Try A Month Without Facebook

It was a hot autumn day on one of my breaks as I spent countless minutes scrolling down my Facebook news feed. My eyes were glazed over as the words moved quickly on the page, and soon I was a combination of completely blanking out and absorbing superfluous information.

Although this Facebook routine occurs daily, and sometimes multiple times a day, it suddenly led me to a revelation: what if I actually spent my time focusing and enjoying life, instead of absorbed into an alternate world? What if I lived a month of my life without Facebook?

And so I deactivated mine in that moment. It was a beautiful thing, truly freeing as I confirmed my decision, leaving behind a world of pictures and “LOLs” to join a society of more sleep and person-to-person socializing.

Of course, this is all on the exterior; I’m sure any person could surmise these short-run benefits from deactivating their Facebook. But there is so much more in this experiment I have learned about myself than could ever be imagined: how free I am without the social burden of Facebook.

That’s why I am here to encourage you to take a month without Facebook. Consider your values in life: what is truly more important to you? Writing on a friend’s wall for all others to see about how much you enjoy their company? Or sharing your friendship with them in person?

I fear that the further we retreat into cyberspace, the less actual relationships will exist. Soon it will all be about the appearance of friendship through pictures and wall posts than about the real emotion between people.
Sure, it makes the sharing of information extremely easy, but there is too much information on Facebook. Must we know every aspect of others’ lives? Is it completely necessary to judge people we have never met by the latest album they uploaded?

The superficiality connected with the judgment and stereotypes found on the Internet is appalling, and the conclusions people come to without having ever met or rarely talking to the other person is a dismal quality of this generation.

This challenge is not for the weak-hearted. It takes skill, patience and the awareness that you will be the last, rather than the first, to know the gossip. However, it will be well worth your time to fully separate yourself from the chaotic, superficial and stressful world that is the Internet.

You will really be able to see the people who are truly important to you, as well as the ones that take the time out of their day to try to see you in person. On my last days of this experiment, I know that I am forever changed, and I that I am able to exist without the crutch of Facebook. The question, can you survive as well?

Colleen Bromberger is a fourth-year history major. She can be reached at cbromber@uci.edu