I didn’t use Facebook for 6 months and here’s what happened…..
Like most of my millennial peers, I find it hard to stick to something for long and by saying that I don’t imply I can’t stick with my parents any longer (or maybe I do) ; I imply that I find it hard to stick to a particular phone model or a subject book the night before the exam. Having said that, I’ve probably established in your mind that I am fickle. Fickle, not enough to ruin my exam tomorrow, but surely enough to jeopardize my social life and image by letting go of the most trustworthy ledger of my conscious life – Facebook.
I joined Facebook when I was a few months shy of twelve and ever since, my social life has been recorded on it, although I was an introvert throughout the school. It was the only portal to connect with friends and show them where I was traveling with my folks through pictures. It served me well for long but something drove me to quit this public digital diary. At the peak of my social life -engineering, where I meet new people every semester, meet with friends every weekend and am a part of a dozen student groups, it was a chaos.
As if having 700+ plus socially hyper active friends who post about anything and everything from shoes to hair to bikes isn’t enough, one is plagued by over-the-top cheesy birthday wishes. What’s worse than the wishes is the hype that’s built with countdowns and you’re in for extra cringing if you are single and these posts in your circles are mostly for people’s significant others. Even if I could keep up with this, I lost when people around me start stalking exes, ex-crushes, ex-friends, ex-schoolmates and oh, of course, current crushes, current friends, current unknowns and blah blah blah.
Last December, my New Year resolution was the same, exercise often and do better at exams but suddenly in January, it was “stay off of that” and voila, I erased myself from my circles by deactivating my Facebook account. How did I last 6 months you ask? Well let’s just say I was that fed up with the drama and smaller circles on WhatsApp, snapchat and Instagram helped (they really are small!).
So what happened in the past six months? Something astronomical (OMG! She quit FB!?) or something atomic (She quit FB! Bleh!)? Well, I won’t act old and say I saved time or say this has indirect health benefits. I would rather call the change in me, sagacious.
Firstly, the realization that I don’t need Facebook to validate my social life along with the absence of the chaotic super flow of irrelevant media and information has helped me rebuild my image and concentration. Not that they were very broken before, not that they’re perfect now but I do feel better when I look in the mirror. I feel relieved sans the constant dumping of posts into my brain.
Secondly, I connected better with friends and family and talked more with them since I didn’t have prior knowledge of what they were already doing and where they already were. I finally was no longer an introvert. Ironically, although I connected with everyone I knew on Facebook, I was still an introvert.
Thirdly and most importantly, pulling off something as random and crazy in public opinion as this for this long gave me confidence that I had the willpower to do anything and the reassurance that I still have a social life, actually with the closer ones now.
In a nutshell, it did me better than harm but hold on there if you think I’m prescribing you abstinence from this virus. You are your own doctor here and need to judge your own medicine. Think twice before you quit because Facebook without glamorous socialites is very dull (laughs) also where will you get that many memes?
By- Ananya Bal