About a month ago, I decided I was done having Facebook on my phone. I held down my finger on the light blue square with the little white f in the middle until it started wiggling, clicked the little x, then delete and sighed a relief.
I deleted the Facebook app because I realized I didn’t need it anymore.
I’ll admit I was apprehensive when I first deleted Facebook from my phone. That’s what technology has done to my generation; any thought of being separated from it causes some sort of anxiety. Facebook – and all of social media – has become a part of our individual identities. How we look and interact on social media matters just as much as how we appear in real life.
Since the summer of 2012, I have gradually been realizing how much technology – namely my cell phone – consumes my life. I spent a month that summer working at a camp where I fasted from technology. I didn’t check social media once. My phone was on airplane mode almost 24 hours a day and I’ll tell you what: I never felt more alive in my entire life.
Then a few weeks ago, I read a blog post written by a design partner for Google Ventures about how he made his iPhone “distraction-free.” He deleted every app from his phone that had a stream: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. He even disabled Safari and deleted all of his email accounts. It was inspiring to hear of his experience (you should give it a read), but I just couldn’t go through with depleting my cell phone to that extent. However, I was motivated to get rid of Facebook. It just finally made sense.
Before I went through with deleting Facebook, I reflected and realized I only ever checked Facebook when I was bored and/or in a trance of checking every app on my phone for notifications (something that can suck 15 minutes out of your life quite easily; you know you’ve been there).
I realized the Facebook app was sucking more out of my life than giving. It’s been a month without Facebook on my phone and I have no regrets. (I did decide to download the Facebook Messenger app because, hey, that’s basically texting.)
Since I got rid of the Facebook app, I have found – with some effort – I now check my phone less. The impulse to habitually and aimlessly scan my phone for text messages and other notifications has decreased and I don’t feel as consumed by my phone. It’s awesome and I feel less distracted. (Plus, checking Facebook on my computer is now a lot more exciting.)
It’s allowed me to look up more and down at my phone less. Walking to class can actually be peaceful and enjoyable with your phone in your pocket. I still enjoy checking Facebook on my computer and using my phone and its endless capabilities, but I don’t feel as chained by it anymore. I feel freer. So, I challenge you to delete Facebook from your phone, take your phone out of your pocket a little less and see what happens.