Checking in: quitting Facebook, one year on

flowers

Nope, still not missing it. In case you were wondering.

If you’re new around here, here are my reasons for quitting Facebook (and Twitter, and LinkedIn), and here are some lessons I learned a month in.

One thing I feared I’d miss on leaving Facebook was the occasional clever content. Events, ideas and happenings that people posted online, that I wanted in my world.

But thankfully, friendships can exist outside of social media. Who knew!?

Back in my Facebook days, if a friend saw something that they thought I’d like, they’d tag me in the comments to let me know. “@naomibulger,” they’d type, and then move on.

These days, my friends write me letters, they send me texts, they send emails. They write, “Hi how are you? I saw this on FB and thought of you. Let’s catch up soon!”

And I write back. “Oh wow that’s interesting, thanks for thinking of me. I’m well, how are you guys? Coffee next week?”

It’s so much more personal. Quality over quantity, that old chestnut. I feel so much more connected without Facebook than I ever did with it.

And better still: my friends know me and care about me, so the stories they share are actually stories that I want to read. Stories about extraordinary kindnesses, inspiring creativity, and new snail-mail projects.

Not once has anybody written to me, “Hi how are you? This grandmother looks 20 years younger, without surgery!” Or, “Hi how are you? I saw this article about Brangelina’s divorce and thought of you.” Or, “Hi how are you? They told this woman she couldn’t breastfeed in public and you’ll never believe what she did next!”

Turns out, my friends know me even better than a piece of software. Who knew?

Keep on making bread, my friends. Keep on writing letters, brewing tea, tending plants. You don’t have to quit Facebook, but do make time in your life for slow things, for tactile things, for real things. Fresh air. They will feel like fresh air.

14 comments

  • Linda

    I am not sure if this comment will show up or not. I have not done Facebook. I decided I did not want to know everything that was going on. I am choosey about my blog reading and enjoy instagram, but do not have a phone that is capable of participating. So, good for you Naomi. Slowing down is the way to enjoy all that is going around you today. By the way, I LOVED my envelope with the ranunuculus painted on the front!

    • Naomi Bulger

      Hi! I’m so glad you liked the ranunculi (ranunculuses?). I don’t think you’re missing anything not being on Facebook (although clearly I am heavily biased).

  • Lucy

    I swear this blog gives me joy anytime I read any of the posts, and this one was no exception! I absolutely live for your new blog updates :) Facebook is very good at connecting people together from long distances, but I 100% agree that I enjoy the more personal and intimate communication a lot more! Thank you so much for this lovely post!

  • Emily

    I quit FB a while ago, not exactly sure how long it has been…perhaps four or five months? Although I’ve not found the loss to be that great, I have found that it has caused me to lose many “friends”. Many people who I considered friends have basically treated me as though I no longer exist. I’ve tried to reach out and maintain relationships, but to no avail. They are willing to get together if I contact them, but I’m not invited or included in the same activities and get-togethers as before. It is heart-wrenching, but has caused me to re-evaluate these friendships, since it would appear that it was one of convenience for them, not a true friendship.

    • Naomi Bulger

      Oh that’s so sad, I’m sorry you’ve lost friendships. Hopefully it’s just an adjustment for those friends – Facebook does make it easy to include people with little or no effort (just make an event and click on some names). It’s a lot more effort to call or email or write etc. It doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t thinking of us, it’s just a matter of re-training our (and their) way of reaching out. (I hope). Hopefully also your true friendships have felt all the most special. Hugs to you! xo

  • LindaK

    Naomi, thanks for your courage and conviction. While I am still on FB, I’ve become more and more disenchanted with not only the junk content that shows up, but sadly, the empty content some friends and family members share. There’s really no excuse for this, though I hear a fair amount of “I’m soooo busy.” Instead, I’m always happy to personally hear from my family and friends via email or better yet,via my landline phone. I admit I’m also a curmudgeon when it comes to texting and messaging. I do not often share my cell number so that kind of cuts down on texting. I always encourage snail mail and mail art if the person is so inclined. I’m a big supporter of pen pals (internationalpenfriends.com…totally legit)I have them from all over the world. Every letter is a gift!!!! I’m pretty sure that the shelf life of FB in my life is pretty close to its expiration date. There is LIFE without Facebook!!!

    • Naomi Bulger

      There sure is life without Facebook. And it’s good! I understand your frustration. Although as one of those “I’m sooooo busy” culprits, I guess that kind of behaviour is not only limited to Facebook. A letter, though, a letter IS a gift.

  • Sandra

    How fabulous. I really need to make that break too. The advertising and “news” feeds are so irritating and, at times, insulting. Not to mention what a time waster FB can be. Thanks for the update of your impressions a year on. I HAD been wondering.

  • naomi loves: Oh dear

    […] I was so smug. And I felt so free! Less than a week after I congratulated myself on being free from Facebook for a whole year, I find myself sucked back into its insidious blue-and-white […]

  • Greetje Penning

    Hi, I stumbled upon your lovely site and it took me straight to this blog (now I see it’s from October 2016, but I don’t think it’s ‘coincidence’). I never had facebook but I have a site / blog for about 10 years now. But I noticed a lot of folk are leaving their blogs to join Instagram. I tried it once and.. well I don’t know. It’s addictive and distracting, so I quit within a few weeks. I try to see it’s medicine instead of it’s drug, but I don’t find it easy. Do you experience this as an artist? warm greetings from the Netherlands, Greetje

    • Naomi Bulger

      Hi Greetje! Thank you for your insightful comment. I think this has to be a very personal choice. For me, I felt as though Facebook was a very negative experience in my life, and I could see that I didn’t respond well to it. Instagram I personally find quite different: I get a lot of inspiration from looking through the images (I am careful who I follow on that regard), but I don’t feel that I’m being sucked into a vortex of useless information, or that my privacy is compromised (I use Instagram in a careful, curated fashion, so I’m not exposing all our holiday snaps to the Internet). But it might be very different for you! Honestly I think it has to be what inspires me creatively, and feeds my life personally. If it does those things I stay. If it takes those things away, I go.

  • Greetje Penning

    I meant to say: How do you experience this? :p

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