I think many people can relate to the following scenario: get a Facebook notification, open the app to check it , blink and an hour later you’re looking at your auntie’s next door neighbours’ holiday photos from 2014. Or even worse (and I have been guilty of this in the past) – replying to some snotty comment on a public post usually about politics, teachers being lazy or mums being lazy, or all 3. Then getting angry at the inevitable exchange of comments that follow.
Agh! What just happened?!
A couple of months ago I decided enough was enough with Facebook as it was definitely the social media channel I had the biggest issues with for the reasons above. I knew I didn’t want to delete my account altogether – my husband did this and he barely uses it – but even he had to reinstate it as for a start his Plum savings account wouldn’t work, not to mention Facebook Messenger groups, etc. So instead I decided to delete the app from my phone. I could still access Facebook from the browser on my phone but obviously it took a lot more effort to get to, and I didn’t have the notifications popping up constantly.
This worked very well initially and depending on what you use Facebook for I would recommend it if you fancy weaning yourself off it. For the first week I was checking it barely once a day for 5 minutes or so. I think some days I didn’t bother checking it at all. I was really pleased with myself and found I hadn’t really missed it at all. However – there were some negatives to this:
My Blogging / Matched Betting groups
I am a member of a number of groups on Facebook that I need to check daily to get the best use out of them and build my blog. In the time of weaning myself off Facebook I know there were important things I missed that could have been a good networking opportunity for my blog. It was also the World Cup and although I use Profit Accumulator for Matched Betting, some of the Facebook groups I am in used to alert me to good offers as people would post what they had made on them. This can be a lot more effective for me to take advantage of offers than remembering to check Profit Accumulator.
Nursery and Playgroup events
The Facebook page for my daughter’s nursery is where I get most of the information about when it’s dress up day or Grandparent’s stay & play etc. I felt a bit out the loop when I forgot one of these and realised it was because I hadn’t seen their Facebook page! Similarly I almost missed our Friday playgroup photo day for the same reason. Usually I am well prepared for this but I only found out the morning of the event and had to frantically make sure my daughter’s hair and clothing were photo ready!
It was these things that made me realise – actually, there are some positive aspects to using Facebook. You just have to distance yourself from the negative.
For these reasons, after a couple of weeks, I put the app back on my phone. However, instead of being on my front screen, it is now on the last screen in the order it was installed. That little red circle of notifications is now not constantly visible and this definitely makes a difference. Because I broke the habit of checking it all the time, I have definitely cut down my usage. Who knows exactly how the algorithm works but it is definitely showing me less from the pages and people I don’t interact with as much – of course you can always unfollow, unlike or unfriend too.
Now I use Facebook mainly for the groups I mentioned, have a quick scroll of my newsfeed to catch up with friends and leave it at that. If a political post or a fake holiday competition annoys me I unfollow it or report it and don’t get involved.
What do you think of my opinions? Do you think you need to cut down your Facebook use?
Leave a comment and let me know.