2 weeks ago, I decided to go on a Facebook detox after reading this article. I guess it was also part of my melodrama of my current condition. Either way, I’m back! Some of you asked me over the last 2 weeks how have I been going with my detox. Was it easy? Why do it? Will you come back?
First, I had withdrawals. Honestly, it was hard initially when I first started. I didn’t know what to do with my “micro timeouts”! The small 1 or 2 minutes of time where I get myself distracted on Facebook as a form or escape in real life. Should I play a game on my phone? Should I spend more time with the kids? I found myself staring at my phone not knowing what to do. It’s so weird.
Second stage was recovery. After the third day, I stopped missing it and found that I looked at my phone less and less. I started reading on kindle instead and have more time having real conversations.
Third stage, I believe would be realignment. As I approach the end of my detox, I had to think if I wanted to come back. I looked at the episode and decided to make the most of my experience by changing the way I use Facebook. You see, on the one hand, I feel that not going on Facebook really helped me focus on my local relationships and free up my mind-space and time to do other things. On the other, I still believe that Facebook has a place in my life to reach out to my wider network in gospel-centered love for them. So these are the changes I’ve made:
- Due to my OCD, I’ve decided permanently switch off notifications for Facebook on my phone. Not even the number of notifications would turn up on the icon. I don’t want to be drawn to click on it unless I want to.
- Within Facebook itself, I have switched off a lot of notifications to a lot of groups I follow and have also unfollowed many groups. This takes a way a lot of distractions from my feed.
- I’ve also told myself not to click into useless articles, videos and images if I can. This could be harder to do if my friends repost them. We’ll see how we go.
All in all, I’d say, the experience was a weirdly satisfying one. It helps me “rewire my brain” back to normal a little. Yes, using Facebook and social media reprograms your brain – in bad ways… And I might also do it a few times a year to remain mentally healthy 🙂