lifestyle

"I've been Facebook free for 2 years. And I've never been happier."

I quit Facebook almost two years ago and I’m not going back

By LUCY KIPPIST

I’ve almost clocked two years without Facebook. Yep, two years without even a single status post, photograph or even a sneaky look-in.  I can’t get into my account anymore. I’ve been locked out. I am officially a person without Facebook.

Imagine how many babies have been born, weddings attended, dogs snapped and witty status updates I’ve missed…

When I admitted this in the office today, I hit a wall of questions. And shock. Actually, dumbfounded is probably the most apt description. How did you manage that? What do you DO? How do you KNOW ABOUT ANYTHING? HOW DO PEOPLE CONTACT YOU?

My answers bordered on the same every time. It’s OK. Everything I want. I don’t. And if they want to, they will – mostly!

So what have I learned during my hiatus?

Well, life feels a little less angsty in the ’real’ world. When you’re offline the only issues that run around your head are things that actually happen to you in real time. Maybe it was a conversation that you had on the weekend. Or perhaps you’re worried about an interaction at work. These are real problems that occurred while you were participating in life. Not because of something you’ve gleaned from a status update.

You have to face the feelings.  How often do you post something on Facebook to make yourself feel better? Maybe you wanted some attention, you’re feeling sad, you’re feeling lonely, you’re feeling bored. So you just do a little status update and wait for someone to respond. Sometimes it works and perks you straight up. Other days you might ruminate on the reasons nobody responded and it gets you nowhere.

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Lucy with her son Harry

To borrow a phrase – ‘the people that really matter are right in front of you’. Since I quit Facebook my life has closed in a bit. Basically I have found that the people who can be bothered to get in touch with me do, and vice versa. I am definitely on the phone a lot and end up seeing people more in person. But yes, quite a few ‘friends’ have fallen to the wayside. But I think that would have happened anyway because that’s the nature of real life and real friendships. Stuff changes all the time – even when you don’t document it.

I’m less of a show-off. Without a doubt Facebook is a great platform for attention and yeah I have missed that at times. When our son was born I actually had to think about how we’d break the news without it! It also took a while to figure out what to do with those perfect one-liners and photos that jump into your head as you go about the day.

I have more time. As my husband put it, “Not being on Facebook means having 20 hours a week where I am not looking at other people’s crap.”.  Amen to that. Tending to your Facebook page and constantly scrolling through to find out what other people are doing is REALLY time consuming. Wouldn’t you rather be out living your own life?

There are two things I will admit to missing about Facebook – photos and the really funny friends who made me giggle. But listening to people talk about Facebook still really bores me. Because for all the witty stuff, it can still be a platform for judgement, catty behaviour and self-aggrandisement that I can quite happily live without.

Are you still on Facebook? Does anything annoy you about it? Have you ever taken a break?