Life After Facebook

My Unschooling Book Series (18)

Several months ago, I deleted my Facebook account despite Facebook warning me not to. I’d miss it, I was told. How was I going to keep up with all the important people in my life without it? Social media is essential in today’s world, you know. But I ignored this advice and went ahead and hit ‘delete’.

So what’s life like after Facebook? Have I lost contact with all the important people in my life? No. Now that I’m no longer on social media, I have more time to spend with them. I can look them in the eye and enjoy them fully without thinking, “I wonder what’s happening on Facebook.”

To be honest, I feel very relieved I’m no longer on Facebook. I used to feel guilty because I couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of conversations in my feed. Now I don’t have to worry about not being a good Facebook friend. (I know lots of people aren’t concerned about this. They accept Facebook friends aren’t usually real friends, but somehow I couldn’t do that.) No Facebook doesn’t mean I’ve lost all my friends. There are other ways of staying in touch. 

Leaving Facebook means that for the first time in ages, my head isn’t full of digital noise. I no longer have to deal with all that information that used to bombard me every time I signed into my account. All that stuff I didn’t need to know about. There’s space for my own thoughts. And because I’m not being constantly distracted by other things, I’m doing some proper deep work instead of just skimming the surface dealing with maintenance and keeping-up-stuff.

Deep work? You might know that I’m working on my unschooling book. And I’m making some progress (at long last). But it’s not all good news. I’ve discovered a problem. The first draft manuscript is going to need much more editing than I first thought.

I wrote the first draft of my book, a few months ago, in odd moments snatched here and there. I wrote it with half my mind on other things. While I was writing, I was also thinking such things as “What shall I post on my Facebook page today?” I wasn’t fully focused on the job at hand.

After I’d written the first draft, I didn’t immediately move on to the editing stage. These thoughts crept into my head: “Look, writing a book is hard. It’s going to take a long time to edit the draft so it’s worth publishing. Perhaps I shouldn’t bother. Instead, just concentrate on Facebook. That’s where all your readers are anyway. Just chat on Facebook and post a few links to your blog posts. A book isn’t necessary.”

But then I left Facebook. And now I’m thinking maybe I should finish my unschooling book after all. But, as I said, I wasn’t fully concentrating when I wrote my first draft manuscript. What I ended up with is okay, but it could be better. I know this because since I’ve been working on it without being distracted by social media, I’ve had lots of new thoughts. I now want to expand sections that I’ve already written. I want to add some new topics to the book as well.

So instead of just playing around with the wording of my draft, I’m doing some major writing and rewriting. This is proving to be hard work. I could be tempted to give up once again: “It’ll take forever to write what I want to say properly. I won’t finish the book in a matter of a few weeks (as I’d hoped.)”

But I’m going to ignore that voice. You see, even though my book is turning into a long-term project, I feel excited. I’m working hard on something that’s important to me. I know I’m going to feel very satisfied when I’ve finished.

And maybe the book I end up with will be much better than the one I would have published if I’d stayed on Facebook.

So what’s life like after Facebook? It’s good.


I’m still podcasting while I’m writing this unschooling book series. Here’s this week’s episode!

This week, I’m sharing and discussing the story Independent Learners, Toast and Heavy Washing Baskets.

Show Notes

Leonie’s blog: Living Without School

podcast music: Twombly by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)


Image: The end of Facebook was the beginning of something much better!


Has anyone else left Facebook? Or maybe you’re thinking about doing this? I’d love to hear your stories!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Dear Sue,
    No, I have not left Facebook, neither am I going to do it. That’s because I never use fb as it was intended. I don’t give much thougt to what’s in my newsfeed, but instead go directly to one of the groups, I belong to. Actually I use fb kind of like a second Ravelry only for things not fabric-related and therefore not on Ravely. I belong to a wood turning group, a PE group, several groups on mushrooms, gardening, ecology, plastic change, vocations, soaping, and permaculture among those. Maybe I use five minutes a day on my news feed, but I always end up so buggered that fb is trying to re-arrange my feed to show me anything but a chronological list of what my friends have been up to, that I end up closing it very quickly. For long periods I never even look at it, lent and advent being prominent. It’s not fb eating up my time and clogging my mind, but all the other interesting things in the Internets – blogs for instance 😉
    But I do understand. I got more work done earlier, when I was not online all the time and had to actively log on to be online – sending e-mail and searching for information. For me it’s not fb, but the internet as such.

    1. Reply

      Charlotte,

      You belong to lots of FB groups that sound very interesting. Yes, it’s a good place to network with other people who share our interests.

      I agree that FB isn’t the real problem but the Internet itself. Even after I’d deleted my account, the Internet was still there trying to distract me from my work. I’ve had to make other changes as well. For me, FB was a good start. It has made a lot of difference. But that’s my story. I can see that FB is working for you!

    • Clare
    • November 20, 2017
    Reply

    I would definitely leave Facebook, and I did once. But so many Home ed things are arranged and announced on there that I think we’d miss out if I left again. I try not to feel obligated though. I don’t like that I get sucked in and spend hours scrolling when I should be going to sleep!

    1. Reply

      Clare,

      Spending hours scrolling when you should be going to sleep… Oh yes! I know all about that. I’d visit FB before bedtime, sign out and then if I didn’t get to sleep quickly, I’d hop back online again. I have a lot of trouble sleeping and I knew FB wasn’t helping. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of will power. I get sucked in very easily. I don’t like how that happens either.

    • Alison
    • November 20, 2017
    Reply

    I’m so glad leaving Facebook has been good for you. It certainly will be good for all of us if your book is published! No pressure though – these things do take time. 🙂

    I’m still on Facebook, though scrolling through the feed for even a few minutes often leaves me feeling overwhelmed. I’m only on there to know what homeschooling/unschooling events are coming up so I can ask my girls if they’d like to join in.

    1. Reply

      Alison,

      Yes, FB is a good place to find out what’s going on. We don’t join in with many unschooling/homeschooling events. There aren’t many of them within travelling distance. So I never used FB to hear about upcoming events. But I can see how useful it is for you to be connected to the various networks within FB.

      Thank you for your kind words about my book!

  2. Reply

    I see a common thread which is that people are on FB for information.
    I too left FB and then rejoined for the groups. This turned out well for a time, but I ended up with my head full of others’ lives and ideas instead of my own. Because my time is so limited, and I am a person who likes to do things deeply, I left FB again.
    I occasionally miss it especially when I want to broadcast a special creation (like my latest video), but I have come to terms with the fact that my work will not be seen by many until I can put my time into promoting it in some way.
    I need to prioritise creating the work right now, and maybe later when I have more time, I can promote it!
    I’m so glad your book is exciting you again!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. Reply

      Jack,

      I’ve also wondered how I’m going to promote my work if I’m not on social media. Maybe that’s why I lingered for so long before making the decision to leave. In the end, I realised, I wouldn’t have anything worth promoting if I spent most of my time on FB etc. Like you, I like to do things deeply and I don’t think that’s possible when we’re involved with social media. Everyone likes things in bite-sized pieces that can be consumed very quickly. I found myself trying to write the perfect caption instead of a longer blog post with deeper thoughts. It wasn’t satisfying!

      Your videos… Could you add a playlist of your videos to your blog’s sidebar in a similar way to how I’ve added Imogen’s videos to my blog? They’d be very visible and accessible. I rather like the idea of gathering all my work in one place on my blog instead of having some of it on social media. But will people come to my blog looking for my work? Or will they only read things that are on social media? It’s a problem!

  3. Reply

    Excited for the book!

    1. Reply

      I’m so glad, Venisa. Thank you!

    • Nancy
    • November 22, 2017
    Reply

    So excited about your book!!!

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      Thank you for your excitement and also for your comments. I’m a bit slow replying to them all, but I do appreciate them. They’re helping me to get my thoughts into order. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up with everything very soon!

  4. Reply

    I’m so excited to read your book! I’ve dropped Facebook and happy. Too many voices and left me feeling confused and unworthy. I wondered why I seemed happier as a younger mother than I do these days. I think I fell into the comparison trap or trying to be something that we are not trap. Too much social media and not enough of real life. I’m enjoying the calm and silence. And diving deep into good books.

    1. Reply

      Kim,

      I’m glad leaving Facebook has worked for you too. Yes, too many voices! I’m also diving into some good books. There never seemed enough time to do this when I was on Facebook.

      Hopefully, my book will be worth reading once I finish it. Thank you for your interest and excitement!

    • TL
    • November 24, 2017
    Reply

    Never had a FB account for the reasons you describe. I’ve considered joining for the information about homeschooling activities, but decided against it. My time in real life is more important to me than being in the know. Searching the Internet or reading blogs is a little different for me. I search for ideas, and that in turn fuels my own ideas, and helps me analyze and come to my own conclusions.

    Sue, you develop your ideas, ponder, and that’s what brings me back to your blog. Hope you are able to advertise without social networks. I think if someone has something important to say, word gets around, and people will find it and read it no matter what.

    1. Reply

      TL,

      Yes, I agree that searching the Internet and reading blogs is different from social media. And now I’m no longer on Facebook or Instagram, I have more time for reading articles that make me think and contribute to my growth. Yes, they fuel our ideas!

      I’m amazed at how deep unschooling is. There is always something to ponder and learn about. That’s probably why I can’t quite say goodbye to my blog. I think I have nothing more to add to the conversation and then I get just one more idea that needs exploring… and then another one… I’m glad you enjoy pondering along with me!

      Thank you for your kind comment!

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