Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Rachel Jonat of Minimalist Mom
Minimalism will lead you to a lot of things you never thought about. What you once accepted as the norm you will now question the how and why of. Where you invest your time, energy and money are decisions you will start placing much more thought into.
I recently deleted my personal Facebook account. In the past, I spent 20-30 minutes on Facebook, 5-7 days a week, browsing updates and occasionally setting up social engagements via wall posts and messages. Some of my friends posted interesting links that I would follow to view their favorite TEDx talk or an article they recommended. I occasionally commented on status updates or links but most of my Facebook time was passive surfing of photos and updates about weekend antics. Harmless enough, right?
My time is valuable to me and to my family. The more I thought about what I was getting out of Facebook, and what I was giving back on Facebook, I realized it was a one sided conversation. I was passively bobbing along in the tide of updates, not connecting, not sharing and spending time keeping up with people I would never call on the phone or invite over for dinner.
I want more from my friends than status updates. I want to give my friends more than status updates.
Facebook wasn’t enriching my life. The photos of my friend’s children were nice to see but they didn’t replace having a play date and seeing that child in the flesh. Thirty-six, four word wall posts congratulating someone on turning a year-older rang false to me. If this person isn’t significant enough in my life for a birthday phone call or visit or even a personal email, why do I want to stay on top of where they are vacationing and that they got a new puppy.
I’d rather give up the 189 Facebook friends, the majority of whom I don’t have or want the phone number of, and focus on the people near and dear to me.
The 20 minutes a day, or roughly 2 hours a week, or over 4 days a year, I spent on Facebook can now be used for better connections. With that time I can:
- Day trip to my college town: go to an alumni event and catch up with old friends. (12 hours)
- Spend one hour every Sunday of the year calling friends and family. (52 hours)
- Coffee or walk with a friend, or one of my sisters, every other week. (39 hours)
Goodbye, Facebook. It’s been entertaining but I’m looking for deeper connections with friends and family. And I’m not going to find that on a wall post.
Read more from Rachel on her blog.