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Is It Time to Close Your Facebook Account?

I was quoted recently in a CBS Moneywatch article on why someone should close their Facebook account.  It was a thought provoking article – so much so that I realized there are some very good reasons that some people should consider it.  Here’s 5 smart reasons it might be time to close your Facebook account:

1.  You’re addicted.  You may laugh, but some psychologists are pushing to have “Internet Addiction” broadly classified as a clinical disorder.  If you’re checking, re-checking, and triple-checking your Facebook page again and again over the course of the day, it might be time to let it rest.

2.  You don’t understand privacy.  I don’t have my phone numbers, home address, or other private information on Facebook for a reason.  There are simply too many horror stories out there – some from stalkers and others from social media’s notoriously bad security flaws.   If you can’t keep it private, you shouldn’t be online.

3.  You trash the company or the boss.  As I told CBS Moneywatch – It’s baffling, but millions of employees across America assume their boss doesn’t use Facebook.   Vent your frustrations about your “idiot boss” or the “crazy CEO” and guess what?  They’ll find out.  If you can’t play nice on social media, stay out of the sandbox.

4.  You can’t say “no” to past relationships.  An attorney told me recently that the word “Facebook” appears in a shocking number of divorce proceedings today.  If you’re in a good relationship and discover your old high school flame is suddenly divorced and trolling, don’t even THINK about clicking “like.”

5.  You have trouble with FOCUS.  In my book One Big Thing:  Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” I discovered that human beings are simply wired to focus on one thing at a time.  Study after study reveals the only thing multi-tasking does is help us do a lot of things badly.  But Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are the epitome of distraction – and keep millions of people frittering away their time instead of accomplishing something important.  If you have trouble focusing on what’s important, you may need to close the account.

Do you struggle with any of the options above?  Are there other good reasons to close a social media account?

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10 Comments

  1. Great thoughts Phil and I’m copying and placing as an insert in our Sunday bulletin if you don’t mind (with your name …not mine). There are some issues presented here that people need to consider personally as well as good parenting tips. Thx!

  2. The dreaded Visage Codex eh? My wife and my mother recently undertook a “Facebook suicide pact” because they were so disgusted with it. Both went on because they wanted to share photos with one another, and both ended up harrassed by a deluge of friend requests from people who they were barely acquainted with. Said people then took great offence that they weren’t accepted as “friends”.

    I on the other hand remain on Facebook, mainly for mercenary reasons, but also because being nosey is just too much damn fun.

  3. Thanks for echoing my own heart on this, Phil. I just went off FB last week after 6 months; I’ve decided to spend my time living life, not reporting it to others.

  4. Not only do I struggle with this on Facebook/social media, I struggle with it worse with email. I feel like I’ve got to be available and ready to answer any questions brought to me.

  5. Phil, I couldn’t agree more. The other things I do, & encourage other people to do, is, if they can’t leave FB alone–get creative. Develop an addiction that requires inpatient treatment. Commit a crime (minor, non-violent) that will result in incarceration (for short periods only, please!) Allow God to do for me, what I cannot do for myself.

  6. I disagree, Phil.

    This is like saying that because some people do not know how to use all the tools in the toolbox, we should all just close up the toolbox and and not use any of the tools.

    Facebook has privacy options and some of us know how to use them, and do so. Should we quit FB because some people waste time on the internet or share too much personal info?

    Any medium we engage in as humans has room for misuse or abuse. We don’t have to shut down or avoid all such vehicles, when we can just as easily use common sense and find positive experiences.

    1. I think you’re missing the point Rob. If you’re good with handling social media then great. But if you seriously struggle with the areas I’ve listed, it might be time to focus your time on something more productive.

  7. Absolutely, man! I’ve had two family members that ultimately began their divorce process with a conversation on Facebook. You can’t ignore the social in “social media” and think it’s just harmless conversation. If you wouldn’t interact with him or her face to face out of respect for your spouse, don’t do it on Facebook either!
    Side note: I’m really trying to get your books from Santa (my wife) this year. 😉 I only recently discovered you! Your blog is like a big breath of fresh air, my friend! Love it!

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