Let me tell you where taking a break from Facebook started. I loved Facebook! Back in the day, you can always find me on there trying to make folks laugh or trying to encourage them in their day. But, although my intentions were noble, I’m not so sure its effects on me always were. Facebook, like other social media platforms, has the potential to contribute to feelings of heaviness or depression in several ways. The reels and seemingly perfect lives portrayed by others on Facebook can lead to comparison, causing people to feel inadequate or left out. Then there is the constant stream of negative news, arguments, or divisive content on the platform can increase stress and anxiety, exacerbating depressive symptoms. Here is the one that got me: excessive time spent scrolling through Facebook leads to reduced face-to-face social interactions. I talked to people less than I would before Facebook. For some, this can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. For me, it meant my interaction with friends tended to be superficial. Realizing this is when I thought about taking a break from Facebook.
I don’t want to be glum or one-sided. Facebook is not all bad. It had some good benefits. Some of them are simply staying in contact with people.
Facebook offers terrific opportunities to connect with friends, see what’s new in their lives, and give encouragement to someone going through a hard time.
It’s like a big community where you can find support, join groups, and get help with things that matter to you. Plus, it’s a hub for some “real” news, events, and causes you care about, so you stay in the know and can make a difference. And hey, as a blogger, I used it to reach more people and grow, which is mega cool.
Another benefit is that sometimes you can find someone who has a real, practical need, and you can be part of satisfying it. That’s super cool.
It also has some distinct negatives, which led me to think taking a break from Facebook was a good idea.
The Downside of Facebook
As you can imagine, some of the cons of Facebook are just the opposite of the “pros” of the social media medium. Here they are- several are why I am taking a break from Facebook:
- Privacy Concerns: Facebook has faced numerous privacy scandals, raising concerns about users’ personal information and data security. I’ve even taken pics of my kids off there because of some of them.
- Adverse Mental Health Effects: Excessive use of Facebook has been linked to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness due to social comparison and cyberbullying. I have felt some of the anxiety being on Facebook too often can cause. People have problems, and Facebook puts them up front and personal. It makes me sad.
- Misinformation and Fake News: The spread of false information and misinformation on Facebook has been a significant problem, influencing public opinion and elections.
- Addictive Nature: The platform is designed to be addictive, leading to excessive screen time and potential productivity loss. They planned it that way so they could plummet you with advertisements.
- Cyberbullying: Facebook can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying and harassment, affecting users’ mental well-being, especially young people. Oh, I’ve seen this. People can be downright mean and “poke” others. People I never thought could do that. In fact, one instance was key to my taking a break from Facebook.
- Political Polarization: The echo chamber effect on Facebook can reinforce existing beliefs and contribute to political polarization, limiting exposure to diverse perspectives. I had friends of many years, and when a particular election happened, their hateful remarks ended our connection. That’s when I was sure about taking a break from Facebook!
- Distrust and Skepticism: Many users have become skeptical of the platform and its intentions due to its role in spreading misinformation and privacy concerns.
- Time-Wasting: OMG! This is a big motivator for me Benefits of taking a break from Facebook. Scrolling through the endless feed of content can lead to unproductive time-wasting, affecting work and personal life balance.
- Impact on Relationships: Facebook can sometimes contribute to misunderstandings or conflicts in personal relationships due to issues like jealousy or miscommunication.
It’s important to recognize these cons while using Facebook and take measures to mitigate their impact by using the platform mindfully and being aware of privacy settings and online behaviors.
Facebook is the universal dumping ground for people’s bad news. It’s where they share if they are discouraged or frustrated.
They usually use it to vent when folks or things make them angry, and sometimes, they use it to “fight” or argue with someone by posting mean things. Boo to that!
The worst part of Facebook for me is that it is a real discerner of hearts.
Honey, if you’re on Facebook long enough, you’ll see who is really crazy, mean, selfish, mentally imbalanced, racist, judgmental… I could go on.
The very people I see every day in real life and deem normal have shocked the grape jelly out of me on Facebook! I mean, REALLY!!!!!!
No, thanks for that. I’d rather be in the dark about who some folks really are …at their core.
After thinking through the pros and cons of Facebook, I decided to take a break. No, not really. That sounds so mature, doesn’t it? I’m not that actualized. *hehe*
Don’t let me lie to ya…
After one of my usual visits, I felt like God was saying, “Hey, this isn’t making you happy. Why are you on it?”
More than anything else, Facebook depresses the heck outta me!
It was true. Rarely does Facebook just make me smile. More often than not, I’m disheartened by a news story or a yucky post.
This happens often because I like to be on there A LOT. I think it has something to do with my personality. I’m such an “all-or-nothing type” of person. You might call me an “addictive” personality, whatever it is or not, I don’t know. I just know the Holy Spirit keeps me in balance, and I’m so glad He does.
Taking a break from Facebook.
Our church just came out of a season of consecration and revival. Super cool!
During the season of fasting, I heard God’s voice so much clearer than I had in previous days.
It was such a “peaceful” time. Without the dulling sound of the television, radio, and the noise of everyday life, the Father’s directives were clear as crystal.
His Words jumped from the pages of the Bible, and I was much more connected than I am in my usual, run-of-the-mill daily “Facebook checking” busyness.
How getting off Facebook benefits me:
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Stepping away from the constant stream of updates, notifications, and potential social comparison can reduce stress and anxiety levels, allowing you to focus on more meaningful activities. Also, I don’t feel so worried about some people since taking a break from Facebook.
- Improved Productivity: Time spent on Facebook can often be unproductive. Taking a break can free up valuable time for more important tasks, whether it’s work, hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones.
- Enhanced Mental Health: Breaks from Facebook can lead to improved mental health as you reduce exposure to negative content, cyberbullying, and the addictive nature of the platform which can contribute to feelings of depression or loneliness.
- Better Relationships: Stepping away from the virtual world of Facebook can help you cultivate stronger, more meaningful face-to-face relationships, leading to improved social interactions and a deeper sense of connection with others. I actually talk to people now.
- Increased Focus: With fewer distractions, you can enhance your ability to concentrate and stay focused on tasks, which can be particularly beneficial for work or finishing my graduate degree.
- Rekindled Hobbies – like knitting: Taking a break from Facebook allows you to rediscover and reengage in hobbies and interests you may have neglected while scrolling through your news feed.I now knit again. Go figure!
- Privacy and Data Protection: Girl, none of us are safe in this cyber world. But, by not actively participating on Facebook, I think you can minimize the data you share and reduce concerns about privacy and security on the platform.
Ultimately, taking a break from Facebook can be a refreshing and rejuvenating experience, allowing you to reallocate your time and energy to activities and relationships that bring more fulfillment and happiness to your life.
The Lord told me…He really did.
So, when I felt the inclination to discontinue my personal Facebook activity for a while, I knew He was at the heart of the urge, and I was committed to obedience.
After all, I’m just a dumb sheep, and I desperately need my Shepherd to guide me, lead me, and let me know when to balance my life a bit. I’m so glad He does! Doesn’t He sort of “direct” you too?
Am I saying Facebook is bad?
That answer to whether or not it is “bad” depends on the news story of the day. In my opinion, it’s bad when you’re bombarded by one negative social media post after another.
Be careful with how you present yourself and how you view people. If you find you think someone else’s husband is “cute” or “fine”, the enemy is using it as a tool. At such a time, taking a break from Facebook is a very good idea. Control your thinking. What else should we, as Christian women, be aware of on Facebook?
Even if something HUGE happens in the world, I don’t think it’s healthy to have it before your eyes over and over again. It can become too much, and you’ll find you will have to detox your mind and spirit after each Facebook session.
Same with watching the news. You have to say “Bye Bye” to that too sometimes. Watching, hearing, and learning too much in a short time span can impact your mood. Don’t you think?
While I don’t think Facebook is a bad thing, I often need a break from it.
Also, part of Facebook’s “good” and “bad” elements is placing yourself at the whims of people’s feelings.
As I mentioned, characters can be incredibly negative on this platform, which can be both a good and bad thing.
Be wise and guard your spirit and your mental health.
What I’ll do…
So for now, farewell, FB friends. I would say I am going to miss you, but I think my time will be spent in a way that will render me a much better “friend” to you in real life.
A refreshed one…
Hopefully, my life won’t be driven by all the usual selfies, nosiness, and just plain Facebook shenanigans.
I hope I’ll return having rested my mind and viewing Facebook as the OCCASIONAL entertainment platform it is.
How about you and Facebook?
Do you ever feel torn with Facebook (or another social media) outlet?
While it’s something relatively innocent, it really can have a significant impact on how you feel at any given moment. Think about backing away from it and see how you feel.
Remember, you only have 24 hours in your day. You sleep for almost half of them. The rest is consumed with work and “to-do’s,” right? I guess I’m saying use your time very wisely.
If you find Facebook is not adding to your joy and peace, why not take a break for a moment? Pray about it.
As for me, I know it is a great idea to disappear for a bit. Yep, Christian Woman, for now, I’ll say bye, bye Facebook…or should I say “baaaa baaaaa”? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.:) Get it? “Baaah…” That’s what sheep say, right?
John 10:4-5 New International Version (NIV)
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:4-5