Boondock Ramblings

Want a Way to Delete your Facebook and Never Look Back?

Did you know if you choose to delete your Facebook account it actually takes 30 days, or more, for your account to officially disappear?

You can say you want it gone, but if you sign back in during any time in those 60 days, your account is activated again.

I Googled to see if there was a way to delete the account quicker than 30 days.

I was also feeling pathetic that I kept logging in to check stupid things (partially at the urging of my dad but that’s another issue for another day).

I felt better, however, when I read a comment on Quora where a person admitted they also kept being tempted to log back into Facebook. I have a feeling they felt better off when they were off it but — as I heard a pastor say a couple Sundays ago – the person was returning to what they were used to.

And what they and we are used to is negative news, negative thoughts, complaining, twisted up thoughts and views, drama, fear-inducing articles and declarations.

We know none of it is helping us but it is what we run back to when we are afraid, we are bored, or we are lonely.

None of that is going to fill the God-shaped hole in our chest, though. Never.

I know many of us have Facebook to keep in contact with friends and family and there is nothing wrong with that.

But how many of us have walked into a drama we had no place being in because of Facebook?

Or how many of us have involved ourselves in battles that were not ours to fight ?

Many of us, I’m sure.

So, if you’re ready to pull the plug on your Facebook, but don’t want to be tempted to log back in again, here is a good suggestion on how to do so.

  1. Create a NEW email id (you will be sacrificing it so don’t use your regular one)
  2. Go to Facebook settings and replace your regular email with the new one and verify it. Then you will be able to remove your phone number (if you had provided)
  3. Go to Facebook settings again, this time using the website on a browser that provides password suggestions, most people have chrome for that. Open the setting to change your password. Let your browser suggest you a password. Don’t try to remember it, just use it.
  4. Set your Facebook account for permanent delete.
  5. Open your browser settings and go to the place where it saves the passwords. Find facebook and delete the password.
  6. Delete the email id you created in Step 1

So far, it has worked for me. Good luck.

A quick reminder too: You don’t have to fully delete your Facebook. You can deactivate it and reactivate it when you are ready. I’ve been known to do this for weeks at a time and I think once for a month or so. There are instructions on how to do that on the Facebook site as well.

I’ve decided the more I’m off social media, the more creative I can be, which is why it looks like another social media detox is coming up in the next week or so and it may last 30-days like I did earlier this year.

Actually, saving my creativity isn’t the only reason for dropping off social media – saving my sanity is more important at this point. In May I actually deleted my Facebook account, except for a ghost account to keep my blog page on there. Ignoring my better judgment, I went back on at the end of the summer and I can’t see that it has improved my life much at all.

When I slip into a depression slump I find myself scrolling through social media too much and when I scroll through social media too much I don’t do things I need to do or really want to do, like write my book or write a blog post or take photographs or – blah – clean the house. I just end up a depressed, moody slug sitting in front of my computer. I also end up angry, bitter and frightened for my childrens’ future.

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This past spring I did a social media detox and that’s when I started writing ‘A Story to Tell’ and decided to publish it as a weekly serial on here and then as a Kindle book. The success for me was simply how writing the story, and sharing it on my blog, was a distraction from social media, “news”, and from some challenging relationships in my life.

When I go on social media, I end up so wrapped up in the nonsense I read that I neglect the parts of my life that actually bring me joy — especially the more creative parts.

 

Social media is an addiction for many people. If you think it isn’t for you, do what I did last December and focus on how often you reach for your phone or computer to log into social media each day. Notice how many times you log into social media when you’re bored, lonely, procrastinating or avoiding real life (or certain people). I bet it’s more than you think because I know it was for me.

Another important aspect of learning how social media affects you is to notice how you feel after you sign off social media, or a news site.  Do you feel happier? I’m going to guess the majority of us can’t say that we feel anymore enlightened, elated, or hopeful about life after we’ve scrolled through a social media site. On the contrary, we probably feel like the world is on fire.

For creatives, it’s important to ask yourself if social media supports or hinders your creative flow. I’ve personally found that excessive social media use rarely supports creativity. In fact, for me, the constant digital noise I once engaged in silenced creativity altogether.

How can you think of new ideas, or use your imagination, when someone, or something, is constantly in your ear telling you what you think and who you are? More than once in the last two years, I have read about the need for all of us to seek more solitude and shut out the noise of the world around us.

Silence can facilitate daydreaming and daydreaming supports and strengthens our imagination. Imagination leads to creativity and then creativity leads to joy for even the most left-brained person out there. Creativity isn’t always about the arts . Creativity is also important for technical thinkers out there who need time create plans for projects or lists for completing whatever it is that helps them feel more organized. For many of us, organization helps us feel more grounded. Not having the time to create that organization because we are distracted by social media can leave us feeling discombobulated. 

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I have asked myself why there were so many great writers hundreds of years ago and less of them today? I have a feeling it is because hundreds of years ago the only thing people had time to do when the sun went down was think and daydream.

It’s not that social media is all evil. It connects us with new people, new ideas, and different worlds. It helps us reach people in a way we never could before. The evil part of social media is that we have allowed it, and what is shared on it, to distract us to the point that we have pushed aside activities that could actually further our society. Social media has no power over us that we don’t give it and many of us (me included) have given it awhole lot of power, let me tell you.

I don’t have any proof that inventions and innovations have decreased since the Internet and social media took over the world, and the exact opposite may be true in some fields, but I wonder if cures for cancer, or solutions to climate change, would have been found already if half of us weren’t scrolling social media; watching the circuses that are our congresses and parliaments; judging our neighbors; tsk-tsking the family member or acquaintance  in the middle of a divorce who has decided to write about it on social media; comparing ourselves to every other mother, writer, photographer, human being on the planet; and trying to change ourselves to fit some imaginary ‘normal’ in society.

Think about all the positive changes we could have made, not only in our own personal lives but in the world in general, if we weren’t staring at cat memes on our phones all day long. I have a feeling Satan knows that and has enjoyed dangling stupidity in front of us so we wander off the path we should have been taking all along.

All of this to say, I need another social media detox and you probably need it too. During my break last year and earlier this year, I offered some tips how to “survive” (or rather thrive) when you leave social media (even if only for 30-days); what I had time to do once I set social media aside; and how I felt when I logged back into Facebook after such a long break.

I know some of my blog readers aren’t even on social media (God bless you!) and some were on and promptly logged back off again. What’s your experience with social media? Do you find it stifles your creativity or productivity? How do you handle that? Are you better than me at balancing social media with your real life? If so, I’d love some pointers about how you do it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. The last time I wrote about social media (Facebook for most of us), I had some really fun and insightful comments. 

 

 

The mental noise stirred up by social media is deafening – so deafening we can’t hear ourselves think. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are all blaring in our ears and the words they are screaming are “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!” Every one of those sites wants our attention and that means our focus is divided in at least five different digital-based ways throughout the day. Add to that the attention we need for our jobs and our families that doesn’t leave much time for us to think or catch our mental breath. It certainly doesn’t leave much time for ourselves, or more importantly, God.

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Last week I found myself caught up in scrolling too much. I scrolled this site and that site and flipped from this app to that app. Throw in some family, and other, life stresses and my brain was practically buzzing by the end of the week, and not in a good way. My thoughts were flitting from one quandary to the next, every few moments. It was like I was turning the channels on the TV or flipping through YouTube videos, only it was my panicked thoughts.

Sitting in the bathtub in a near panic attack from the inability to focus on one thought at a time, I knew what I had to do. I picked up my phone and started deleting apps. I deactivated Facebook, took Instagram off my phone (Facebook hasn’t been on my phone for over a year) and then slid the phone far away from me and picked up a book.

My brain is a jumbled mess on speed even without social media. Throw in a thousand photos or articles at me a day about God knows what, and my brain overloads and eventually shuts down, sending me to a corner, hyperventilating and repeating “There’s nothing like silence” over and over again. Honestly, our brains weren’t made for social media. Our brain can’t comprehend so much information being shoved at it at one time.

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When I first started all this social media nonsense, I could handle a few hours of it a day before my brain filter broke and I had to log off. Eventually, I could only be on a couple hours a day and then it was an hour and now I can barely handle five minutes (some days much, much less) before I simply log back off again. Everyone has an opinion and I’m tired of having to muster up the mental energy to either agree or disagree with that opinion. So often I can’t even manage to care what someone else is thinking about or doing, let alone care what hundreds of people think about an issue.

Detoxing from social media helps my mental health immensely, but it also increases my creativity and productivity. Imagine what we could all accomplish if we turned over our phones and computers more often – or at least silenced the social media monster.

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In need of stock photography for your blog, event, church, or other organization? You can find my stock images at Lightstock.com or Alamy.com.

 

Wasting too much time talking about Facebook and what’s on Facebook and what we saw on Facebook and oh my gosh blah, blah, blah Facebook

I can’t be the only one who is completely sick of talking about Facebook, thinking about what I read on Facebook, or wishing there was an IQ test before people are allowed to post on Facebook.

So yeah, here I am writing about Facebook again, but maybe that’s because I’m logging off Facebook for Lent. No, I don’t usually celebrate “Lent” in the strict sense of the word, but this year I am trying to focus more on relaxing, my relationship with God and simply detoxing my brain. And to do that I have deactivated my Facebook account for an entire – gulp – 40 days. (I do, however, have a business page that is being maintained by a “ghost account” simply for blog posts. I won’t really be checking it because not too many people see the page,  however, and I have no “friends” on the ghost account.)

Incidentally, the phrase “detoxing my brain” makes me think of sliding a toilet brush in and out of my ears and after reading the cesspool that is the current state of national news, I think that might be a good analogy. I’ve really been trying to avoid the news as I begin to detox, I really have, but almost every day I find myself peeking through my fingers, hoping something positive has happened, only to see it’s only gotten worse every, single day. It’s completely insane how crazy the national media is and I no longer know what is true or who to believe so I decided not to believe any of them. Part of my detox, therefore, will also be trying not to look at any news sites, which I have actually blocked on my phone.

Note I say “national media. My husband is a member of the small town news media, and I used to be, and that is a whole other “kettle of fish”, so to speak. Smalltown news is pretty tame and less prone to sensationalism, though some people are convinced that the behavior of the national media is trickling down to the local newspapers. They look for conspiracies even in the coverage of the school board meetings, as if any of the small town reporters have enough time or gumption to concoct stories slanted one way or another. Most small town reporters want to get in and get out of their meetings and go home on their meager salaries and eat some beans out of a can while binge-watching Netflix, since they can’t afford cable on their salary.

But I have digressed – as I so often do.

My brother and his wife have decided to completely delete their Facebook accounts after Lent, if not before. Adapting to a world without Facebook will be a challenge, but it’s needed, my brother, who will turn 50 in a few more months, says. Turning 50 has apparently caused him to reexamine his life and I’d rather he give up Facebook than dump his wife for a younger woman and buy a Harley during this phase. I’ll miss tagging him in all those memes about being the favorite child, but texting him to say so will do just as well.

I am torn between wanting to completely delete my account and keeping it to stay in contact with some friends and family, but honestly, most of those friends and family don’t actually speak to me, even on Facebook. Most likely I’ll decide to say good-bye to Facebook by the end of Lent. I highly doubt I will be missing much when I do and I might even have more time for other activities like I did when I took a break from the social media giant in December. The best thing about shutting my account down? Never writing another bloody blog post about Facebook and hopefully never talking about it again either.

Planning to take a Facebook break yourself? Here is a link to some tips I learned during my last Facebook break.