Should I delete Facebook for my mental health? The answer is a resounding YES! When you get rid of Facebook, you may become a better, more present parent in the process. Here’s the story.
Several years ago, I was inspired by a blog post by an author who decided to delete the Facebook app from her phone. So inspired, that I posted a quick blurb to my friends and family to get my contact information if they wanted to reach me quickly. I promptly deleted my Facebook app from my iPhone.
The first morning I woke up and grabbed my phone out of habit. I love spending a few minutes catching up in the morning before hopping out of bed to begin the morning rush.
I was lost.
So, I played the rounds of Words With Friends that were waiting for me and then got out of bed.
Luckily, I chose to delete Facebook (the first time) the night before leaving for a 3-day Disney trip with my daughter. In the 3 days, I was so busy and exhausted that I barely had time to think about checking Facebook even for a moment during the day. I had expected serious social withdrawals, but I hadn’t had the time for them.
Several years later, I found myself in the same predicament. People don’t reach out through other means, having a presence on social media was essential for my blog, and then it became a job requirement when I went back to work as a social media manager.
After the bullshit that was 2020, it was time to detox from social media once again! So, I uninstalled Facebook … a second time!
What Can I Expect When I Get Rid of Facebook?
During that Disney trip with my daughter several years ago, I would log on to Facebook via my iPad in the hotel.
Certainly, I was missing out on some great things, right? Amazingly, I was bored within moments and would quickly turn off the iPad.
I found myself recollecting the day I had spent living the good and the not-so-good moments. I was only sharing them with my daughter in the moment. I had taken photos that were fun and others that were simply ordinary.
I hadn’t spent the day clogging my newsfeed one photo at a time hoping for someone to “like” or comment on each photo.
I also hadn’t spent the mundane moments reading about other people’s perceived awesomeness as I made my daughter sit in silence waiting for me to pay attention to her.
I was present for each and every moment of the day. It didn’t matter how good or bad the moment was, I was there, and that was what mattered.
The real challenge of getting rid of the Facebook app, however, were the days that followed when we didn’t have constant entertainment at our fingertips… the days at home when we were not running around from the moment we wake to the moment we sleep.
I was challenged at home knowing that I could walk into the living room to check on all that Facebook had to offer and “be back in a minute.”
As much as I was plagued that I might be tempted to sit at the computer all day, I found myself more disinterested.
The first time I deleted my Facebook app, I was getting up to clean house, check on blogging activities, or cooking. I spent quiet times at the computer working on the blog or napping when I was pregnant. Heck, I even decided to put aside my fears of using my dehydrator to make fruit leather.
I might have checked in on Facebook now and again, but I wasn’t so drawn to it that I was itchy or twitchy without it. I was filling my time with more important things.
I’d get online again at night when the kiddo was in bed, and I found myself more drawn to Facebook. By the end of the day, I was certain something epic must have happened and I’d feel terrible for missing it.
But, I quickly became bored again. I’d post something for my friends and family to read. I’d check in to see if I missed anything important. Then, I’d get back to blogging or meal planning… something truly constructive and real.
But the truth is …
None of us lead such extraordinary lives that we need to be on Facebook constantly. I admit, even things I had posted were rather mundane.
Benefits of Deleting Facebook
I’m my own case study here, but this is what I noticed when I got rid of Facebook on my phone:
- I was living more deliberately, being more present.
- I was accomplishing more.
- I was thinking less about how each photo I took should be posted for your viewing pleasure.
- I was learning more.
- I was staying focused.
- I wasn’t compelled to post for attention.
- I stopped getting involved in unconstructive debates that media and social media were fueling.
- I connected with my family more.
Instead of posting thoughts or pictures haphazardly, I was saving up for an end of day post if I felt compelled. I might throw in a mid-day post at a break in the day. But, everything was deliberate. A set of photos or a special photo from the day. Instead of random thoughts throughout the day, or even little “vent” posts, I simplified.I was living more deliberately, being more present. Click To Tweet
I actually simplified my life by having fewer distractions. Fewer distractions that, in general, weren’t really worth the time they took away from other, more important things. I wasn’t constantly telling my daughter “wait a minute” or “I’m busy.”
I can easily catch up on my friends’ social media posts at the end of the day, but I can’t get any of these moments back in my real life.
I’m glad I broke up with my Facebook app as I’m much more compelled to DO something constructive with my time. I’m not reading about your self-perceived awesomeness, looking at hundreds of pictures or videos of things you found on the internet, or reading about the horrible things going on in the news.
Okay, maybe I’ll be more disconnected from the news now, but is that really so bad?
Not really – there’s not much in the way of good news being reported. I wonder if much of my negativity was driven by all the negativity I see reported or posted on social media.I am glad I deleted Facebook from my phone. Click To Tweet
Want more? Check out Lifehack’s 7 good reasons to quit Facebook.
So, what do you think?
Is it time to get rid of Facebook?
Even if it’s just removing it from the device that you’re most likely to waste time on during the day, I believe it makes sense to delete the app! You might find that, like me, you become a better parent and make more time for your kids!
You don’t have to get rid of Facebook completely. Start with deleting the app from your phone. But, you might discover that the longer you do without it, the less interest you have when you finally log back in!
Quality Time with Family Series
This is part 4 in the series about family and quality time! Here’s what we have:
- Parents, Make Time for Your Kids
- Get Rid of Facebook (Be a Better, Happier Parent) [THIS POST]
- Maximize Time With your Family
- Ways to Spend Quality Time With Family
This post “Get Rid of Facebook” has been updated and republished. It originally appeared on SAHM, plus in 2015.