Here’s What Happened When I “Facebook Fasted”

I barely check Facebook anymore.

It all started during a recent visit home when I realized the extraordinary heights of my compulsion to check it. During commercials. Riding in the car. Upon waking up. Here I am with precious little family time and I couldn’t pass through a few idle moments without escaping.

And the thing is, the more you check it, the more you’re likely to check it again.It’s a vicious cycle. So if I check it in the morning, I’ll be checking it every hour in the afternoon, and any dull moment by nightfall.

So I decided to Facebook fast for a week.

Removed it from all mobile devices. Committed to avoid checking it on my computer (I should have used SelfControl to remove the element of willpower, but I instead relied on the fact that I’m worth it.)

The first few days were tough.

But slowly, then suddenly, the compulsion drifts away. You forget about it. And you realize the Newsfeed isn’t a place to spend life. Then you notice how draining it was. The constant and perpetual scroll toward the next hit of dopamine.

The fast felt refreshing.

At the end, I left it off my mobile devices, which is big, but I eventually came back to using it on my computer. However, since my Ben Franklin commitment to block my problem websites, I’ve reduced dramatically. My mental health, energy, and sense of presence are better for it.

I think everyone should try it, even for a week.

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