I deleted my Facebook account.
That’s one of the biggest changes I made during my three-week blogging hiatus.
I did not just deactivate my Facebook account. I deleted it permanently. I also deleted not just my blog’s Facebook page, but my personal account.
Was it difficult? Difficult is an understatement. My memories since 2009 were stored on Facebook. Letting go of my Facebook profile felt like letting go of my memories.
I thought and prayed about it for weeks. When I finally mustered the strength, I closed my eyes as I clicked on the “confirm” button.
But, afterwards, it felt liberating. I felt at peace—peace that I haven’t felt since college (that was six years ago).
Today, I just want to share with you the four reasons why I deleted my Facebook account:
1. I wanted my purpose to be the main reason why I do things
Before deleting my Facebook account, I came to the point where I wrote blog posts to get people’s attention. The easiest way to get that was on Facebook. I came to the point where I was writing to get likes, comments, and shares on Facebook.
I wanted to write purely once again. I wanted to write for God. I wanted to make a real difference in other people’s lives with my writing. I wanted to stay true with my blog’s purpose of helping others find and do work that they love and create their art.
2. I wanted to challenge myself to grow my blog outside of Facebook
I have to admit, I became complacent in sharing my writing. As long as I got some likes, comments, and shares on Facebook, I was already contented. I was no longer exploring other avenues of sharing my writing.
Without Facebook, where I usually got most of my blog’s engagements, I knew I had to explore some other ways to grow my blog and reach new people. Without Facebook, I had to get out of my comfort zone.
3. I wanted to enjoy my real-life connections
Deleting my Facebook account meant letting go of some of the people whom I can connect with only on Facebook. I had some friends whom I could only contact through Facebook. Without Facebook, I am forced to enjoy my real-life connections.
Because of the time I save scrolling through my news feed, I’m able to spend more quality time with my family, my closest friends, and the people around me. I’m also able to stay in the moment more often now as I don’t have to worry about Facebook messages and notifications.
4. I wanted to be true to myself
Back in high school and college, I never had Friendster or Multiply. I bet you don’t even check your profiles there now. But, I was never a fan of social media. I was a very private and introverted person. Ironically, being a blogger who writes about his thoughts and share them on social media (other than Facebook), I still am.
I don’t know about you, but having a social media profile kind of forces you to put something on it. It forces you to share a bit more about yourself with people you’re not really close to. I have never been comfortable with that.
But, now that I don’t have Facebook, I have gotten rid of that unwanted (and mostly self-inflicted) pressure to post something online. I was back to my old self who shares what he wants to share with the people he wants to share them with. Most importantly, I was back to my old self who loves himself and who does things no matter what other people might think.
Couldn’t I just log in less often?
Well, yeah. But, I admit that I easily get addicted to any activities. I’m afraid that unless I take drastic actions, I wouldn’t be able to overcome an addiction. I’m not disciplined enough to just log in less often.
Thankfully, Facebook has an option to save all your archives. I saved my archives (and all my memories) before deleting my Facebook account.
So far, it’s liberating not to have a Facebook account. I have saved a lot of time scrolling down my news feed, I have made more connections with my closest friends and some new friends I met in the blogosphere, and, most importantly, I’m doing things for the right reasons (again) and not for people’s attention.
Here’s what I believe: Facebook is a great tool. But, if a tool begins taking over your life instead of helping you achieve your life’s purpose (and making meaningful connections), then you have to evaluate whether you should continue using that tool or not.
Also, it’s not the same for everyone. I know some people who have unbelievable discipline and commitment to their purpose to get distracted by Facebook. They’re able to use Facebook the way it’s supposed to be used. I’m just afraid I don’t have their discipline and commitment.
Am I not missing out on something?
The fear of missing out. Well, I am.
First, I’m missing out on the opportunity to share my blog posts on Facebook, where I get 70% of my blog’s traffic. But, like what I said, I want to challenge myself to explore opportunities outside Facebook and reach people outside my own network. (If you find any of my blog posts helpful, feel free to share them on Facebook. That’s the only way for my blog posts, as of writing, to be on Facebook. You’ll also get my never-ending gratitude.)
Second, I’m missing out on some of my closest family and friends’ updates. But, that’s okay. That simply means I have to make an effort to reach out to them. By not seeing everything that’s happening to them on Facebook, we’ll also have something to talk about. That also leaves us some room for surprises about each other.
How about you?
I just want to leave you with some questions:
Are you still doing things for the right reasons or are you doing them for likes, comments, or shares? Are you still making an effort to connect with people in real life? Are you using Facebook as a tool to genuinely connect with people or is it taking over your life?
It's also not just Facebook. Maybe there are other tools, things, activities, or even people (gasp) in your life who are no longer helping you achieve your purpose. What or who are they?