I deleted Facebook's app off my phone more than a month ago.
And reader: I feel free.
My days of mindlessly scrolling through random updates from my mom's friends and people I haven't spoken to since high school are over.
And yours could be too.
You just have to delete the app.
That's it. Not your Facebook account. Not your life on the internet. Just the app.
The initial desire to delete started with Facebook vacuuming up so much space and battery life on my (admittedly old) iPhone 6. But it quickly became clear that my actual, non-battery, capital-L Life was also better off not having Facebook a thumbtap away.
I don't miss it. I don't miss the weird sensation of unnecessary updates from ex-boyfriends and other assorted once-familiars. I don't miss having my train time hijacked by being caught up in the political fights (or the rage-inducing comments that followed them).
I also don't feel like I'm missing out on any kind of news at all, because let's be honest, Facebook's days of providing news of actual use are long behind it.
And the thing is: It's not like I totally deleted Facebook either. I can still access the site on the go if I need to—I just need to go through the cumbersome process of opening it up through a web browser on my phone.
Which... is something I've never done.
These days, I'm only seeing Facebook at a computer. And it's not just because I'm only looking at it on a computer, either.
Generally, the entire thing's lost the hold it once had on me since I signed up for it more than a decade ago.
Maybe it's because I'm older. Or maybe the internet just has better things to offer. Or maybe it's because Facebook has reinvented itself so many times.
No matter what the reason, the result is the same: I (like plenty of people I know) just stopped caring about what Facebook has to offer me. I've changed. And while Facebook has changed too, we've grown in opposite directions.
I don't live in a world where I need to know what a random friend from high school's life looks like. I'm living my own. But that wasn't always the case.
After I moved to New York City more than six years ago, I needed the window into the world I left behind that Facebook gave me. I was desperately lonely and trying to figure out a huge, mind boggling city after coming from a Tennessee town where it felt like I knew everyone. Facebook was a comfort.
Today, however, not so much. I've built a life in this (now much more manageable) city, and I want to live it. I don't need Facebook's constant attempts to pull me into a nostalgia hole with friends from high school.
I've quickly learned that other sites can fill whatever void Facebook left behind.
I scroll through Instagram, which I've carefully curated, so I'm only following profiles that bring me joy when I see them.
It's such an easy binary:
- Friend with a new pet? Definitely a follow.
- Rock climber I haven't heard of? Click follow immediately.
- A politician's official account? Absolutely not. I save that nonsense for Twitter.
Demarcating my social media life into categories — Instagram brings me joy, Twitter is a professional necessity — has done wonders for my mood on the internet. So has removing things from it.
When I need a pick-me-up, I go to Instagram. When I need news, I go to Twitter, or I go to a trusted source directly.
But Facebook? I don't need to mainline it, and when you really think about it, you probably don't either. And yes! You can still keep it around elsewhere.
But just give something different a shot: Hit that delete button on your phone, and revel in the freedom it brings you. You'll be surprised at how little you miss it.
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