Like you, I’m incredibly thankful for what the world wide web has done for me. Information at my fingertips, ogling over friend’s baby photos, having a space to let your voice be heard. It’s great.
I’m also a big advocate for taking time to re-evaluate your life often: what’s working well? What brings me joy? Am I happy with where I’m at with my life? I am spending too much time doing things that bring me down? How can I feel more “in control” of my life (I believe in a Creator God who goes before us, but who loved us enough to allow us to choose our path–and comfort us when things go astray)?
My Dear Husband and I have recently been asking each other: Are we satisfied with our relationship? And where our relationships with others are currently? What things, if any, do we feel are coming between us? And the ones we love? Are we happy with how we spend our time? Is social media serving our needs or dictating our lives and views? Is it strengthening our relationships or watering them down?
I’m thankful for a husband who’s willing to have these conversations versus just moping through life. So, together, we’ve decided to give up Facebook for the month of February, for 28 days. Here’s the how and why of what that looks like for us. May this article be something that gets you thinking, asking questions, and if you think you want to join us you can tailor your “how and why” to fit your life.
How We’re Doing a Facebook-Free February
- Deleting the App from our Phones: Smartphones have saved me a few times, when I’ve needed to look up an address or find the best place to eat in a new town, but the ease of which we can log into social media sites and scroll and scroll and scroll is a little scary. One way to eliminate the temptation to check 100 times a day is to delete the app from your phone which is what we’ll do for our 28-Day challenge. If you aren’t necessarily wanting to stay off it, but want to check it less, one thing you can do is make it so you have to log in every time. You’ll be shocked how much of a deterrent something so simple can be.
- Logging Off: We’ll open the web browser on our desktop and log out of Facebook. Again, so when my fingers instinctually type in “face….”, I won’t be faced with the eye-catching red number notifications and photo of my favorite person.
- Open Communication and Grace: I do believe that social media can be an addiction, so we will have open, honest conversations regularly throughout the 28 days to check in with each other. How’s it going? Is it tougher than we thought? Have we slipped and check it in private? Grace is something we strive to have with one another in all things, we’ll need it here too no doubt.
Now, some of you may be wondering how I’m going to keep up with my Facebook pages for my blog and shop. This was something we discussed at length. I do believe social media is necessary for business today, love it or hate it, that’s where we are. Two ways I’m going to stay in touch with you there: a social media manager website that I’ll have access through my phone and desktop, and the “Pages” app on my phone that gives me access to my two pages without having access to my personal page.
So, yes, I will still technically be on Facebook, but there’s no continuous newsfeed and the plan is to post and respond as needed, then get off.
Why We’re Doing a Facebook-Free February
- Marriage Strengthening: I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’ve often caught myself mindlessly scrolling when my husband is talking to me. I know, us ladies think we’re the Master Multitaskers, but studies are showing that we aren’t as good at it as we think. Or rather that we aren’t multi-tasking at all, but instead are switching from task to task which is not effective or efficient. I’m tired of my phone literally being in between my husband and I.
- Better Time Management: I don’t want to know how much time a day I spend on social media. It’s designed to keep us in as long as possible with the endless newsfeed, the search/news option, and user’s ability to share articles. But I am unhappy with the “pull” I feel to constantly check it, I’d rather spend my time doing things I enjoy.
- Commitment to Relationships: This is a BIG one for us and we’re actually using this 28-day challenge as an experiment. What we know is this: social media connects us to hundreds of people simultaneously but how many of those connections are actually fruitful or desired? Maybe a dozen or two? We feel as if the relationships that we really want to foster have been watered down by social media–when we “like” a post or picture our brain checks that friend off the list in a way that says “okay, I’ve put in the effort to connect with them” now I can connect with the next person, or worse, now it’s their turn to connect with me. Yes, I’ll miss the constant update of friends I’m missing, but I’m ready to see which relationships I’m actually willing to foster when a quick-click of a thumbs-up isn’t all that’s necessary.
Goals for our Facebook-Free February
- More Time Together: By eliminating this “pull” for our attention, I have no doubt that we’ll spend more quality time together–reading, talking, creating. Instead of checking in to Facebook while I’m cooking, he may join me in the kitchen. Instead of taking our phone outside when we want some peace, we’ll explore our property or train our dogs.
- Hobbies!: I’ll only share my specific goals with you here, though my husband has his own too. My goal is to read more this month, hopefully a book a week (which is something I’ve rarely done in my life but would like to). I plan on spending more time with my shop, Generous Provisions, creating, learning, dreaming. Specifically, I got some leather working tools for my birthday and I’d love to have my Leather Line out by the spring. Creative cooking–might sound weird, but I’m looking forward to turning away from the “go-to’s” because I feel too busy and making old recipes or trying new ones.
- Thoughtful Relationship Connections: We both plan on calling people more this month, we haven’t set a number but we’re thinking 2 people a week. To make this easier, we’ll probably sit down at the first of the month and write out who specifically we want to call each week. We also plan to write letters and send postcards to people, because let’s face it, everyone loves getting mail! Again, no specific number but we’ll probably make a list of people. For accountability and a way to spend time together, we plan on sitting down together to write these.
- Room for Spontaneity: I really think we’ll be surprised with how much free time we’ll have so we are looking forward to being more spontaneous with our time alone and together. To be completely transparent: I think the time we’re spending on social media is interfering with our intimacy. And I’m not just talking sex here, I mean even the little intimate moments that we miss because we’re glued to our phone. Like greeting each other with a kiss when we get home. Like being mentally and physically close in the evening to talk about our day. Intimate like holding hands when we’re out to dinner instead of all the scrolling.
Deciding to do a Facebook-Free February was a tough decision, we’ve talked about doing something like this several times over the last two years. It’s something we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, talking over and considering the implications. Our goal isn’t necessarily to leave Facebook forever, though if that feels like the right move for either one or both of us, we’d do that too. Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the month.
Have you ever considered a social media break? What did you learn from it?