Taking a Facebook Vacation

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Have you ever considered taking a break from Facebook?  Last week, I wrote a post on Mother Nature Network about a dad who paid his daughter $200 to stay off of Facebook for five months.  It was an interesting move that’s prompted even more interesting conversation around the web.

Apparently, the “Facebook Vacation” has become the latest trend in social media, with folks hopping off for weeks or months at a time.  Over the course of the last week, I have seen posts from three Facebook friends announcing their intention to take a break from the site and asking folks to contact them elsewhere if need be.

The closest I have come thus far to a Facebook Vacation is when I actually went on vacation last summer with my family – camping in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks.  It wasn’t really intentional.  There simply wasn’t cell coverage in many of the areas we visited, so over the course of the ten-day trip, I checked in via cell phone maybe two times.  And what I remember from that experience is that it felt pretty awesome to step away from that platform and gain hours back in my day that I have previously devoted to Facebook.

Since then, the idea of a taking more regular breaks from Facebook became more and more appealing to me.  But I have been hesitant to take the plunge for two reasons.  First, I was worried that I would miss an opportunity to use the site for work related purposes.  I am fortunate enough to be a member of several different groups on Facebook whose members I tap regularly for advice, quotes, and thoughts on posts.  And Facebook has also been my connection to a number of recent work-related writing opportunities.

The other reason that I hesitated was that I didn’t want to snub my Facebook friends with an insinuation that I am too good for the site.    I love that I am able to connect with friends all over the world on a daily basis. I love to see the pictures of my old high school friends’ children.  I like knowing what projects my colleagues are working on – especially if I can offer some sort of help on a project that I might otherwise not have known about.  And I love the entertaining and witty memes that circulate around Facebook on the latest social buzz.

The problem is that it is all sometimes just a little too much.  I work from home on my computer, so it is far too easy to surf over to Facebook under the guise of checking in with some green group members about a post I’m working on, only to be sucked into a vortex of scrolling the feed and responding to wall posts that have little or nothing to do with work.  The end result is that I am less productive and the rest of my day suffers for it.

So – in the name of science – I am officially taking a break from Facebook for one week to determine how much more productive I can be without the social media temptation.  I am still available via Twitter (@thegreenparent) and email (jenn[at]thegreenparent[dot]com)  for folks who want to get in touch with me.  But I have removed Facebook from my computer’s toolbar and from my phone.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever taken a Facebook Vacation?  I would love to hear about it!

 

  • Patressak

    I take my own unofficial self-induced (some would say “self-inflicted”) breaks from Facebook every now and then.  Sometimes I’m just too busy to check it, and there’s a little twinge of guilt that ensues: Did I miss someone’s birthday?  Have I failed to ‘Like’ a photograph of someone’s precious newborn grandchild?  But then I remind myself of my philosophy that Facebook is, in many ways, simply an online cocktail party.  I carry on, guilt free.  Would I feel guilty not commenting positively on someone’s newborn grandchild’s photo if I hadn’t attended the cocktail party and so hadn’t even seen the photo?  No, and I wouldn’t feel too bad about missing the cocktail party either, since I don’t make it to every party to which I’m invited.  So, no apologies necessary, I believe.  Some days I tell myself before I ever get out of bed, ‘No Facebook today. You’ve got a big to-do list, sweetheart’ and amazingly enough, I survive.  It’s all still there when I return, and you’re right, Jenn: I gain more time in my day.  My computer is very slow, too, and I don’t own a laptop (yet), so I have to trundle upstairs to get online in my lonely garret (cue the sad violin music) — another reason to stay off Facebook from time to time.  Also, I don’t own a smartphone (I still have and exclusively USE my five-and-a-half-year-old tracphone), so cannot check my Facebook, my e-mail, any of that,any ol’ time.  When I go on vacation, I’m off FB for a week or more at a time, and I find it as refreshing as a big ol’ glass of homemade limeade in the middle of July.  I think that when Eckhart Tolle advises us to try to be and stay in the Now, he doesn’t mean the virtual Now; he means the REAL Now.  Here, and quite present.

    I really enjoy Facebook when I use it, and I enjoy my life just as much when I don’t.  So, bravo for you for taking a vacation every now and then!  Life is indeed too short to spend big chunks of it in front of a computer screen.  

  • http://profiles.google.com/kanelstrand Kanelstrand Design

    Good luck! I personally don’t seem to fathom the whole Facebook craze. I can go without it  perfectly well. I don’t depend on Facebook to get news from my friends and family, nor to learn the latest news, i.e. I have nothing urgent over there (except to update my business page).

    I hope you reconnect with your inner peace again!

  • http://www.survivingourblessings.com/ Abbey

    I will be joining you in a few days…it’s a big experiment in being more present. Good luck!