It’s not an existential question (not this time) – it’s a question I’m increasingly asking myself these days and it is great. It’s been close to a month since I deleted my Facebook, Linkedin, and even my old Myspace accounts – they are deleted, gone, not recoverable (but probably stored somewhere for government intelligence agencies – along with every other piece of data that has ever been on the internet). The amount of time I spend looking at my phone has been reduced dramatically – I would guess it was at least cut in half. The amount of time I can spend mindlessly staring at my computer screen has been cut even further. And it’s amazing to me that almost daily, I find myself looking at my computer screen and saying “What should I do?” and without the mindless voyeurism of Facebook as an option – my answer is usually to close the computer and do something in the real world. It’s astounding – this happens every day – and when Facebook was there – it didn’t happen. And, get this, I’m pretty sure that it happened before there was Facebook too – and (and I have no evidence to back this up, but it makes sense) I’m sure that it is not just me that Facebook changed that way. Here’s the thing – I never noticed that shift in behavior. I wasn’t aware of it. When I opted to delete my Facebook account, I had a vague idea about it- but I didn’t expect this change.
So, without Facebook as a go-to, What should I do? The answer is usually much more satisfying than anything I ever did on Facebook – reading a book, taking a walk, playing my ukulele, spending time with my family, learning something, cooking a meal, going to the gym – and of course, I still have my online time sucks but they take up no time in comparison to what Facebook was eating – I play a couple of turn based games that take up about 15 minutes each day if I want them to – I check email, look at craigslist, and look at the news. All told, an hour is usually plenty of time to do all of that. On my phone, I have to admit to a minor addiction that I am surprisingly ashamed of – Pokemon Go. I started playing it with my 5-year-old and we still play together, but after I walk her to school, on the walk home, I’m the only one throwing pokeballs – and yeah, this confession feels a little bit like coming out of the closet. It’s a strange addiction that I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to give up – but not until I evolve all my pocket monsters and catch em all….ugh, this problem may be worse than I thought. Anyway, that’s it. I’m finding more time to write, more time to read, more time to do other things – and that is very good because time was something I was feeling very short of while I was logged onto Facebook.
I don’t miss Facebook – and because I know how Facebook works when you are on it – I am pretty certain that my friends who I was connected with on that platform don’t have the time to miss me. I hope to see them in the real world again someday.