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Are You Addicted To Facebook?

chrisassaadMy name is Chris Assaad and I’m addicted to Facebook. Yup, it’s true, and admitting it in this post is my first step in the direction of doing something about it. I used to defend my use of social media by saying that it was strictly for my career, for promoting my work, my events and for building an online profile. At the best of times, that’s what I use it for, but at the worst of times, it goes far beyond that into the realm of undeniably self-defeating behavior… and lately, it’s gotten out of hand.

Here are some of the problematic tendencies I’ve observed in myself:
– Checking my Facebook first thing in the morning before engaging in centering spiritual practices such as morning pages, meditation, prayer or reading something soul-nourishing.
– Inability to stay focused on a particular task without stopping to check my phone and then getting distracted from the task at hand for unintended long periods of time because I’ve been sucked into the Facebook vortex, i.e. major procrastination via Facebook.
– Inability to be in the company of others for an entire meal or hang without checking my phone.
– Spending the last bit of time before I go to bed on Facebook resulting in restless sleep and dreams.
– Constantly checking back on things I’ve posted to see how many “Likes” it has gotten. Feeling happy or disappointed based on how many “Likes” a post has gotten.
– Scrolling my Newsfeed and having a negative emotional reaction to other people’s posts as a result of feelings of jealousy or envy or self-criticism regarding what I’m not doing or what I haven’t yet achieved.
– Facebooking while driving… (I know, it’s bad. Don’t judge me!)

These are just some of the patterns that I’ve been observing in myself and the ultimate bottom line is that I’ve been spending too much time on social media and not enjoying REAL LIFE as much as I could be. I’m not as PRESENT as I would like to be and that lack of presence is costing me in the quality of my interactions and the quality of whatever it is that I’m doing because I’m not giving it 100% of my attention. As a creative, I know that it’s also not allowing me the necessary space for my own ideas to incubate and come to the surface. Similarly, from a spiritual perspective, it’s very difficult to tune into the voice within when we are constantly tuning into all of the noise around us and the influence of so many other voices.

Facebook is a tool, and used properly, it can serve us in amazing ways, allowing us to connect with people across the world and to have instant access to our networks and communities. Similarly, our minds are great tools, but if the mind is the master and not the servant, it can wreak havoc on our lives and cut us off from an empowered experience where our highest self is in the driver’s seat.

A recent study by the University of Michigan found that Facebook use actually made its participants unhappier, sadder and lonelier. Interesting given that the basic premise and reason why many of us use it in the first place is to connect and as a source of pleasure.

For many of us, spending time on social media has become a substitute for living real life. But the question is, is it making us happier? More creative? Less lonely?

The truth is that oftentimes, Facebook is a place where we project a version of what we wish our lives were really like, where we hide when we don’t want to deal with what’s actually going on in our world and when we don’t want to feel our feelings. In the same way that using food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, sex, TV or any other external substance or deVICE only really creates more of a gap between what we’re feeling and the healing we truly desire, Facebook and social media have now earned their place at the top of that list.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing over and over again and to expect different results. To the extent that our use of a tool like Facebook, Instagram or other social media isn’t serving us or creating the desired experience, it’s insane to keep it up and leave it unchecked. If this is the case, it might be worth looking more closely at our pattern of use and revisiting it.

I, for one, am definitely at that point and I’ve decided that the first step in addressing the situation is going to be a social media cleanse for 21 days (to start). As a former nicotine addict, I know that cold turkey is the only way to go and I’m not treating my latest vice with any less severity. As crazy as it may seem, the idea of going days or weeks without Facebook causes me a low level of anxiety, like “how am I gonna do it?” That alone is very telling and exposes just how deep the unhealthy attachment goes. I did a cleanse like this not too long ago and it was very refreshing. Stepping away from the online rabbit hole I so easily go down allowed me to see what I’d been missing out there in my real life and also revealed what impact my social media patterns were really having on me.

Consider the fact that merely seeing someone’s name at the top of your Newsfeed, let alone tuning into to what they are saying, creates an internal response in you even more so than thinking about that person would. Now ask yourself, do you want to be thinking and feeling about all the people on your Newsfeed whenever and however they show up there? Do you want to allow your inner space to be filled with whatever images, expressions and triggers happen to show up on social media? Do you curate your Facebook friend list, Instagram and Twitter feeds the way you do your thoughts?

If the patterns I’ve described in this post or the questions above resonate with you, perhaps you might like to take a look and see if an adjustment in your social media use would serve you. If you’d like to join me on the cleanse, let me know in the comments below. Knowing we’re in it together will give us the will to keep on keeping on when that inevitable itch arises. We can send each other love and support from a distance and report back when we are ready to re-engage on our own terms. If your business requires you to post on social media, I recommend using a tool such as Hootsuite which allows you to schedule posts and maintain your online presence “from a distance” without getting sucked into the action.

I’ve been trying to think back to what life was like before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube and I’ve had a tough time remembering.

It’s time to remember. Who’s in?

Much love,

Chris

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Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter and inspirational artist from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest.

Connect with Chris via www.chrisassaad.comTwitter and Facebook.

Chris is also a member of the TDL Mentoring team. To learn more about the TDL Mentoring Program click here.

  • CV

    Facebook is the most damaging thing to ever happen to the world. People keep justifying it by saying it connects them to friends and family, yet it has shown to be totally destructive. It feeds on the vulnerabilities of people and forms deep jealousy and encourages people to post nonsense day and night to get a like. I never had an account and never will.

    • The Daily Love

      It can be very damaging! Thank you for reading and sharing CV!
      -Team TDL

  • Tati Souza

    I am IN!!!!!

    • Chris Assaad

      Yes! Good to have you Tati!

    • The Daily Love

      Way to commit, Tati!
      -Team TDL

  • sandy

    I stepped away from Facebook for a chunk of time a while back. It was freeing!! I have since been sucked back in. I definitely need an adjustment. I will resolve to check fb only once in the morning and once at night(as opposed to the constant checking I am doing now!! Starting today!!

    • Chris Assaad

      Good stuff Sandy! That’s a great adjustment!

  • Mari Zapata

    Chris, I’m soo glad you posted about this. I, too had been noticing an addictive pattern with facebook, but had not made any substantial changes – I uninstalled fb from my phone, so I ended up logging into my account from my computer more often. This whole week I’ve been struggling with knowing what do to about this, even though the answer is obvious but as silly as it sounds, I was scared of hearing it. Facebook is not making me happier, it’s even damaging to some degree the connection with my friends as I find myself either being jealous or envious about their accomplishments, or seeking approval and love through my posts. I’m IN!! Thank you so much for sharing this, because there is nothing more healing than knowing that we are not alone.

    • Chris Assaad

      Thanks for sharing your truth Mari! Welcome aboard the freedom train!

    • The Daily Love

      Take the leap, Mari! We’re cheering you on!!
      -Team TDL

  • http://www.originallyremixed.com/ Alissa

    i’m in! i’ve had the same issue with other social networks as well and trying to remember that people create the lives that they want you to see (only sharing the glitz and glam) doesn’t necessarily curb the feelings of jealousy or missing out.

    i definitely need to find a way to curb my usage.

    • Chris Assaad

      Yes Alissa! That awareness is a good place to start but it doesn’t always keep us from being triggered and having a negative response. Sometimes, abstinence is the best medicine!

    • The Daily Love

      Awesome, Alissa! Take it on!
      -Team TDL

  • Lisa Bova

    Chris, I came to that realization last week. It wasn’t just Facebook, but my email, As I was waiting for my water to boil for my tea, I opened up my computer. I now have a sticky note on it that says don’t open for at least an hour when you wake up and with that I don’t get to distract myself from doing something for me, journal, meditation, yoga or even a walk to watch the sunrise! There is nothing that is so important that it can’t wait and at times there are emails I don’t want to deal with until later anyway. I too, market my business coaching business on Facebook. The challenge is does it really make a difference to my business and have I really received that much from it, or am I caught up in the trend that you have to market on Facebook to grow your business, especially one that has an online component. I am IN!

    • Chris Assaad

      Amen Lisa! I often wonder that too. It’s so easy to get sucked into the fear of missing out and worry about what will happen if we don’t post something or respond to an email within the “expected” amount of time. There’s only one way to find out! Glad you’re joining us!

      • Lisa Bova

        I am with you on that Chris. I think it allows us not to be present In this world of instant gratification, by stepping away from that need, I think we open up to so many other possibilities, certainly we are way less distracted and can focus on one task at hand! I am ready to release that fear and allow the uni-verse to line up what I need.

        • Chris Assaad

          Amen Lisa! Me tooooo!

    • The Daily Love

      Such a great reminder on that post it, Lisa! So many of us can take away from that practice, thank you for sharing!!!
      -Team TDL

  • Chris Assaad

    Ok peeps. This is my official declaration. Starting tomorrow, I will begin a 21-day social media cleanse. I will not log onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube during that time. I will use Hootsuite to post blogs, event info and occasional updates. For anyone who wants to join and hop on the FREEDOM TRAIN, we can use this comment thread to stay in contact and support one another during the.

    Thank you all for reading and for your support. Much love!

  • Lori

    You described my use of Facebook perfectly and a cleanse is just what I need. I am in!!!

    • Chris Assaad

      Amazing! Happy to have you Lori!

    • The Daily Love

      Welcome to the cleanse!! Take it on full force, Lori!
      -Team TDL

  • Hank

    Great stuff !! I closed my Facebook account about 2 years ago. Never re-opened it. I have enough issues dealing with my own life, thoughts and feelings. Much less the collective thoughts and feelings of the rest of the world in an instant. I love the quote by Byron Katie:
    “Spare yourself from seeking love, approval or appreciation from anyone , and see what happens. I sought love, approval and appreciation from others most of my life. I practice not seeking attention, love and approval from others now and focus getting those things from myself. Closing my Facebook account was a small part of practicing that principal .

    • Chris Assaad

      Love the quote. Thanks for sharing Hank.

    • Ma Nithya Sarvasmarana

      Ah, this is great. So true. Another reason why i did my “FB Fast” i too was using it as a means of needing approval. Now with that free time i give myself the approval and attention i need to complete my inner being.
      Good one!

    • The Daily Love

      Such a great quote! And yes, so applicable for many of us and our use for facebook! Thank you for sharing!!
      -Team TDL

  • June

    Great post, Chris. Thank you. I gave up Facebook about three weeks ago. I don’t miss it one bit. I realized that I was reading posts, and the same reactions that tv news media used to give me (I gave up the news years ago) were happening again. People were posting rants about the government, religion, other people etc…I don’t want to read that stuff! Or, they were boasting about how spectacular their lives are-jet setting here and there, getting a new possession, having an amazing party, etc…. Yes, life is good, but do people need to boast about their lives? Made me wonder about authenticity. I had to question myself, “What is the point of all this?” I didn’t like the feeling Facebook was giving me, so I decided that if I had time to waste time reading meaningless posts, then I had time to get off my butt and do something truly productive. So, that’s what I did, and it feels a lot better.

    • Chris Assaad

      Wow June, that’s amazing to hear and very encouraging for those of us that are about to take that step, even if it’s with hesitation. Thanks for giving us a a little extra push to see what’s on the other side. Much love!

    • The Daily Love

      Great to hear, June!! So glad you’re feeling better and getting things done!
      -Team TDL

  • Ma Nithya Sarvasmarana

    Hi Chris! This is great! I am soooo glad someone else feels exactly like i do. I have been on a “Facebook Fast” now for like 6 months for these very same reasons and more. I even wrote a blog post about it not too long ago. http://www.frominnersleepingtoinnerawakening.com/from-inner-sleeping-to-inner-awakening/2013/12/1/are-you-suffering-from-fomo-fear-of-missing-out

    I was suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). Now i only update blog posts or quotes from a distance as well, and never ever go to check who ‘Like’s’ or not. I won’t allow myself to get sucked into the vortex anymore.
    Several reasons why I stopped. It was a means to procrastinate and avoid what i really should be doing like writing, and doing spiritual practices to enhance my life. On top of that FB never made me feel good. I always left feeling low and comparing myself to others. So clearly i realized i am not spiritually mature yet and i need to spend that time working on my inner being and being more productive to manifest my visions. It was stealing my energy. Now that energy is channeled into more useful things.
    I with ya on the FB fast!
    Blessings,
    Sarvasmarana

    • Chris Assaad

      Amazing revelations Ma! Thanks for sharing. 6 months is quite a feat. Inspiring!

    • The Daily Love

      Way to go Sarvasmarana! You’re a great inspiration for those of us on the 21 day fast!
      -Team TDL

  • Sandra

    IN! Have you seen the movie “HER”? Fantastic film and it raises some of the concerns that you have mentioned. I hear ya about Facebook and I just got an iphone. I kick myself when I realize that the first thing I do before getting up out of my bed is to check my newsfeed. Dislike! I hear ya about the lack of good sleep and the waste of time during the day. Thanks for proposing the idea!

    • Chris Assaad

      Haven’t seen it but I’ve been hearing about it. thanks for sharing and welcome aboard the freedom train!!!

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for reading, Sandra!! A wonderful choice to take the time off FB!
      -Team TDL

  • Saffy

    I never comment to things I see on the internet, but this discussion I feel like I must. About three months ago, I decided to lay off of Facebook. I would wake up every morning and check my news feed. It was like being a stalker and it was obsessive. I would post things not to inform people or to get encouragement but as a way of gloating and a way of getting attention. I would spend my time convincing myself that I was better than other people because my life was “better” than theirs and I have more education than some of them. The funny thing about it is people who overshare and gloat would annoy me on Facebook. You know that your use of Facebook is bad when people you have not seen in years talk to you about how they saw on your news feed you are arguing with your ex-boyfriend.

    The first couple days were hard. I would accidentally open the app on my phone and I would immediately close it. What made it harder is offline I socialized with people who are more addicted to Facebook than I am. Some times the first thing I would hear is “did you see what [insert random person's name here] wrote on Facebook?” I kept having to explain that I was taking some time off of Facebook and in those moments instead of going on Facebook, I would have someone either tell me what they said or go to the person myself. It also felt like I was getting tagged in things I didn’t want to be tagged to be drawn back into Facebook.

    I believe Facebook could be a powerful tool, however at the same time we do not take the opportunity to have real offline conversations and ask between the lines of what people post. It is a huge misconception that by following people on Facebook news feeds we actually know what is going on. Being on Facebook and other social media sites, we can project any type of perception we want. The perception I was creating was that I was happy and everything was okay. I wasn’t happy and I was using social media to make myself and everyone else believe I was happy. At least now, with taking a break from Facebook I get to take a honest look at my life and work hard on changing the things I don’t like and keeping the things I do without blasting it across the internet universe. I hope everyone has the insight to take those moments to come back to reality, offline.

    • Chris Assaad

      Amen Saffy. Thank you for speaking your truth so honestly and transparently. I can definitely relate to your experience, as I’m sure many others will. Excited to experience life without Facebook for a bit and what you shared is inspiring me to do so even more!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes, Saffy!! Way to take back your REAL life!! Thanks for reading and sharing!!
      -Team TDL

    • Sandra

      This is wonderful and excellently written Saffy! Great to hear that you made some important realizations. I agree with what you wrote!

  • GeekgirlKyle

    Great read!!! I closed my account over 4 months ago and I’m glad I did. I was an avid FB user since it’s inception, and I noticed that my timeline became more hostile, negative and narcissistic. I’m never looking back. The real world is definitely more interesting!!

    • The Daily Love

      Way to go GeekgirlKyle! Happy to hear its been great!!!!
      -Team TDL

  • reese

    Ive been contemplating this too. I likely will start today. The only thing i can thonk of is how much free time i will end up having, possibly read something far more useful and constructive. I think it will feel like freedom. Im going to start today.
    Thanks chris for the reminder and honest post.

    • Chris Assaad

      Yes! Freedom. Free time. Presence. Happy you’re in!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes! If there’re better things you can do, why not?!
      -Team TDL

  • Kathleen Chelquist

    You are one of the FIRST posts I saw today. Accident? I think not. What an amazing and vulnerable entry, Chris. Thank you. I can’t tell you how frequently I have had sessions with my mentor and my Living Love group on this topic. NONE of them understand the virtual world because most of them do not have a FB account (hard to believe, huh?). Like most of us on TDL, I have COMPLETELY transformed my life in the last 5 years, and I went from many “likes” when I would post a pic of my dog to barely ONE when I gave them….ME. Talk about painful. Here I am, placing all my vulnerabilities on a platter, doing the work, AND my friends (even the real ones) don’t press….LIKE?!? WOW…is all I have to say. I can’t tell you how many stories I made up in my head (some probably true and some not). I soooo wanted to delete A LOT of people and start anew. BUT…my Living Love Group encouraged me to NOT run from my trigger. To NOT avoid my pain, but go through it. My main trigger was not being enough as well as being ALONE (major illusions). Now, there is NO cookie-cutter answer, and if your heart says…go off…GO OFF. If you have ANY doubt after reading my comment, then you could wait until your heart directs you. And, I know that our situations are somewhat different.

    Anyway, the BEST thing occurred for my spiritual growth. Do you want to know what it is? An old friend who I have a big heart for…DELETED ME. No communication over what I know is a HUGE misunderstanding. I wrote to her. NO letter back. Ouch! After this, I realized there is A LOT of pain out there and people are SUFFERING! This helped me see more clearly what my Living Love Group was relaying…If I ONLY have people who “get me” on my FB page, then I will be missing the opportunity to possibly help the ones who are suffering the most. To love people, even when I am NOT loved back. To stay on FB and go through my addiction. This is freedom! Today, I am ELATED. I can finally say that I care, but do not mind.

    As you know, you are the embodiment of spiritual perfection. Breathe into your own divinity and claim it. I tend to see your posts and my heart is lead to write you. Please know that I am simply reminding you of whom you really are and encouraging you to be your BIG SELF. We need you in this world. Great share…one of my favorites. If you want to browse through my blogs (before you go off the grid…LOL), I have an old one on my addiction to Facebook, as well.

    With All My Heart,
    Kathleen
    http://www.kathleenchelquist.com

    • Chris Assaad

      Thanks for your response Kathleen. I definitely see the value in going towards the triggers and working them through them and I thank you for the loving reflection. In this case, the biggest trigger for me or thing I am resisting most is to be away from Facebook and social media so I’m choosing the cleanse because I feel that’s the experience that’s going to create the most growth at the moment. When I plug back in, I will have the opportunity to practice what you are suggesting and engage mindfully in facebook, etc.

      Sending your warm heart lots of love :)

    • The Daily Love

      Thank you for reading and sharing Kathleen!!
      -Team TDL

  • Lyric Goldie

    I am in ! This whole post resonated with me ! I cant wait to see what my life is going to be like after this cleanse. Thanks for the post Chris !

    • Chris Assaad

      Yes. Here we goooooo!

    • The Daily Love

      Lyric, awesome decision! Take it on!!
      -Team TDL

  • Ma Nithya Sarvasmarana
    • Chris Assaad

      Hmmm…I think not too :) Thanks for sharing!

    • The Daily Love

      Perfect timing!! Thank you, Ma Nithya!!
      -Team TDL

  • alex

    Thank You. Not feeling so alone in my quest to disable myself from the fb.
    :)

    • Chris Assaad

      Definitely not alone :)

    • The Daily Love

      Way to go!
      -Team TDL

  • Lile408

    Bravo Chris….
    Iam holding space for you on this one … As a 50 something spirit
    this social media stuff has always been an accsessory , easy to put
    away…. but I totally respect your struggle…
    Kinda like having to give up my princess phone in my bedroom and
    Go back to the wall phone in the kitchen when I was 12…..anyway I digress …
    Your forever insightful spirit will only expand more because of this “cleanse”
    I look forward to your blogs on it ….

    Love & light
    Lile

    • Chris Assaad

      Thank you Lile for your warm words and support. Love the pic too! Much love to you my friend :)

    • The Daily Love

      Thank you, Lile for reading, commenting, and supporting!!!
      -Team TDL

  • Chona

    I am SO in with this cleanse. I stopped checking facebook about a week or so go. The catalyst was my breakup with my boyfriend on December 21st. I knew if I saw his name on my newsfeed it would conjure up my anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, not being good enough for him, etc. Let’s not forget that the reason we broke up is because he is an alcoholic who doesn’t believe alcoholism is a disease and his issues became my issues. I grew resentful and angry and I knew I wasn’t happy. Anyway, that’s a story for another time!

    So, I haven’t checked Facebook since 2013 and ugh…my ex’s birthday is Jan 1st. Of all days to make a new start I was reminded of him all day. I avoided all social media that day out of fear. But since then, I have been productive, happy, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. Instead of checking Facebook in the morning, I read the daily devotional from The Language of Letting Go. Instead of ending my night with some social media, I read and pray and I fall asleep soundly. I don’t miss Facebook one bit. Chris, you described my feelings and my Facebook habits perfectly. It was like I had written it myself.

    This is so inspirational and it’s so great to know that I am not alone in this.

    • Chris Assaad

      This is amazing Chona and so inspiring to hear your experience since you gave up Facebook. Keep on keepin on’ my friend. Thanks for sharing :)

    • The Daily Love

      Happy to hear that your cleanse is benefiting you, Chona! Inspiring success story!! Thanks for sharing with the community
      -Team TDL

  • preston

    your Best article yet

    • Chris Assaad

      Thank you sir :)

    • The Daily Love

      Thanks for reading, Preston!! Happy to hear that you enjoyed!!

  • Sweetlavender

    I am definitely in with you Chris! This is perfect timing as I tried to do this on my own just 3 days ago and only lasted one day. It will be great to know others are doing it too for similar reasons. I have seen many of the patterns you spoke about, but my biggest reason is loneliness and a desperation for acceptance from a certain person that has become the reason I check Facebook at least 10x a day.
    I just deactivated my account hoping that will help me to really commit to the 21 days. I’m willing to help support anyone else out there that may need it and I’m definitely looking for as much support as I can get as well from anyone that is willing to give it. I know this will be especially hard for me but I really want to stick to this because I know it will aid me in really get through a few major setbacks I’ve had.
    thanks again Chris for this article, it’s helping me to be brave enough to take this next step I know I need for true growth.

    • Chris Assaad

      Thank you for honesty and vulnerability in sharing your experience so openly. I support you and I’m with you sister. Stay strong and remember, we’re in this together!

    • The Daily Love

      Yes! Take it on, Sweetlavender!! Thanks for reading!
      -Team TDL

  • AnnieMae

    I am not trying to be a kill-joy here, but isn’t blogging (or reading others’ blogs) and then commenting on them and then later checking and rechecking the comments the same as being addicted to other types of social media? To prove my point (to myself), I’m not coming back here to see how any of you respond to this.

    • Ma Nithya Sarvasmarana

      Yes.

    • RP

      Well, I check in with The Daily Love to not only find inspiration but to also read about what others are experiencing – as it helps to know that they are also going through challenges and to learn how they are handling them in a spiritual manner. I think that differs from trying to impress others/trying to win approval by presenting a semi-false self.

      • Chris Assaad

        Thanks for your question Annie and for the insightful reply RP. I agree wholeheartedly with RP’s response and I would add that we’re choosing to use this space to come together with a common intention and to support one another in our choice to take a break from social media. My intention wasn’t to take a break from all content consumption (or creation) or human connection. That said, it’s definitely worth bringing the same level of awareness to where else we’re spending our time online. In this case, i believe it supports the intention and greater purpose of the cleanse so it’s not in conflict.

        • The Daily Love

          These are great points being brought up! LOVING the conversation and thoughtfullness going on here! !
          -Team TDL

  • Guest

    At first I was like, no way I could do this. Then I thought – how can I not? I’m in!

    • Chris Assaad

      Yesssssssssss! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

    • The Daily Love

      Face the FB beast HEAD ON!! Thanks for reading!
      -Team TDL

  • Sam Page

    I finally deleted my personal Facebook profile and converted my account to a page. I took the app off my iPhone and make posts to the page only from a desktop computer. The last month has been one of the most productive of my year — I am
    convinced that Facebook is on the decline, and that we who are making a shift toward more thoughtful use of social media are at the forefront of a movement which (mark my words) will continue to gain momentum.

    • Chris Assaad

      I like the idea of more thoughtful use of social media and it’s great to hear that being more intention with Fb has had a positive outcome for your productivity…that’s what I’m talkin about! Thanks for sharing Sam!

    • The Daily Love

      Interesting perspective, Sam! We hope you are right!!
      -Team TDL

  • Liz DiAlto

    This is the kind of post that begs the question, “are you in my brain?!”

    I feel you at every point here, Chris. Supporting your cleanse 100%! xo

    • Chris Assaad

      Haha Liz. Love that question. The answer is “no, I don’t think so” but perhaps we are tuning in to the same higher brain. Thanks for the support my friend. Sending you big love!

    • The Daily Love

      Welcome aboard, Liz! Way to take it on!!
      -Team TDL

  • Sara

    I’m joining too! I’ve deleted and reactivated facebook in the past, and need to find a middle ground. A 21 cleanse sounds awesome. Thank you for the honest post.

    • Chris Assaad

      Glad to have you Sara!

    • The Daily Love

      Great choice, Sara!
      -Team TDL

  • Sarah

    Just deleted Facebook off my phone, to avoid temptation. I actually went back to dl FB again, to put a status up to let everyone know I wouldnt be on for 21 days… Then thought, who cares??? I have gone to my phone to the spot the FB icon was in, too, and realized again just how addicted I am, and how needed this is! Thanks, Chris, for helping me surely find time back in my life, for things that matter!!

    I am looking forward to being more present in conversations and enjoy human interactions more.

    • The Daily Love

      YES!! Way to go Sarah!
      -Team TDL

  • Brandice Nicole Alexander

    I agree 100%, so I shared this article with a God Bless to all my FB people and I’m out for 21 days!!! Thank you Chris! Time for more soul-feeding activities!!! <3

    • Chris Assaad

      I’m with you! Less social media. More soul-feeding activities. That’s what it’s all about!

    • The Daily Love

      SO much more time for new activities!!! We know you’ll enjoy all your new found free time!!! Thanks for reading!
      -Team TDL

  • Aylin Hoogerheide

    Thank you!

    • Chris Assaad

      Awesome Aylin. Much love :)

    • The Daily Love

      Way to choose, Aylin! Take on the challenge!!
      -Team TDL

  • DC

    Definitely a tremendous amount of truth in this. Thanks for sharing. From time to time I’ve found myself overwhelmingly consumed by FB, as well. I’ve found myself checking FB morning , noon, and night. In court, I see other attorneys checking FB. I’ve had clients convicted based on FB posts that were used as evidence against them. And, although I’ve participated in the FB detox quite a few times, I always managed to get sucked in. But, in all honesty, it’s not just a FB addiction. It’s more like an iPhone addiction. I’ve somehow managed to allow texting and apps to take the place of true interpersonal contacts and relations. Texting seems to be the one thing that’s totally impacted how much quality time I spend with family and friends. I am constantly checking my phone for new text messages, have had countless arguments and important discussions with my spouse via text messages as opposed to simply talking in person. When I’m not checking texts, I’m playing Words with Friends. And, although technology seems to help us stay connected (i.e. commenting in this community), it truly feels like technology aids in creating more distance in relationships among friends and family. With an opportunity to support others during a FB detox, how many folks will simply substitute this particular comment thread for FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc, thereby creating yet another dependency on technology that still hinders true interpersonal contact? We probably simply need a technology detox. :)

    • Chris Assaad

      I agree DC. Technology detox would do us a lot of good and texting, email and general iPhone use is the bigger picture challenge. Each person knows what their particular challenges are and what’s keeping them from the real life connections and experiences they desire vs what’s enhancing them. Thanks for sharing and all the best in finding the right balance for you :)

    • The Daily Love

      This is so true, DC!!! Its a shame how our true personal relations can become compromised when social media takes over!! Thank you for reading and commenting!!
      -Team TDL

    • http://www.PeaceLoveLunges.com/ Sam Page

      Well said. Completely agree about text addiction. One solution is to reduce your text plan to the bare minimum, remove unnecessary apps from the phone and use the phone as a phone. I am experimenting with using a flip phone (the base model) where I forward my calls to it when I am out and about.

  • Chris Assaad

    Ok friends. Here we are! It’s Day 1 and I thought i’d post a little something to get our engines fired up. This thread is now the official FACEBREAK FREEDOM TRAIN support thread…lol.

    I have deleted the FB, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube apps from my iPhone and removed them from my Bookmarks Toolbar on my web browser. I posted on FB (last night) to let my community know that I was taking a break and that I could be reached by email or phone and I’m ready to do this thing!

    Some have expressed the concern that keeping in touch via this thread might just be another place to hide from real life and avoid the experience the cleanse is meant to foster…That is not the intention and I encourage everyone to use this thread as support when needed and not as a substitute for social media. We are coming together here to serve a greater purpose.

    I will post here occasionally and check in to send you all some love and whatever you may need as we go through the 21 days. Here we goooooooooo!

    Much love :)

    CA

    • Sandra

      Thanks Chris! It is interesting! I am on Day 6 and man I get the same cravings for FB as I do for when I cut out wheat or sugar from my diet. Yesterday I caved but only for a split second. I saw that there were many people who posted something on my wall (probably in relation to my final post last Sunday saying I would be taking a break from FB) and I was so tempted to read them as I wanted to feel “connected” again to people. One friend emailed me personally (on my non-FB email) and she congratulated me and wrote me a lovely email speaking honestly about where she is in her life. I miss those kind of “catch-up” emails.

      I caved last night (it was a Saturday night and I was at home and had nothing to do and I wanted to talk to someone) and took a quick glance at my newsfeed (and I mean brief) and immediately saw some posts from my FB friends and thought to myself “what is this?is this what I have been occupying my time with in the past? this is nonsense” (The FB posts were really about nothing). So i went back to getting off FB and doing something else.

      I have found over the past 6 days that it has been hard (harder than expected) and I do find that I have been checking my yahoo and gmail account constantly! It’s like my fingers need to do something on the computer. Other times, I have used the extra time to do more of my home yoga practice and to read more fiction novels.

      I have to say that I am very happy that I am doing this and I felt like posting because I need some support for the next couple of weeks. Ultimately, I want to have Facebook less in my life. I don’t really need it and I want to do other things— like read more fiction novels!!!!

      What is interesting is how reliant I have become on social media to “connect” with people. It is definitely a great tool to connect with others and when I lived overseas in Europe, I found it great to keep in touch with those back in Toronto. But now that I am back, I don’t need it so much.

      Thank you for encouraging others to do this with you. How lovely! Great idea!
      San

      • Chris Assaad

        Hey Sandra! Welcome aboard the FREEDOM TRAIN and thanks for sharing your experience with us…including telling on yourself for caving! The fact that it’s challenging you means it’s working, the beauty of taking these kinds of challenges on is to be able to lovingly observe how we’re affected and choose to lovingly navigate all of it. Can totally relate to the almost automatic tendency to log on to connect and I, too, have found myself spending more time checking other stuff so I’m working on that too.
        Sending you love and support! Keep it up!

  • Amy G

    I am in! I’ve been trying to do this alone for a while now and I keep failing miserably. I love the idea of the 21 days.

    • Chris Assaad

      Welcome aboard Amy!

  • Becky

    I’m curious, why is Youtube included? Can you explain what role youtube plays in the social media destruction of our lifes? For me, it’s like TV.

    • Chris Assaad

      Hey Becky!
      YouTube is definitely a beast of its own and more like TV than the other platforms but I included it because it’s one more place that I find I go (and have noticed this with clients too) to distract myself from real life. Much like the other platforms, it’s very easy to get sucked into spending hours on YouTube and watching others do what we wish we were doing only to feel bad about ourselves.
      YouTube of course also has it’s benefits and so once again, it’s a question of using it in a way that serves but for the purposes of this cleanse, I definitely feel as though it fits the profile and deserves to be on the list!

      Hope that helps.

      • Becky

        Yes, I totally get that. I know exactly what you mean by watching others do what we wish we were doing. Although I mostly don’t feel bad about myself afterwards, it’s more of a way to bring excitement to my life.

  • sandy

    Since I am an “all or nothing” personality the trying to just check in twice a day wasn’t something I think I could maintain. I deactivated facebook today. I feel free!

    • The Daily Love

      Way to go! Take it on,Sandy!
      -Team TDL

  • Cristal

    I´m just reading this now, and I was definitely needing it! I am a Facebook addict and I´m joining you in this! Thanks for the post and the support!

    • Chris Assaad

      Welcome Cristal! It’s day 3 for me and it’s getting better and better. I feel like I can breathe again :)

  • Alex

    Hey Chris, great article, definitely resonated with me and the feelings i’ve had towards social media in the past couple years. What are your thoughts on Dunbar’s number? The social theory refers to the suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. That number is approximately 150, stable, real, social relationships. Do you think the sheer mass of people and information is too much for us? I feel like social media is a kind of sensory overload for our brains that we really need to evaluate if we want to make it such an integral part of our society.
    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

    • Chris Assaad

      Hey Alex. Thanks for this interesting contribution and question. It’s definitely something i’ve been asking myself as I travel more and more and develop strong connections to people in various places. How can I stay closely connected to them all. Is there a limit to how many people I can maintain “stable, real, social, relationships? I believe the answer is that there is definitely a limit although not sure what the actual number is. And I would also say that as far as FB goes, those descriptors wouldn’t really apply to many of the people on my friend list meaning that the connections are looser in a lot of cases and not real, stable, social relationships. I definitely feel the sensory overload on my brain when I’m tuning in to what everyone on fb (and my friend list) are putting out there and this has definitely begun to inform how I engage and also, what I put out there. Thanks for sharing and for shedding further light on this phenomenon!

  • suzanne soutter

    Hey Chris, I have joined you in the social media cleanse…..but glad to be still receiving daily doses of love and love in my inbox from you.
    Hope my reply of encouragement to keep up the inspiring work and sharing gets to you now that I have deactivated FB :)
    I am finding the reduction in “tech-noise” very refreshing…… :)
    More time to really meditate and peel off a few more ‘hiding’ layers. So, THANKYOU!!

    • Chris Assaad

      Hey Suzanne! Thanks for joining us and for your loving reply…Received with gratitude! I’m finding the cleanse very refreshing too, no more hiding and going deeper for sure! Much love my friend :)

  • Terry Martin

    Been a heavy observant of people’s behavior…cause and effect, motives, personality traits…
    Totally agree with everybody’s take regarding social media’s superficial lure of interaction especially facebook, which is the only social network I’ve joined. It’s a venue for envious “stalkers” and a poor excuse for shallow people to show off their materialistic nature, it’s ridiculous! The only thing I find enjoyable is keeping in touch with my family who lives on the other side of the world. People are so insecure and in great need for acceptance and popularity, their flaws are so transparent, it’s pitiful. It’s good to “reconnect and touch base” with people you haven’t seen for ages, but seriously, you have nothing in common, they’re just acquaintances now. I’m not dissing them, some have remained pleasant, while most have disregarded your existence as a mere number to their “electoral count” of friends’ list. I’ve always valued my privacy, I’m starting to question myself what the heck am l doing on facebook? It’s a total waste of time! People are losing their social skills in actual gatherings due to being glued to their smartphones, while those lacking in social manners have found the most convenient mask of deception. How rude! Sadly, social networks’ intent of cultivating friendships are lost…by envy, phonies and the constant craving for attention. Once again, human nature is accountable for social media’s deterioration.

  • http://www.PeaceLoveLunges.com/ Sam Page

    Great piece on NPR last week — we are definitely on to something here!

    http://www.npr.org/2014/01/09/261108836/many-younger-facebook-users-unfriend-the-network

    • Chris Assaad

      Thanks for sharing Sam! I think we are too!

  • Diana

    I am in too. Thank you Chris. Started today. Facebook and Youtube are my main distractions. wow. the possibility of actually living life as it used to be prior to all this is amazing. I did this detox before but I didn’t really succeed as I still used Youtube as an excuse to learn and learn and it did serve me well but it also kept me from expressing myself as I had no more time left to live and create and FEEL – after watching all of those hours and hours of other people’s content :))). FB doesn’t help to really connect with people. Having a face to face conversation, even a Skype one, watching a movie together, laughing and joking on the phone does. Learning something new by really experiencing it (instead of talking about it or watching other people doing it), meditating, singing, dancing, learning the guitar, writing or creating videos to share more of who I am are some prospects I am excited about while giving up Social Media.

  • Ellen

    I am curious to hear how everyone is going on returning to the social media world. My three weeks are up, I think I have done pretty well, after the first few days of withdrawals and feeing like I was missing out on everything, I felt in control and my head wasn’t full of news feeds and strange anxious feelings anymore. I go my husband to check my fb inbox once in the middle of the detox as I was getting email notifications… apart from that I held strong. This morning I woke with the knowledge I could log on and held off until about 30mins ago, almost because I didn’t know how I would feel once I did or if I would revert to the old me checking my feed all day long. Now after logging in, my stomach is churning and I feel a little ill…. I really haven’t missed out on much, friends have kept me in the loop and it is nice to know that one can lead a fb free existence…and yet I instantly get that overdrive happening in my mind of needing to know more and wanting to make sure I’m not missing out. Now is the real test I think… how do I fit fb into my life without it taking over…? how much do I go on?

  • Krista

    I’ve been binge reading your blog this evening, and couldn’t help but respond to this post. I recently cancelled my twitter account due to the endless hours of scrolling and yes, creeping (tweeping???), on others’ lives. I realized many of the same feelings you did – jealousy, envy, self criticism – as well as misinterpreting tweets and letting the “stories” in my mind spiral out of control. Since I broke that addiction, I feel amazing! So much more free in my own life as well as my relationships, which seem more honest. I have real conversations with real friends that are based on pure interest and surprise – not the, “oh yeah, I saw that on twitter.” It also means I don’t get your blog links regularly anymore, but when I came across this website by accident today, I thought I’d indulge. Love your writing, perspective, positivity and inspiration. Thank you.