Why I Finally Kicked Facebook to the Curb

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.

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.

Recent research has shown that Facebook use can cause depression, and the longer you use it the worse your mood will likely become.

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.

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?

19 thoughts on “Why I Finally Kicked Facebook to the Curb

  1. An interesting and timely read: I’ve been pondering (actually beating myself up) over the lack of productivity. One thing I do appreciate about Facebook is it allows me to see what my friends (truthfully my more distant relatives) are doing. But you observation about how much do you get from it vs. how much you put into it, is a good thing to consider.

    Lastly, I found it funny that there was a “share on Facebook” button for a post about quitting Facebook; it’s akin to drinking a toast to quitting drinking.

    1. Ha! Yes, Dan, I considered removing the Facebook share button. I’m secretly hoping that this post becomes incredibly popular on Facebook though, and people reconsider how they use it.

    1. Michael Hyatt asked the same thing! But honestly, I don’t think I have any lack of advertising channels. What I have a lack of are focus and time. Getting rid of one channel should allow me to make better use of my email list and Twitter, which is the plan.

  2. I already beat you to it. I’ve been off Facebook for almost a year now and it’s been FANTASTIC.

    Congrats on your new freedom!

  3. Congratulations!!!! First on your Adorable Little Son – A Wonderful Gift from God!

    Second Congratulations on Leaving Facebook! I for one have never really been a fan of FB therefore I never use to spend much time on FB until literally the last month…….

    Reason: Apparently learning and using FB from a business stand point I will be able to network etc increasing value to my business. Honestly, not to sure FB is the answer for me both Personally and Professionally! Why?

    Well as I started using and interacting on FB – Most of my time was spent Reading and Responding to others on FB and Not Networking my Business or Growing my Business.

    Literally I realized my time spent on FB actually Decreased my Focus on my Business. Plus I was more confused then ever about my Business thus leading to Second Guessing myself and the Business!

    So I say Congratulations to you John and your Family for making time to what Matters Most to you and your Family!!!

    Well Done!!

    Beverley

    1. Thanks Beverley! He is a cutie, isn’t he?

      It’s fascinating, most of the reasons people give for getting back on Facebook are related to business or networking—but that’s not Facebook’s #1 goal!

      It sounds like Twitter or LinkedIn might be a better use of your time, because it’s more focused—less distractions like my cute newborn son ????.

  4. It’s unfortunate, but most peopel on FB will NOT bother to go to your blog. I know this from experience. It just shows that those most people who populate FB don’t really care about you, they are just flyover voyeurists.

  5. Having spent time picking your brains yesterday (11/09/2015) on blogging etc, I am convinced that you practised what you preach. How did I know this? You said you had just 1hr to spend on coaching and exactly about that time you gently ended the call and went to the people mattered most in your life. This I truly admire because sometimes in a bid to always be the nice guy, I spend more time than necessary at the detriment of my goals.

    Thanks again for the coaching session. You are a great guy. God bless

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