Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Facebook Timeout

I've been amused by the speculations surrounding my recent hiatus from Facebook. For someone who is a self-confessed Chatterbox, I can see how it heightened people’s curiosity that I have suddenly “gone quiet”.

Truth is, one day I felt I that I spent far too much time on the social networking site when I could have been doing something more productive. Having the app on my phone allowed me to access my account anywhere, anytime. I could be in a queue at the store or waiting for a friend in a restaurant. Also, when I when I wake up, I want to check in on what I've missed while I was asleep. And of course, before I sleep, to see what else I missed throughout my working day.

For a while now, I kept saying that I needed to get back into my writing, but the situation was that I either had the energy to write, but no time OR I had the time, but was ready to flop into bed. Take one step back. To write, I know that I needed to read more. From the time I could read a full sentence, I remember being an avid reader. Over the years, the excuse of “I’m too busy” became my line.

I decided to just go on a “Facebook fast”, if you like! A few days offline turned into a week. Being so busy at work, I found that I didn't actually miss anything. Sure, a few people asked why I was so inactive. No reason. I just started channeling my energy into activities that were benefiting my own self-development instead of reading about people’s personal lives. Don’t get me wrong, what people choose to share is their prerogative, but it didn't serve any purpose to me.

Time spent on Facebook can range from 30 seconds to an hour. It’s so easy to be sucked into the world of people’s photos or follow conversations happening in people’s Comments thread. Some may argue that it’s all about willpower. Self-control. Sure. But do we really have that?

I remember a period in Korea when I was quite serious about my writing. But the only reason I actually got things done was because I disconnected my laptop from the internet. How could I possibly get anything written with notifications popping up every few seconds? So the best thing (for me, at least) was to go cold turkey.

Last week, I logged into my FB account for the first time after over a month. 100+ notifications and over two dozen Inbox messages. I think I spent about 45 minutes sifting through everything and replying to everyone. But before I was sucked back in, I logged out.

I didn't want to go the route of actually deactivating my account. It’s still there. Open. It’s just a bit sleepy.

So the question is: HAVE I spent the time on self-reflection and self-development? Yes! Absolutely J

I have been reading a lot more, which has sparked my inspiration to write / journal quite frequently. Basically just doing some stock take of my life. Or what I like to call, “weeding”!

I haven’t disappeared completely off the Facebooksphere, but I can tell you one thing. A few weeks ago, I would not have written this blog post in the time space that I just wrote it (ie 14 minuteSoms!). That is with zero distraction and 100% concentration.

So to set the record straight, nothing is “wrong” or nothing “happened” that I have taken a back step. I just decided to be a bit selfish with my time and use it for my own personal gain.

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