Yeah you read that right, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone! Just to make it clear, I still have my Facebook account and I still use it, but really intermittently. Therefore, I wish to clarify that the reason behind deleting my Facebook was not entirely due to security scandals or any related issues because I still have my account. My reasoning was simple: I felt that I was to a certain extent hooked to Facebook in an unhealthy relationship and that I was losing precious minutes of my life that could otherwise be productive.
The most impressive aspect of this feat was that I avoided the brute force approach, which is to simply delete the app straightaway. Instead, I softened the blow by simply turning off all notifications from Facebook. By turning off all notifications on my phone, I simulated the feeling of having deleted the app. In this approach, not only did I soften the “break-up” period, but most importantly it highlighted how unnecessary Facebook actually was to me. Without the incessant notifications I got on my phone related to how “my friend is going to that event” or “your friend hasn’t posted in a long time and I should like his post NOW!”, there was no trigger or reason for me to actually open the app.
By lowering my consumption of Facebook, I relinquished the cheap yet satisfying pleasure of the site such as watching the humorous trend images, the hilarious videos of people failing that I love to watch and the possibility of stalking my friend’s activity whenever I felt like it. Laid out like this, it seems I have lost a lot by breaking-up with my dear Facebook.
But I still beg to differ and I am convinced that this break-up was best for both of us. In the process, I was also able to acquire something way more valuable: my time and attention. It is important to realise that the most valuable asset for the app was trying to divert my attention for just one more click, scroll or fumble. But not anymore, Facebook.
So dear Facebook, in the end I’m sorry for softly ending you like this and I assure you it won’t be the last app either, because I’m still captivated by the charms of Twitter, Reddit, Instagram and YouTube. Hopefully their fate will be the same as yours, Facebook.
Pietro Vigilanza from Venezuela lives in Rotterdam since two years and studies IBCoM