Taking a Break from Facebook — Your World Won’t End

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I did it! I somehow managed an entire week — yes, seven days! — without Facebook. Guess what? I survived!

Just a few days in, and I forgot about logging on entirely.

It’s so true: The longer you go without it, the easier it is to stay away from it. Many succeed at taking a break from Facebook and other social media for weeks or longer.

What does Facebreak mean

I actually thought there was a word for giving up Facebook.

Several times in my News Feed, I’ve seen Facebook friends declare they were taking a Facebreak. Because of seeing this so often, I thought Facebreak meant they were giving up Facebook for awhile.

But they — and I –were wrong. According to the Urban Dictionary, taking a Facebreak is when you take a break from what you are doing so that you can go ON Facebook. Ha!

So, what’s the word for when you are actually trying to, or succeeding at, taking a break from Facebook?

I consulted the hip Urban Dictionary once again, hoping to find a term for this. Searching there and other places online, there doesn’t seem to be a trendy word for this.

Taking a break from Facebook seems to be the phrase that you are simply “taking a break from Facebook.”

This behavior must be so uncommon and unnatural, there isn’t a word for it yet!

Consider the conditions before taking a break from Facebook

We love Facebook.

It’s a part of our lives and our routines. For sure, Facebook has become a habit.

Trying to take a break from it, even a for a little while, can be a challenge. If something major is going on in your life, you might find it calming to keep to your Facebook routine.

Maybe you are seeking online support or attention from your community of digital friends. Or perhaps something important or serious is going on in one of your Facebook friends’ lives.

Checking in with social media is a way to keep abreast of what’s happening without needing to make direct contact.

Taking a break from Facebook
Taking a break from Facebook (Photo credit: Tim Green)

A great time for me and several friends to give up Facebook is during our kids’ summer breaks and other school breaks.

Others find it convenient when they are taking their vacations from their jobs.

Others give it up for Lent.

It’s much easier to try to give up Facebook for a few days when you aren’t in the throes of having to see people each day, having small talk.

It works the best when you don’t have to be in the (social) know about anything, and won’t feel like you are missing out.

It’s refreshing, actually. There aren’t too many times to truly feel like you can get away from it all… and this can be a great start.

Facebook Notifications compel us to log on

Some people get emails (maybe even texts?) to update them on their Facebook activity.

I used to but I no longer do, and I’m glad. I’m not sure if I switched it at one point or what, but it’s a now a surprise when I log onto Facebook and see my Notifications and if I’m tagged in a Post.

This way my day-to-day decisions and life aren’t being affected by whether or not someone commented on one of my posts. I don’t feel compelled to constantly log onto Facebook.

On a Facebook break — the Facebreak?

You will find once you take a break from Facebook for a day or two, it gets much easier to keep off of it.

It’s when I do log on that I keep logging back into Facebook as a distraction or to follow along with a friend’s Post.

Now that I’ve made it through Day 7, it’s a breeze.

I want to keep going; however, there is a private Facebook group I’m in. We have a meeting coming up, and people are surely posting like mad about it. Therefore, my goal is to log on to catch up on my Facebook Notifications, RSVP for a Facebook invitation, and then log out.

This will ruin my No Facebook streak which is disappointing. It’s a 21st century problem.

Facebook friends announcing they are taking a break from Facebook

It’s actually fun to give up Facebook.

I’ve seen many people do it, usually with an announcement of sorts, so as not to appear rude for not Liking and Commenting on friends’ posts.

It’s polite and kind behavior. Recently, on Facebook, a close friend proclaimed he was taking a Facebreak for a week and wished everyone a Happy Facebook Birthday in advance.

Another friend went into greater detail.

She posted when she returned to Facebookland, explaining her 3-week Facebook hiatus, and wished everyone she missed a Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Get Well Soon, Congratulations, and Sorry for Your Loss. She wasn’t being crass or snarky.

This friend truly felt badly about missing people’s milestones and not being (virtually) there for them to share in their good and bad news.

A relative commented how he realized he’s been on Facebook for a third of his life. When he realized that, he wanted to create some distance from Facebook. It shocked many of his peers and others to discover they too have been on Facebook for over a decade of their lives.

During the height of the political posts, I had another friend declare he was signing off for good.

He was appalled at the political opinions people were posting. He found himself thinking differently about some very good friends. While much of this would never have come up in real, reach-out-and-touch-you-life, some people went pretty crazy on Facebook. He’d had enough.

He didn’t just put Facebook account on hold. He completely deactivated it.

Others slip quietly away

There have been other friends who have deactivated their accounts from time to time.

There are some friends who have announced doing this, and others who I find myself thinking, “Hey, I haven’t seen anything from So and So in awhile,” only to look them up to see they are inactive.

(A few unfortunate times, I’ve found some have unfriended me as well. Boo hoo.)

Taking a break from Facebook and social media

Remember, there are certain times in your life when it’s easier to take a break from social media than other times.

And remember, everything will still be waiting in Facebookland for you to peruse at your leisure, when you do return.

Whatever your reason may be, you might find yourself taking a break from Facebook.

You’ll probably find it very refreshing. While the siren song of Facebook looms, think of the things you can do with all of your free time! You may find you like being less connected and more present in your own life.

Or you may want go a few days without Facebook just to prove to yourself that you can.

It’s a nice way to reminisce what our lives were like before our 24/7 access to everyone and everything.




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