ABUNDANT = more space, money, time, freedom & focus
MINIMALISM = less clutter, no debt, fewer complications, obligations & distractions

Quitting Facebook (better yet, never starting)

Photo of an old partially broken chain, to ask "Will you break the chain of addiction to social media?"
Will you break the chain of addiction to social media?
Image by Brian Smithson

Like Smoking Cigarettes, It’s Best if You Simply Never Start

Quitting addictive habits is hard. So if you haven’t started yet… then don’t! When Facebook started to grow, everyone I knew or met tried to get me on it, but I kept saying “No.” I had a strong feeling that it was a bad idea, and I stand happily in the same spot today, still glad to be not using it.

I heard how addicted people were getting, checking it multiple times an hour. “Updating their status”, whatever the heck that is. I have enough ways to amuse myself with plenty of interesting projects on the go, without purposely adding time-gobbling addictions and distractions to my life.

Sharing or Stealing?

Initially, my main reason for not using it was that I heard that all of the photos uploaded would no longer be your property. Sharing is fine, but that seems more like stealing, (while mentioning that they will steal it). I recently heard of someone (a friend of a relative) who discovered their face on billboards without their express permission to use their image for that purpose (or payment).

When people blindly click “accept” on any terms and conditions, there are potentially really unhappy repercussions.

Airing Dirty Laundry

Anything can be used against you in a court of law, and also can count against you when you are looking for a job. Plenty of people have also been fired after posting their indiscreet photos on social media.

Looking Desperate

I also noticed that people were behaving as if they were perpetually in the nerd group in high school, desperately begging people to be their friends. Pleeeeassse like me!!! But even after they were supposedly befriended, those people didn’t really care about them at all. It’s all so sad.

Stirring Up a Storm of Trouble

Being part of social media networks like Facebook also did reunite tons of acquaintances and old friends. Unfortunately those hookups also led to all sorts of jealousies and actual cheating incidents among couples. I’m sure you know of some examples yourself.

Comparing Someone’s Best Day to Your Average Day

The online display of people’s top life moments resulted in a lot of people becoming depressed and anxious about their own lives. This constant comparison with others, rather than just living your own life, is not healthy.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic: Living for your own joy, or for others

While travelling, I met a couple who were documenting every nanosecond of their trip and uploading it all along the way. One of them said to me, “If you don’t post it, it didn’t happen.” That made me feel extremely sad for them. No one else has to experience your life for it to be meaningful. You can have an amazing time, not record it, write about it, photograph it, or share it at all… and maybe that would keep it even more special because it’s not about anyone else. It’s just your private joy, or challenge, or whatever that experience was for you.

That’s how I got married; privately. After ten years of partnership, we married ourselves in the most beautiful spot around, with our dog as the only witness. It was really special and awesome. There have been studies done that showed that the more extravagant the wedding, the less successful the marriage. It shouldn’t be about spending your life savings on one crazy, stress-filled extravaganza. A huge party might be fun, but the bonding of two people is an important, private moment.

A lot of our most pivotal life moments are like that. They are much more special because they are shared only with the most significant people in our lives, rather than a bunch of fake “friends” we’ll likely never actually meet in person.

Minimalism is Removing Distractions & Refining One’s Focus

As a minimalist, this is only one example of where I have decided to reduce my obligations in order to give myself the luxury of an abundance of more free time. I dedicate my focus to my health, to my writing and to my daily interactions with people I love in the real world. I don’t use Facebook or any social media at this time and I have a good life. Whenever I step into the bustle, it emphasizes the happy truth; I generally feel quite calm and peaceful. I think a big part of maintaining my peaceful life is the lack of constant updates from people who don’t really know me or care at all. Ceaseless interruptions cause irritation and lack of concentration. If we want to accomplish anything of significance, we need to keep our focus.

Here’s what another minimalist thinks about quitting Facebook. He makes some persuasive points from the perspective of someone who was into it and then decided to get out. The comments are also very interesting. Knowing that it is possible and wonderful to quit will help more people to free their minds and free their time to pursue their greatest aspirations.

What do you think about my decision to not use Facebook? Would you ever consider quitting Facebook or any other social media?

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think.