Life Without Facebook

at 12:35 AM

It was one year and four months ago that I finally mustered the courage to take the leap: I deactivated my Facebook account. The motivation began months prior as the sea of status updates from my collection of 327 friends began to frustrate my mood, rather than enhance it. Upon logging on, I would immediately question as to why I wasn't shutting it down. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. The final straw was a week's worth of terrible midterm grades amidst the most stressful semester of my college tenure. That was it. Deactivate.

The first two weeks were tough. A part of my everyday was missing. My mind was constricted and a constant nervous feeling reminded me of what was gone.

After week two, however, I took a step back and looked around. The world seemed to continue on, irrespective of the status of my Facebook account. The nervous feeling remained, but it had dulled and was quickly dwindling.

Since the two-month mark, the only time that Facebook now enters my mind is when somebody else brings it up. I don't miss it, and I no longer have to fight the urge to reactivate.

I don't consider myself better than the one billion plus who use Facebook. I have my own personal habits that others would observe as time wasting and counter-productive. Facebook is simply a choice that I choose not to make. I've probably missed out on events and inside jokes, and lost touch with a few people that I wish I hadn't. But I can say without doubt that my life has since improved. I'm closer now than ever with my friends, my grades have only gone up and I worry much less about trivial details.

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Facebook is a tool that has enhanced the lives of millions. But I know that there are many out there who are stuck in the same "rinse, repeat" cycle that I was in. If you happen to fall in this category, give deactivation a try. It's a journey worth exploring.    

With a Perspective, I'm Taylor Winchell.

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Taylor Winchell studies hydrology at UC Berkeley.

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