When I first came back on the blogging scene a month and a half ago, I wrote about the app called “Freedom”. The app allows me to block websites and certain apps on my phone.
I basically have all social media (except Instagram) blocked for 23 hours a day. I can only access those sites from 9 pm-10 pm.
It’s been over a month, and my Facebook habit has been broken. I don’t miss it at all.
Maybe twice a week I will use my Chromebook to just check my notifications, but I’m realizing the less I use it, the fewer notifications I receive.
Before I tell you the positive changes it has made in my life, let me put a few disclaimers out there.
First of all, if you enjoy Facebook and other forms of social media, I respect that. This is about me and my personal decision.
Now, onto why I had to get away from Facebook, in particular.
It’s not that I don’t care about people’s lives, but sometimes it’s overwhelming to read about every tragedy. The world is so full of sad news, and it hurts my heart to read more. I would often find myself in tears over a link I clicked on, but I had absolutely no connection to the person whatsoever. I would hope if something tragic happens that I need to know about right away, I would be contacted outside of Facebook.
Sometimes the negativity of every gripe and “Dear (fill-in-the-blank)” letter that is posted brings me down. I know people use FB as a sounding board, a dumping ground, and place to vent, and that’s ok. I used to do it too ~ before I broadened my circle of Facebook friends beyond my immediate family and closest friends. Once I added colleagues and old high school acquaintances, it just felt weird to post those personal complaints.
Then there are the time-sucks ~ mainly the quizzes (for example, Which Disney Princess are You?) Let’s be honest, any true princess fan knows how to pick the right answers to get the princess you already think you are or want to be. (If I want to be Jasmine – which of course I do, I mean have you seen Aladdin? – I pick a tiger for a pet.)
All of this probably sounds harsh, so let’s get to the focus of this post: What positive things has Freedom (and leaving Facebook) done for me?
I read more. Always an avid reader, I now grab the iPad instead of my phone. I’m on my third book of the year already.
I truly relax. Instead of scrolling during lunch, I read a magazine. I pet the dogs while I drink my coffee.
I get on that stinking treadmill. I’ll admit, right here, that part of the treadmill habit is because I’ve learned about the joy of binge-watching on Netflix. Now I make myself watch at least one episode of a binge on the treadmill.
I feel happier. First off, see above. More exercise leads to better moods (so I read in a magazine at lunch one day). But also… less comparing, less jealously, less wanting of things I don’t have in my life. Less reminders of bad or sad break-ups because a post is similar to something I once felt or said or thought or shared on Facebook.
I plan. I am of a special group of people they call “planner addicts” or “planner girls.” My Erin Condren Life Planner obsession is a hobby, provides a creative outlet, and balances my work and play.
I create. Blogging, writing, bullet journaling and lettering are other things I’ve been working on instead of getting lost in Facebook.
I listen. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. I listen more – to my kids talk, to music – I’m particularly obsessed with the soundtrack to “The Greatest Showman”- and to the music my kids make.
After the free trial of Freedom was up, I did pay the full-year “premium” price for the app. I think it was about $20, which seemed worth the time and peace I gained from it.
What app could you/would you say “Good-bye” to if you could?
How could it/would it change your life?