I Gave Up Facebook for 6 Months, Here is What Happened

I Gave Up Facebook because Facebook and I have never been friends.

In fact, I've despised it for as long as I can remember. 

I hated its ability to make me uncomfortable, and critical, of myself.  I hated watching people do one thing and completely advertise another.  I couldn't stand being at group events when people would leverage Facebook posts as a means to gossiping.

Mostly, I hated how it made me feel completely insecure about my life. 

You may be able to relate. There is something about putting yourself out there and fearing for your life that people are judging you for it, whether it be a photo, a post, a quote... or even a comment on someone else's content. 

And it isn't the people we are attempting to network with that get us, it's the people we have known the longest.  These are the people that can hold that kind of power over us.  We simply care about their opinion, too much. 

I finally said enough is enough...

I deactivated Facebook. No more creeping on people, wondering who liked what, who is doing what when, why I wasn't invited... etc.. etc..

Giving up Facebook didn't mean the world ended.  I didn't lose friends, I didn't receive concerned emails, and quite frankly, hardly anyone noticed.  

Only I did.

Here is what happened:

I WASTED LESS TIME

The time spent on Facebook was now spent on researching other people and their online endeavors... (meaning ambition to start my own freelance job!). I became inspired by tons of people on different platforms that gave me an entirely different perspective of online networking.

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND

Literally. Once I deactivated Facebook I didn't look back. I didn't think about it, the people on it, (not to offend my wonderful friends and family though!) or reactivating it. The mental time that would have been spent on Facebook had been completely redirected elsewhere.

I JOINED NEW NETWORKS

Namely Instagram.  Followed by Google + Which I'm no longer overly active on) Pinterest, and Youtube. See, I was still interested in social media... I just needed to feel comfortable enough to post the things I wanted, and not feel criticized for it. 1 month after starting my business? I have over 1,500 Pinterest followers and over 10,000 Instagram followers. 

I OVERCAME MY SOCIAL MEDIA ANXIETY

The more you post, the more you realize the world isn't going to end if you post something that isn't a "mega hit". Suddenly confidence starts setting in and it becomes fun, really. Being on platforms that allow you to advertise yourself to people who are interested in your niche... rather then your personal life, is a blast

I FOUND THE VALUE IN SOCIAL MEDIA

There is money in social media.  There are friendships that can be made on social media. There are sooo many opportunities to be had..on social media.. Finding like minded people, meeting them and bouncing ideas off of them, joining them in an adventure. These experiences are priceless.

I REACTIVATED MY ACCOUNT

Eventually I had to give in and reactivate it, but for an entirely different purpose.  Clients and businesses use Facebook as a means of communicating with their group. They share ideas, network, and essentially hold meetings through their Facebook groups. I was actually given an ultimatum. 

 Either I needed to bring back Facebook or lose my clients.

I brought back Facebook.

However, this time was entirely different.  I use it to promote my writing, communicate in blog groups (which are looking like a godsend!) and network.  I also communicate with friends and family, who have been incredibly supportive, despite my initial concerns.

I'm not afraid to post things that benefit my business or me.

I guess the only person with the actual problem was me. Once I learned the benefit of Facebook and stopped being driven by my insecurities... it has been extremely beneficial, and incredibly surprising.

In fact, it now drives a majority of my traffic.

So what do I recommend? If you are currently using Facebook for business means, don't give it up.  If you only use it to keep track of friends and family, than sometimes a break can realize how much free time you actually have, and how you want to use it.