I went on a Facebook Diet for two weeks. I started the diet without an end date in mind. I went on a Facebook Diet because I was feeling anxious and nervous, I was constantly checking my Facebook News Feed, and I was comparing myself to others to my own detriment.
The detox from Facebook was liberating. I felt free from the constant stimulation and connectivity with others. I started feeling calm and relaxed. I had more time and was more present for the real people in my life. These were all the positives of the diet and ones that I started feeling immediately.
While the benefits certainly outweighed the negatives, there was a downside of not being on Facebook. My fear of what I might be missing out on came to fruition. I was invited to and missed my friend's campaign launch for Cambridge City Council. She had sent the invitation via her new Facebook page announcing the campaign launch at a local bar. Not being connected on Facebook meant that I couldn't see the other mutual friends who were going, they didn't know I wasn't on Facebook (tsk tsk, they didn't read my blog!)... and so it goes. While it was not a disastrous outcome, I would have loved to show my support for my friend who is a woman of color running for local office.
The main lesson I learned is that I need to use Facebook as a vehicle of connectivity to the different friends' groups in my life. If I see it as that and nothing more, then I think my relationship with Facebook will be positive. Now, I am more mindful of my time on Facebook and try to show restraint in how many times a day I am refreshing my News Feed. When anxiety or nervousness arise, I take a break from Facebook. And when the feelings of inadequacy emerge because I am comparing myself to others, I am quick to recognize these feelings and squash them. My Facebook Diet showed me that I can live without it and I will be perfectly fine. Now, whether I want to is another question entirely...