The night I broke up with Facebook

I was clicking through photos of a friend’s friend’s birthday party when I decided to end it. My Facebook relationship, that is.

I didn’t know the people in these pictures, but something about them fascinated me. They seemed happy and fun and carefree, and so I clicked through one after another in a voyeuristic daze.

For some context: I had jumped onto my computer at 8pm last night to clear some emails and finish up a work project that should have taken me about an hour, tops.


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So I was very disappointed with myself when, two hours later, I was still seated at my computer, my work file unopened, my eyes burning with tiredness and fatigue from staring at the screen.

Shame flooded my system and my heart rate increased ever so slightly as I realised the time. The clock was ticking past 10pm and I had not achieved a single productive task, despite two hours at my desk.

And I still had to finish my work project before hitting the hay.

It dawned on me that I was aimlessly clicking through photos of strangers having what ‘looked like’ a fun time at a party – let’s face it, we’ve all been to events that looked way more fun online that they actually were – at the expense of my sleep, my time, my mental clarity.

It put the nail in the coffin of my relationship with Facebook, because I realised that this wasn’t a one-off occurrence. I was regularly wasting time on social media – and getting no benefit in return.

So last night, we broke up. We’re not ‘on a break’ (I’ve tried that before), we’re done and deactivated. I must admit, Facebook tried really, really hard to convince me to change my mind. In a last-ditch effort it even threw up some heart-warming photos of friends captioned, “We will miss you!”

But I went ahead and deactivated anyway.

Do you know what I felt afterwards?

Nothing.

No anxiety. No FOMO. Not even relief, which I was kind of expecting. I felt absolutely nothing, which proved that all the love had drained from our relationship.

After nine long years together, it’s really over. What will I do with my spare 1-2 hours a day now?!