After the Facebook Fast

Two weeks ago I gave up social media for seven whole days (here’s the link). Well, sort of. To be honest, I checked my stats on WordPress (this blog) for the first two days of my social media fast. I also waited to delete all of the social media apps from my smartphone until day two. So, while I didn’t know what my Facebook notifications were, I knew I was still getting them – for the first two days, at least. Other than that, though, I didn’t check Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or OkCupid, or my blog.

Here is what I discovered:

Not checking Facebook on my phone every other minute is great.

I felt antsy for the first few days, but after that I barely thought about it. I thought that maybe the terrible boredom and lack of attention I would inevitably feel during that week might force me into some amazing sort of adventure, like talking to a girl in a bar, or Trader Joe’s, or something. It didn’t. Apparently the same affliction that drives me to obsessively check Facebook also ramps up my anxiety in ‘actual’ social situations. Continue reading

You Have Spurned Me, Facebook

There’s something wrong.

I find myself all too often feeling dejected after checking my Facebook and finding it devoid of any new notifications. No new ‘likes’ or mentions, no comments on my posts or comments on the comments I’ve commented on. Or liked. How many Facebook messages arrived in the hours between leaving home for a walk and my return from the grocery store? Zero.

Sure, there’s that old friend request from my father’s second cousin out in South Dakota, but that only makes it worse. No one’s left any real evidence, in the last since-I-checked-facebook-last, that I’ve occupied even the most casual of their thoughts (‘click’). Nobody did anything to let me know I’m funny, or smart, or cute, or envied. No one even sent a digital ‘poke’ while I sat on my inflatable mattress, watched Mad Men, made a cucumber salad, read part of a book, and randomly checked my phone to see if notifications had arrived.

This makes me feel dejected. Continue reading