I am three days away from my two week anniversary of leaving Facebook! As I went through the process of extracting myself from Facebook several of my friends asked if there was a twelve step program for that. I told them I would write one and here it is.
1. Admit that Facebook is a problem (or admit that you have a problem with Facebook)
For two or three years I have told my husband that FB is not a problem, that I don't spend too much time with it, and that communication on FB is really real communication. However more recently I calculated how much time I was spending on FB and concluded that I was spending a month of 24 hour days each year doing little more than watching what was going on in other people's lives. This was a problem. Also I began to notice how often I was putting off my husband or son when they were trying to get my attention. There are many more ways in which FBing was interfering with my life but I think y'all get the picture.
2. Learn Detachment Techniques
When I decided that I was going to cut the cord, I googled "How can a FB profile be deleted?" and came up with a site that gave me some good information. I also went through the privacy settings on FB itself and found out that the site describes in detail how to go through the process. (It does take some work to find the information.) They even admit that when you delete a profile the process takes two weeks and that some stuff may linger on for as much as 90 days.
3. Set a Departure Date
This timing issue will vary depending on the individual. For me, I wanted to keep in touch, through other means, with as many of my FB friends as possible. So I chose a date two weeks forward of my decision and a date that was meaningful to me for other reasons.
4. Notify Friends
Maybe this doesn't seem relevant to some, but for me it was paramount. I wrote a 'note' that announced my desire to leave FB, reasons why I felt this was necessary, and most importantly my desire to keep in touch with people I cared about. I posted this note on three separate occasions during the 2 week period tagging friends I especially wanted to maintain contact with. Important Note: They may not all respond. Don't let that deter you from your plan.
5. Begin Power Down
I started snooping around on my site to see how many things could possibly trip up my exit strategy. (one thing I learned in step 3 was that you can get drawn back in almost against your will through attachments to other pages or through apps) I deleted every app, even the ones I had not used in years.
6. Find Replacement Activities
By this I do not mean to find computer stuff that will continue to suck you dry the way FB did. I mean that leaving FB could create a void in your life that seems so empty that the only solution is to go back on your resolve. For me I decided to start this Blog! I also bought a brand new address book, a stack of postcards, and plenty of stamps. I have also returned to embroidery and guitar practice (not to mention listening to my hubby and son).
7. Continue Power Down
Find anything else that might re-link you to FB. Make sure there are no pages attached to you and that you are not linked to other sites (such as Y! or a host of others)
8. Stay Strong
By this time several of your friends may be imploring you to stay. Plug your ears if necessary, or better yet write these friends a postcard. Let them know you will keep in touch in other ways. Do not bend your resolve.
9. Just Do It!
The Nike principle fits too well here. The time has come. Your extraction date has arrived. Go through the channels you studied during step 2, and click that delete button.
10. Go Away!
If possible, go somewhere where there is no computer for a while. I went hiking with my family for a few days, and it was wonderful! I didn't think significantly about FB while I was out. If hiking or boating or sitting by a river or laying on a beach are not your thing or not available options, you could go stay with a friend or family member for a couple of days. Just something to take your mind off FB for a while.
11. Enact Replacement Plan
Start that blog! Take those lessons! Plant that garden! Write a letter! See how wonderful all of these things feel!
12. Enjoy Life Without FB
Don't mope over what you are missing! I know that a week or so ago, when a meteorite was passing between the moon and earth that a FB friend of mine posted pictures of it. I have no doubt they were cool pics, but I do not NEED to see them. I am having more fun each day now than I was when I was on FB. I am living my own life instead of living vicariously through the lives of others.
Now, about those Curry Trees.
I have had a Curry Tree for several years now. Wiki has a great article about them so if you want to know what a Curry Tree is you can go there real quick. O.K. you back? This spring my curry tree bloomed for the first time. Huge clusters of pretty pinkish-white flowers that attracted pollinating wasps that I have never seen before! This fall the berries from those flowers started to ripen and I planted the seeds from them. I am now the proud owner of about 21 Curry trees with more on the way! Here are a couple of pics of my babies:
Aren't they beautiful!