My wife and I made a surprisingly controversial decision last week: we announced our plan to delete our Facebook profiles, right before our son Damien was born.
Once we made the decision, we were excited—even relieved—to have finally made the choice.
Unfortunately, our friends didn't all feel the same.
A few people cheered us on or asked us why, but most comments fell along the lines of:
- “I don’t use other social media, I’ll never see you!”
- “I guess I’ll never see pictures of your son”, or
- My personal favorite: “Have a nice life.”
Just to be clear, we gave our friends a full week’s notice, and an invitation to follow us elsewhere on my blog or elsewhere on social media (like my wife's Instagram account).
But that wasn’t enough.
People who hadn’t spoken to us in a year complained that we were depriving them of photos of our child, or of the possibility of keeping up as friends.
If anything, that made us more resolute in our decision to leave.
The ONE Thing
I recently finished reading Gary Keller’s bestseller The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.
The whole book centers around the focused question:
What is the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
In every area of your life, there is an answer to this question. And that answer, that ONE Thing, is where your time is always best spent.
Everything else is a distraction.
Towards the end of the book, Gary cautions that:
The way to protect what you’ve said yes to and stay productive is to say no to anyone or anything that could derail you.
This has quickly become a guiding principle of my life.
Every time you narrow your focus, you will achieve even greater results.
The Inevitable Trade-Off
The One Thing was on my mind when I went to the Tribe Conference last week (in 2015).
The whole conference was great, but I especially remember Joshua Becker‘s presentation on goals and success. From stage, he challenged us to ask:
What am I willing to sacrifice for this to succeed?
Each of us has a finite ability to take on more stuff. For everything you add, something must be taken away.
I have so much more to do, so much more to give, and I now a son! He deserves so much more of my time.
Something had to go.
When it came to the chopping block, the obvious first candidate was Facebook.
It gives us very little, but requires so much in return.
Facebook's Hidden Costs
On average, Americans spend 40 minutes on Facebook every day. That's nearly five hours every week! (Look at the link I added, for an updated number).
That's time that could be spent with real people—with loved ones—or time spent working towards achieving a dream.
Facebook is a time-suck, but that's not all that it takes.
Even more serious, if you already have depression. Facebook can thoroughly and utterly break you down.
Up until now, I ran straight to Facebook every time I got stuck.
It didn’t matter if I was writing, working on a video course, or just browsing the web. Facebook became my go-to distraction, and I’m still not sure what I got out of that.
So I quit Facebook.
You’re welcome to now do the same. Just click here to delete your profile, and breath a sigh of relief.
Just think. . . what could you do with your time, if you didn't use Facebook at all?