I swore off Facebook for a week, here’s how it went

The+RubicOnline+Editor+in+Chief+Diane+Huang+went+without+Facebook+for+a+week.+Even+after+Facebook+came+knocking+at+my+virtual+door+%28my+Gmail+inbox%29+begging+me+to+come+back%2C+I+was+unconvinced+that+I%E2%80%99d+ever+want+to+go+back+to+its+blue+embrace.

The RubicOnline Editor in Chief Diane Huang went without Facebook for a week. “Even after Facebook came knocking at my virtual door (my Gmail inbox) begging me to come back, I was unconvinced that I’d ever want to go back to its blue embrace.”

Diane Huang, Online Editor-in-Chief

I was pretty sure I would go through some sort of life-changing ordeal when I gave up Facebook for a week. I had it all figured out for this story: the first few days would probably be pretty tough. I’d go through some sort of withdrawal where I felt a lack of purpose in the void of my life that was scrolling and clicking through endless posts that were liked by my friends, Nerf Wars, rehashes of worn out Tumblr posts and Vines, Humans of New York, invites to play Texas Hold ‘Em, and much, much more (extremely important stuff).

I was sorely mistaken.

Believe it or not, when something is loosely connected to the rest of your life, it’s not too difficult to cut it out completely for some time. Sure, I missed a few messages from my Nerf Team, my Book Club in English class, The Rubicon editors, a number of my clueless friends, and my mom. But, even after Facebook came knocking at my virtual door (my Gmail inbox) begging me to come back, I was unconvinced that I’d ever want to go back to its blue embrace.

So, what did I lose with Facebook?

The first thing I lost was mindless scrolling. However, Instagram took care of that in a more condensed and meaningful way. The difference between Instagram and Facebook is that Instagram doesn’t pressure me to record everything I like and ultimately follow it, and it also doesn’t inundate my feed with everything else the people I follow like. Instagram also makes it difficult to share other people’s posts, ultimately forcing users to generate their own content, which for Instagram, means a lot more thought overall in how you plan to post a picture that says what you want it to—…unless it’s just a screenshot of some text.

The best thing about Instagram was that it didn’t take long for me to scroll far enough until I found images which I had already looked at the day before. As for Facebook, the last time that happened was probably the first month that I had it. It’s easy to get lost on Facebook because of the sheer amount of content that it throws at you, but Instagram mostly limits content to posts by who you follow, and the occasional sponsor.

At some point, looking for things to entertain yourself on the Internet outweighs the reward and doing work just seems to be the final option. Facebook, on the other hand, will always be the IV drip of mindless distraction.”

— Online Editor in Chief Diane Huang

Besides mindless scrolling, I lost my main source of news. This made me explore other areas of the Internet by typing in nytimes.com into the omnibox (yes, that’s what the textbox at the top of your browser is called) rather than typing f- and then having my internet browser fill out the remaining acebook.com for me. Interestingly enough, all the news that I normally ignored in my Newsfeed were at the very front of the website, so instead of reading about Bongo Lady, I actually caught up on current events.

Leaving Facebook also meant more time for my favorite TV shows, friends, books, and this thing called homework. I was finally able to catch up on all the new TV shows that I had unwittingly picked up over the past year, and I was no longer constantly distracted while attempting to finish my work.

I’ve been told that giving up Facebook won’t change a thing because there are so many other things to distract me. The problem with Facebook is that it doesn’t end like all the available episodes to The Flash that I watched on Hulu or all the available comics on The Oatmeal. Instead, it continues on in an endless infinity where no one can really say they’ve reached the bottom after a year of usage. That is the core of why getting rid of Facebook really does create more free time. At some point,  looking for things to entertain yourself on the Internet outweighs the reward and doing work just seems to be the final option. Facebook, on the other hand, will always be the IV drip of mindless distraction.

One of the biggest things I learned is that I am not addicted to Facebook. For something that took such a large chunk of my time—roughly an hour a day (but I might just be afraid to admit it was any more than that)—I had no true dependency on it. It wasn’t necessary for school, and my Nerf Team could go on without me. Of course, there was always my email and my phone readily available in case anyone really felt committed to making contacting with me. But, while some people might say, “I can quit whenever I want!” I now know that I can. Sorry Facebook, I think we should just be friends.