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I've just crossed the three week mark of no Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed had become a bad mindless habit, one that sucked my time and emotional energy without giving anything back. But dang, it was hard to break. This hasn't been my first time getting away from FB, but it's been the most successful so far.

There is value for me in having a FB account. There are some people that I only communicate with through the service, and I'm part of some groups that do all their event organization through FB. Deleting my account, for me, was both undesirable and impractical. But I sure as hell wanted to break my addiction.

I started using a simple habit tracker on Android call Rewire to track my progress in breaking this habit. After a few false starts, "don't break the chain of success" became more motivating than I originally thought it would be.

I also ramped up the severity of my FB diet instead of going cold turkey right off the bat. This was roughly my progression:

1. Delete the phone app. There's not a great way around this. I still use Messenger, and for the first time I find myself really glad that the services are separated.

2. I started logging in and out of the service in a browser. When I finally tore myself away from the newsfeed, I'd sign out. When I was tempted to go back, having to sign in again was a usability barrier, but also a reminder to myself of what I was trying to accomplish. Sometimes it was enough to help me resist actually logging in.

3. No mobile FB. I did my best not to log in through a mobile browser. I still allowed myself to browse on a laptop or desktop.

4. No more FB. I configured my email settings to get notifications about very specific things and then looked at my news feed on a desktop browser for what would hopefully be the last time. My personal rule: if I get an email about something that was directed particularly to me, whether it's somebody posting on my page or somebody tagging me in a comment, I will log in through a desktop browser, address that event, and immediately log out. No looking at the newsfeed, no browsing to friends' pages. I also unsubscribed from all the promo emails FB started sending me when it detected that I was inactive.

I hope this helps! Breaking my FB addiction was tough, but very rewarding. I don't miss my newsfeed full of political vitriol and worthless clickbait. I've had more rewarding conversations with friends I care about through other means. I don't miss being part of "the conversation." So, A++, would recommend, but be realistic and gentle with yourself as you progress.

Good luck!




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