Why I Uninstalled Facebook From My Phone (and Why You Should Too)
It's been just over a week since I uninstalled Facebook from my phone and it has been one of the most freeing things I have done for myself in awhile.
Let me tell you why:
1) I was addicted to Facebook
I've struggled with eating disorders and food addictions in the past, and being 'addicted' to Facebook just seemed downright silly. For one, I didn't spend hours a day scrolling through its newsfeed (like I spent hours a day obsessing over what/how much I was eating and how much I was exercising in my former life). But just because you don't do something for long periods of time doesn't mean you aren't addicted to it. Every time my phone buzzed, beeped or updated me of a new post like, comment, friend request, etc., I had to look. Right. This. Second. Doesn't matter who I was with or what I was doing (including driving - shame on me!), I had to click on that little F symbol. That my friends, is the definition of addiction.
2) I was pulling myself out of the 'Now'
Every time I checked my Facebook app, I pulled myself out of the present moment. As a yoga instructor who preaches staying in the moment to find true peace, I certainly wasn't practicing what I preached. All those times I missed what was going on right around me. Birds flying in perfect circles around one another in the sky above. The smile from the passenger in the car next to me as we were stopped at the red light. Conversations with my husband about the newest and silliest commercials on TV. Countless fill-in-the-blank moments that I utterly missed out on.
3) I don't need to be connected to so many people
Don't get me wrong, Facebook certainly has its upsides. Like when I hear about concerts before the tickets go on sale from my cool Facebook 'friends' (like the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros concert tickets we scored!), inspirational quotes or videos from pages that I follow, and other noteworthy news.
But the people that I love and care most about I stay connected to, without Facebook. I talk to my mom on the phone almost every day. My best friends send me pictures of their adorable babies and we make regular dates to get together. I stay in touch with other good friends through text messages and messaging. Don't get me wrong, I certainly enjoy hearing about and seeing other people's lives via Facebook (and what events are going on in the area!), but I certainly don't need to be that updated all the time.
4) I was using Facebook as a crutch
We all need things to get us through hard times in life. Ideally, we reach for coping mechanisms such as meditation, yoga, and other healthy de-stressing behaviors. But in realty, sometimes we just really need that extra glass of wine, shop therapy, chocolate dessert, or guilty pleasure TV show (hello Jane the Virgin!). Facebook was too accessible when I was bored, sad, angry, or tired. I reached for it when I didn't know what else to do.
5) I never felt happy/peaceful/rejuvenated after being on Facebook
Never, not once, have I ever gotten off Facebook and thought "Wow, I just feel so refreshed, happy, peaceful, etc. now!"). Scrolling Facebook absent mindedly makes me anxious and more often than not, feeling a bit blah. Not the feeling you want from a platform that is supposed to make you feel more "connected" to those around you. The problem is, these people aren't "around" me. They are in my screen. Which is no replacement for eye contact, meaningful conversations, or embracing hugs. Facebook can keep me updated on other people's lives, but it certainly does not make me feel any more connected to any of these people.
So although I do have a Facebook account that I still use almost every day (especially for work purposes), I have to physically log onto a computer to use it (or sign into my account from my phone - total pain!). When I log into Facebook now, I may have several notifications, a few friend requests, and a handful of unread comments. The beauty is, I don't need to know all of these things on a constant and consistent basis. And quite frankly, neither do any of us.
If you can relate to even one of the reasons above, I challenge you to uninstall the Facebook App from your phone and see how your life might change. I'm not going to promise it will be easy (I still reach for my phone and scroll to find the Facebook app before I realize it's no longer on there), but I do promise it will be worth it, especially if you are ready to focus more on the life that is all (non-virtually) around you.