Recently I took a 6 month break from Facebook, deactivating my account for the duration. I still had an aritst page I posted my work to on there, but my personal account where I could look at friends posts, express moods and opinions, pictures of food, etc, was out of service.
I’m happy to be back, I do find FB fun, and I get invigorating chemical rushes from peer approval. But like most fun things, moderation is key to my enjoyment. Yesterday I was telling a friend that I was glad for the break because now I better understand what other resources there are online, and what platform is best for what message. She wanted to know more, which got me thinking I wanted to blog about it.
While I was off FB I mostly used Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. I used pinterest to look at pictures, share political memes, and figure out clothes I could wear with my rare body type. I used twitter to post my mood, follow some news, stay involved with my local community, publicize my comics, follow cartoonists, and share photos I took. I used tumblr to look at pretty pictures, learn about different social movements, have a laugh, discover artists, and share my art. I use Flickr to upload my bajillion photos, I also love Instagram and tend to follow 10% people I know, and 90% strangers who take pictures I like. I also enjoy using Goodreads for the books I read and review, as well as finding out about books I might like to read and seeing friends reviews. I use foursquare to see what restaurants people in my area are going to. I can now use FB for close friends only, because I have all these other platforms to follow people who’s content I enjoy. (I use g+ for a little, but not much, mainly publicity stuff I don’t mind going deep into eternity, so any gmail contact who searches for say ‘comic books’ will get the result of one of my posts at the top of their google search for the foreseeable future…brr!)
Mood post: If it’s a temporary mood, FB isn’t a great place to post it. FB now shows posts over and over again to your friends, sometimes for days at a time. So if it’s “gnaah I just stubbed my toe” I don’t want feedback on that message 3 days from now. So messages like that go on twitter. On twitter, if you posted it 3 days ago, it’s now gone into the ether, along with your toe pain – no one’s going to see that old tweet unless they search for it.
Political post: Oh lordy no not to FB! FB is a great place to post your opinion, if you want to take a scientific measurement of a random sampling of 200 other people’s opinions. If you just want to vent your opinion about something, raise some awareness about the issue, and perhaps get a few comments in return but mostly just be liked, reblogged, or ignored, I like Tumblr best.
I think the most important thing was getting back all that free time. It was pretty boring at times! But I learned to meditate, read more, play more video games, do more art, focus, discover I’m not nearly as ADD as I thought I was, and spend more time in my relationships and the moment. I learned to be bored! It’s not the end of the world. I learned to face my feelings, even when they suck. Sometimes I could even just be, just hanging out, living between the definitions and ego and accomplishments. I discovered I was involved in countless people’s business who I barely ever talk to outside of FB, and I got perspective on who is in my IRL life. After a decade of intense FB use, those lines were blurred. I hope to keep these good habits up.