The Pew Research Center just released this study.
FB is still the queen or king or emperor of social media, but some folks have stopped using it (like me) and others have said they’ve taken breaks periodically.
The most common reason for deactivating or deleting a facebook account is that the person felt they didn’t have time for it.
And yes, that is part of the reason, in fact the main reason, I left. My time is valuable and it was far too often wasted on facebook. My house wasn’t as clean as it should have been, my kids weren’t getting my full attention and any number of “real life” things didn’t get taken care of.
Now, that’s not to say that all users of facebook are poor wardens of their time. No, in fact, many, many people are able to successfully limit their usage and not get sucked in for three+ hour stretches. Many people don’t feel the need to updates statuses so frequently or comment and like every post and picture and can log on, spend a couple of minutes and log off. It’s true, I know them. But I was never one of them.
So what have I done in the face of losing something that
wasted used a lot of my time? Well, first I spent a lot of time trying to fill it with other useless enterprises like constantly emailing or texting or playing around on pinterest, tumblr or instagram. But none of those things fit, I found. And it defeated the purpose. So, I began keeping a better house, seeking out stuff to do with my kids (board games, anyone?) and praying. Especially that last one. My prayer life was somewhat languishing when I lived in facebookland. This despite the numerous prayer requests I answered on there. But I couldn’t say a Rosary or an hour of the Divine Office, because I’d get online and forget. Yes, I am admitting to being that pathetic. I said God was the center of my life, I wanted Him to be, but my actions told a different story.
I thought I was the only one until my neighbor confessed that after finding out I deactivated, she did as well. We both had the same expectations and experiences. And we are in the Friday night book group that I am missing tonight together. We both took solace in Ann Voskamp’s talking about emptying yourself out to be filled with God. And we both felt that purging our systems of facebookery was exactly what we were doing. We both felt that we were in some kind of addiction with the service and a clean break was exactly what we needed. Some people drink, some smoke crack, we facebooked. And neither of us could ever imagine going back. I could only log back on in order to get off some pictures I might discover I didn’t save on this hard drive for some reason.
Closing the door on the virtual world and opening it to the real world has had some interesting side effects/results/whatever-you-want-to-call them. For me, I realized that the whole world was not worthy of my attention in the way that God, my husband and my children were and are.