A week ago, I looked at how I use the Internet weekly, daily and hourly. It looked like this:
- Facebook - hourly in that I at least looked at notifications and would share and post a lot other times;
- Blogger - once a month to post a blog post or two, usually about reading or geek stuff;
- Twitter - daily in order to find articles on topics I care about;
- Google+ - every second or third day to read topics I'm interested in and for sharing interesting articles;
- Flickr - weekly to upload pictures from my life that I want to share with loved ones;
- LinkedIn - every second or third day to find interesting things to read and participate in discussion groups. Also share interesting reading I have found and think others will like;
- Work email - week days at work but not outside work; and
- gmail - once or twice a day max and mainly for dealing with job related stuff.
Then I read a quote from Jason Yip on Twitter that said...
Worry less about "Are my feelings / Is my behaviour justified?"; worry more about "Are my feelings / Is my behaviour useful?".
That one tweet made me stop and reassess so much of who I am and what I currently do. So, I asked myself: When I use the Internet is my interaction useful?
- Facebook - No;
- Blogger - Yes;
- Twitter - Yes;
- Google+ - Sometimes;
- Flickr - Yes;
- LinkedIn - Yes;
- Work email - Absolutely; and
- gmail - Yes.
It took me less than ten minutes to then decide that I would do the following things:
- Stop using Facebook immediately and then delete my account if I didn't use it for 3 months;
- Remove Facebook, Twitter and Google+ apps from my phone and other mobile devices; and
- Log out of Twitter and Google+ and only log in when I explicitly wanted to use them.
For the first two days after stopping using it, I kept coming back to the same feelings and asked myself if the resulting reaction would be useful...
- Should I tell someone what I'm doing or feeling? Yes, but more specific people and not Facebook; and
- Should I check to see if anyone has sent me a message? No, they will contact me on my phone or via email if they need me.
After the initial habit change left me nervous and a little anxious, it all passed. Yes, I still use all the other sites with more intent than I did in the past but I don't use Facebook and I feel no need to.
Later on, I will write a more detailed post about why Facebook has irked me for the last 6-9 months and how that has aided in my persistence to not return. This is not the post for it. Again, would it be useful?
Wish me luck and if you can't find me online, you can find me on the end of a telephone.