For anyone feeling like they want to undo the stranglehold that is the Facebook Addiction, I offer these threeish steps.
DISCLAIMER Please don’t forget I’m only one week into this experiment, but I don’t really miss it and that is a step in the right direction. AND my method works best for those people who have collected more than 1000 friends, we are a special brand of social media addict.
How to Wean Yourself Off Facebook in Threeish Steps
For those of you with 1000 or more friends, the first step to a successful Facebook detox is NOT admitting you have a problem, cause please child, I know you know 1000 people I DO TOO that’s not the problem! The problem lies in who you spend your time interacting with ON FACEBOOK out of those 1000 friends.
a. Delete anyone who drives you bat shit crazy and you have hidden from your timeline, right off the bat. If they are people who drive you bat shit crazy and you can’t quite delete them for whatever reason (no, I get that too, I really do…) just hold on…a few more steps and they will be gone too. Ok, since you aren’t likely to do that, do yourself a favor and delete the Facebook app from your phone. If you need, you can log in through the internet on your phone instead. One small step, you can do it.
b. Since you read step A, identified a handful of these people and did nothing about it, I offer this next step instead.Start deleting PAGES instead of people. Do you really need to LIKE Vlasic Pickels or Old Spice? Or that annoying page your friend Jen asked you to like just to help her reach 1000 fans? Yeah. Delete, generously and often. Now that you are warmed up…delete anyone in your friends list that makes you say—who is that again? People without 1000 friends might think this sounds absurd, but it is an essential first step into breaking away at the addiction. If you have to think twice how you are connected to a person, just delete them. If you have to click on their profile and say “oh yeah, that’s so and so who I met at so and so’s whatever you call it how many years ago….” DELETE THEM. If you can’t identify them when creating Friend Lists “wait is that person from WNY or did I meet them at a conference this summer?” DELETE THEM. This should widdle away your number to under 1000 making Facebook deleting feel much more real and exhilarating.
c. Once you get that number down under 1000 it’s like a whole new world...you look for other people you can delete without effort. THIS is where I started looking at my personal interaction with people. If a friend is on Facebook but never uses it and I always am communicating with them over Twitter, DELETE them from Facebook! If you reconnected with ALL THE PEOPLE FROM HIGH SCHOOL because you were sort of helping to plan a reunion and you NEEDED access to them just in case but haven’t even interacted with them in the last three years DELETE them from Facebook! Even if they are your friends, for real, in real life and you DON’T USE FACEBOOK TO INTERACT WITH THEM, delete! If there is someone who has never once commented or contacted you through Facebook and are basically inactive, as soon you delete them two things will happen. 1. They will never notice because they are inactive or 2. They will totally notice right away that they can’t see your posts anymore and want to know why you deleted them. Who knew they were even there, right? I took a careful look at people and how I connected with them the most. If it was professional, I left them to Linkedin. If it was because I see pretty photos they post on Instagram and the same thing on Facebook, I left them to Instagram. If I find myself Tweeting with people, but never talking on Facebook, I left them on Twitter. NOTHING PERSONAL but these days savvy high users.addicts of social media cross post on several platforms. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to see the same photo three different places, one is enough thank you.
d. After you get to this point, you realize you have deleted about half of your “FRIENDS” and you will probably freak out a little. But here’s the thing…you know how to find these people again. And trust me, with the amount of times I’ve purged and re-added people over the years, it’s not that hard to get them back later if you feel the need. Plus after deleting over 800 people, even the people who should be taking it personally because they secretly drive you bat shit crazy won’t know they are the ones you REALLY wanted to delete, after all you just made your world more smaller by deleting 800 people.
2. START PREPARING THE REST OF YOUR FRIENDS FOR THE NEXT STEP
You are now down to 400-500 friends. WOO HOO! A week or two goes by and you notice you don’t even MISS those other people. Perhaps one or two re-friend you and you accept, because why not. But you have made it into the slippery slope…you have your eye on the prize…now you have to start telling others about your plans.
a. Start with the obligatory “just did a purge/detox and it feels so good.” post so the people still around know they “made it past the cut” or something. At least this is what most people comment when you say something like this.
b. Continue to monitor your feed and when you see someone post another thing that annoys you make sure to hide them. It keeps your feed prettier. This can be family, friends, coworkers…Oh and while doing that, make sure to post/comment/share less frequently…if you post 5 times a day, try 2 times. If you like every post you see come through your feed, only like the ones you would leave comments on instead. But don’t ever leave a comment, because man it is annoying to get notifications of all the other people leaving comments after you. Try overusing another social media platform instead, HELLO TWITTER! Anything but Facebook.
c. Stop depending on Facebook Messenger to chat with people. GO BACK TO TEXTING. Or emailing. ANYTHING BUT FACEBOOK. Ask people for their numbers and email addresses. I was shocked at how many I didn’t have and how MUCH I DEPENDED ON THE EASE OF FACEBOOK to contact everyone. Trust me, if people need to find a way to contact you they will, this ain’t the 1980s.
d. You prepared yourself, you prepared others…the big day is around the corner. But before you “go silent or go dark or take a break” or whatever you want to call it…” do yourself a favor. Go through and delete all those other people you have always thought about deleting for whatever reason and just do it. It doesn’t matter why. Just do it. You won’t be back on for a while anyhow so they probably won’t notice or take it (as) personally.
Step 3 PROFIT
And then create another account because you realize you really SHOULD still manage that one page (business, personal, volunteer) and make your new profile an admin of the page, log back into your recently deactivated account to approve the new admin page…and then deactivate again. Of course because FACEBOOK IS THE DEVIL be prepared for tons of your friends to try to friend this new profile you only created for yourself. Also, watch out. People you are actually friends with who haven’t been noticing your warning signs might text or call or email in the next few days wondering IF YOU ARE OK BECAUSE YOU DEACTIVATED FACEBOOK!!! I have found this to be a very cathartic reminder that I did the right thing for me at the time and am finally learning to control my Facebook addiction.