So remember that Facebook Hiatus that I went on? I went off of the Hiatus and back on Facebook a few days ago. The 68-day ban came to a close. Rather than a hiatus, I felt the experience was more like a detox – much like when people go on spa vacations or yoga retreats. It was good to remember what life BF – before Facebook – was like. The first few days were rather strange, but like all changes in life – whether it’s getting used to life without running water, lack of stable electricity or lack of Facebook, you get used to it after a while and life carries on. Over the 2-ish months, I did notice some positive aspect about the Facebook and also some great reasons to go on a detox once in a while.
Reasons to go on Detox
- If you need a bit of personal space from someone or from the extended social circle, but don’t want to take the dramatic route of cutting them out of your life, i.e., unfriending them, then taking a detox break is good to take a step back, gain some perspective, and save a lot of drama.
- If you are going through exams, or writing a dissertation/essay, and your classmates have a problem with posting every exam study habit or word count of their essay, and that either stresses you out, makes you want to punch someone, or both, then it’s good to step back until the period of high stress is over and people go back to post regular mundane life happenings.
- If you are spending all day playing Farmville and god knows what else on Facebook, or spending all of your time stalking people and not getting anything productive done, taking some time away is helpful to remember how you can survive life sans Facebook. I found that there are still plenty of other ways to procrastinate. Twitter was my big Facebook alternative. However, nothing is as mindless and easy to do as Facebook.
Realization during hiatus
- Your real friends will check in even when you randomly fall off the face of the earth, i.e., Facebook.
- You focus more on your immediate social circle when you aren’t connected to your extended social network. You are much more at present with what is going on in your physical life, rather than keeping in touch/lingering with a virtual life from the past.
- Your life will go on without Facebook. You may not remember people’s birthdays, but your life doesn’t crumble into nothingness when the plug is pulled between you and all you “friends” – in which 80% of them you don’t mind not seeing.
Realization post hiatus
- Facebook really is a good tool to connect people. I got back and my elementary class from Taiwan, circa 1998, has created a reunion group. I’ve reconnected with all these people whom I have only a vague memory. But so cool! My Taiwanese cousins and I are also now connected and they get a much better sense of what my life is like.
- There really are some people you are okay to never see again, and let’s be honest, we all have those people who are “friends” with us on Facebook. I took this chance to clean up that “friends list” a bit.
- Nothing terribly important actually happens on Facebook when you are away on detox.
- You remember how much you enjoy stalking people. It’s a guilty pleasure.
- You realize who from your past you really want to be in touch with, and you send them messages.
Facebook is a part of our society now whether you like it or not, much like oh… television or telephone. Like the two Ts, you have the option to not own one, but they definitely help you integrate into our modern society. I’m all for occasional detox sessions to find balance in life. But if you are still one of those “I’m too cool for social media”, then you are really missing out and in danger of being left behind – much like the elders who can’t use the Internet. Like all things in life, moderation is key.
PS – this cartoon describes perfect how I feel when people complain about new Facebook changes. EVERY single time a new change rolls out, people complain. Come on, how difficult is it to check a box? I know it’s annoying that Facebook don’t make it default, but you either deal with it or get off. People ALWAYS complain, then get used to it, then complain again. Don’t you see the pattern?