facebook owned apps on my devices and having deleted my accounts on those services, here’s what’s happened so far:

  • Ads: The kinds of advertisements I’m getting have dramatically changed. I listen to Pandora a lot and I seem to get only one ad now that is for an app/service I use frequently for travel. Prior to The Exodus, I had quite a variety of ads for many different services.
  • My money: Requests for fund-raising campaigns have dropped to zero. Now I only get them via email or text from known friends.
  • Shopping: I love to browse and shop online and used to fall prey to Instagram and Facebook ads a lot. It’s how my friend Grant ended up with an awesome romper as a birthday gift from me. Since the Exodus, it’s been a lot easier to control my shopping. I now tend to shop for what I need. One of my other personal projects is making better use of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mindset, but that’s a separate post coming in the future. Reducing the amount of advertise I’m exposed to has made an incredible difference in how I purchase stuff.
  • No FOMO: Party invitations, events, and other types of gatherings with my friends have dramatically declined. I still here from a core group of friends and family, so I’m getting out of the house, but I no longer feel overwhelmed with having to choose between activities. In fact, one of my friends uses a tag to let my family and friends still on Facebook know I’m with them, since they can’t tag me in photos any longer. I think it’s “#GlennHereToo” or something like that. I think it’s hilariously thoughtful.

Overall, I’m enjoying the freedom from Facebook products. I am still using Vero, but it may get cancelled too, if my friends and family don’t adopt it. That’s the thing with these sort of apps. Getting people to migrate to something, even if it’s in their best interest, is tough because of all the time and content already invested in Facebook.

If you’re looking for a good book about why you should follow my lead, you should read Edward Snowden’s autobiography. It’s an excellent insight into who his is and it tells his side of the story. It also is rather frightening since he tells you, as a someone who worked with these systems, just how much of your privacy you’re handing over to other companies and governments without getting anything substantial in return.

Book cover image for Permanent Record by Edward Snowden
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden – Check with your public library for a copy with Rakuten OverDrive/Libby here.

Regardless of your political views, this book is one of several that I think anyone (particularly parents) should read.

Maybe it’s just me… but probably not.

I’m very introverted and need a lot of solitude, rest, and quiet in order to feel both mentally and physically healthy. This Exodus from Facebook, in addition to just dialing back my social media in general, has dramatically helped me reduce stress, improve my concentration, and just enjoy life a lot more. When I’m with a group, my phone tends to stay in my pocket. When I’m traveling, I use it for taking an occasional photo, but that’s about it.

I tend to use my phone now for talking/texting people, taking photos/videos that I tend to keep to myself, and listening to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts. This is a big change from previous years where I was narrating my life online or looking at what other people where doing (with and without me). I routinely leave my devices at home when I go out for bike ride or walk and I no longer feel anxious about it. It’s just a more present way of being and I feel like I’m using technology in a more responsible manner.

My next post on this subject will probably be next year. It’ll be interesting to see what changes happen in the legal world by then, if anything.

Are you going to try separating yourself from social media? Feel free to connect with me if you want some advice or just need to talk about the process.

It Begins!

Getting rid of social media

Today I deleted the Instagram app from my phone and also made sure that Facebook Messenger also got uninstalled. I logged into the websites for Facebook and Instagram, making sure I deleted and not just deactivated the accounts for those services. Since I never use it, I’m also getting rid of twitter just for good measure. The only network I’ll monitor moving forward is Vero and I’ll be making notes about how that service is actually working and whether or not it’s living up to its promises.

So now we see if this has any impact on my life at all. I have a few hypotheses:

  • Communication with most people will slow to a crawl or drop off completely. People use social media to broadcast their lives to large groups of people, so given that I’ve blocked off that channel on everything but Vero, I doubt I’ll be in the loop about people’s lives.
  • Invitations to events will also drop off or at least slow down.
  • Requests for donations for charities, targeted ads on my phone, and other such attempts to separate me from my money should also decline.
  • I’ll be able to focus more on things in front of me, since it’s now harder to escape by looking at what other people are up to on their social media channels.

I want to be clear here: I’m totally fine with all this. I prefer to live my life rather than narrate it, so it’ll be nice to use that time for more authentic connections and experiences.