I Deleted My Facebook a Year Ago: Here’s What Happened

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

A year ago I deactivated my Facebook account
(Note: I’m referring to my personal Facebook. I still have a business page that’s run by my team)
Have you ever had a situation before where you gotta go into “monk mode?”
This was my life back in college.
A final exam would be coming up and I’d tell myself “It’s time for monk mode.” No partying with the boys, no social media, no video games, etc. I’d temporarily starve myself of fun in order to squeeze that extra juice of productivity.
But I always wondered why should super productivity mode be a temporary thing? Why can’t it be a permanent lifestyle?
Well a year ago things were getting hectic with work / life and I needed to get into monk mode again.
I deactivated my Facebook. I didn’t make any formal announcements. It was only suppose to be for a month, and that turned into a year.
I’d always fantasized about getting rid of my Facebook for productivity reasons.

  1. Cal Newport has always preached about it in his book Deep Work. He doesn’t have any social media accounts. The #2 Chess player in the world Wesley So made tremendous leaps when he got rid of the internet and his cell phone.
  2. I read the book Hooked about how apps are intentionally getting you addicted. It’s kinda scary to see how these companies are easily manipulating your behavior.

Technology has progressed far faster than our brains have been able to adapt.
Even though there are benefits to this technology, not as many people has considered the long-term damage that it’s doing to us.
I’ve officially lived over a year without Facebook; It’s something I never thought I’d be able to achieve.
I wanna share with you some of the benefits and downsides from someone that has been on the other side.

The Data on Facebook Addiction

Ask anyone how often they use Facebook.
You’ll get something along the lines of “Oh man, I barely use it.”
No one likes to admit to being a Facebook addict; it’s not cool. (It’s like how no one will admit to watching porn)
17 Powerful Facebook Stats 02
Yet statistics shows the average person spends at least an hour a day on the site. The image above shows 40 minutes. Either way, it’s a ton of time people are spending on it.
And did you know people who use social media heavily are 2.7x more likely to be depressed?
It’s not just Facebook as well, total time spent on social media is crazy.
how much of total media time men women spend on social media

The Benefits I’ve Found From Quitting Facebook

Obviously I’ve benefitted a ton from not being on Facebook. Here are some of the top things I’ve noticed:

#1 I save a TON of time.

Le’ts say you’re on a break. What do you do on a break?
You check your Facebook and get a dopamine rush. From there you make your “rounds” which includes YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat, and a bunch of other websites.
By the time your break is over, you wasted an hour (if you’re lucky…sometimes it’s longer). Have you ever sat down and wrote down how often you’re on Social media?
I did that last year. Before I measured myself, I thought it was 30 minutes a day tops. Once I measured myself using a spreadsheet, it was closer to 1 hours and 30 minutes. The human mind always underestimates things that are bad for you (No…Taco Salads are not healthy for you).
I love helping people out in affiliate marketing. No one on this planet has given out more affiliate marketing advice than I have.
20160615 Networks of Mass Distraction Facebook
I wasn’t THAT well-known in the industry a few years ago. I’d log into Facebook and probably get 2-3 messages a day from people asking for advice. It wasn’t a big deal answering the questions. But last year I was averaging 50+ different people messaging me a day.
Imagine logging into Facebook to “relax” and catch up with your friends. But then random newbies start bombarding you with messages asking what the best tracker is…
There are many things in the world you can’t control, but you can control how you spend your time.

2. I don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses.

Keeping up with the Joneses means you’re always comparing yourself to other people. No one will ever admit to this, but we’re all subconsciously compare ourselves to others.
You may have gone on a great vacation to Florida last week, but your buddy Dan took his girlfriend to Hawaii :-(.
Of course we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others, but it happens. And it does affects your happiness.
The worst part is everyone participates in social crafting. We’re all trying to show the best versions of ourselves to the worlds.

I’m sure that vacation to Hawaii was amazing, but would you be jealous knowing Dan’s $80k in student loan debt?
This reminds me of why I quit Instagram 6 years ago. Like most guys, I was following a ton of hot women on Instagram. I felt this was affecting my brain in a negative way – it was ruining my perception of women.
Women don’t look like Instagram models. Hell, Instagram models don’t look like Instagram models in real life. Airbrush, photoshop, clever angles, plastic surgery, etc.
I also started following a lot of “rich” guys on Instagram. It motivated me to see their travel, watches, and their cars. But instead of motivating me, I noticed it made me more materialistic.
It also made me unhappier because I wouldn’t appreciate my situation as much. I bought an Audi R8 which was my dream car, but it seemed like everyone I was following had an Aventador!

3. My attention span is stronger than ever

Everyone likes to joke that they have A.D.D. That may not be true, but I do feel everyone’s attention span is DESTROYED compared to ten years ago.
I remember one time I posted an amazing photo a few years ago of me in Asia.
I posted it on Facebook and dived into a Pomodoro. I couldn’t focus on my work. Instead, I thought about how many likes and comments I was going to get. This sounds so stupid saying it now, but you’ve been in that situation before.
My mind is “quieter” without Facebook. I don’t have useless information in my mind.

4. I Don’t Have a Website Affecting My Emotions.
depression workcover facebook

Ah you’re in a good mood and scrolling through Facebook:
“Hey here’s a picture of you and your ex-girlfriend from 4 years ago!”
“Hey, here’s a story about how a teenager was caught torturing 10 puppies”
“Here’s a status update from a buddy making a controversial political statement”
The Facebook newsfeed is unpredictable, and I don’t like a website affecting my emotions.

Here’s What I Miss From Facebook

Facebook does have some good things about it. A lot of these are good reasons for having a personal Facebook account, so I understand not all of you guys wanna quit cold turkey.

1. Networking can be a little harder.

There’s a category of people you know that are between strangers and friends… Let’s call them acquaintances. You might meet someone you think is cool, but exchanging numbers is too hardcore.
The perfect response: “Hey do you have Facebook?”
And sometimes if you don’t have them on Facebook, it’s hard to get back in touch with them again.
Plus you don’t wanna give out your phone number to everyone. Your phone number is a lot more sacred than adding someone as a friend on Facebook.
Facebook is a good tool for networking and keeping in touch with people, but if you wanna network without Facebook, you’ll find a way.
Another downside of not having Facebook – you don’t get the updates from Facebook groups in your niche/hobbies.

2. Do you travel a lot?

Well, sometimes there can be some cool spontaneous meetings. You’re flying to Seattle and notice that another buddy is visiting Seattle too. You two can meet.
I can’t really do that without Facebook. Some people know where I am through my newsletter / Snapchat, but I don’t know where everyone else is.

3. Some Facebook Groups can be amazing.

Most Facebook groups are shit. But occasionally you’ll get that 1% gem.
If Facebook groups are important to you, you can always create a “secret” account. You just never add any friends on it and only use it for learning/business.

But Charles, You still Snapchat

charles ngo snapcode
Hell yea I Snapchat (add me here).
You’re wondering what’s the difference between Snapchat and Facebook?
The platforms are different

  1. I have messaging turned off. People can’t message me on Snapchat, and I don’t really follow anyone. It’s me broadcasting to the world and one way communication. Whereas all the other platforms force me to uhhh..socialize.
  2. There aren’t any likes or comments so I’m not trying to “keep score”. I’m naturally a competitive person. When you add numbers to things, I’m always trying to beat my score.
  3. Everything’s deleted. I don’t feel the need to have an “epic” picture or shot. I can say whatever I wanna say without worrying about what people think.
  4. I’m still trying to build a brand and this is an easy way for me to stay connected to you guys.

But You Don’t HAVE to Delete Facebook!!!

You probably agree that Facebook’s evil but you’re thinking to yourself:
“But there’s no way in hell I’m deleting my Facebook”
Whenever I bring this up people always suggest I “moderate” my usage or remove a ton of friends. Here’s why I prefer to straight up delete Facebook.
1. I hate the concept of moderation. When someone’s an alcoholic, do you “moderate” how many drinks they have each day? No, you have them go cold turkey. The act of “moderation” means I’m wasting a ton of willpower and decision fatigue.
And remember you have some of the smartest people in the world thinking about how to get you more addicted. It’s only going to get worse guys.
2. It’s a pain in the ass removing people / hiding / rejecting friend requests. I’ve tried removing friends and people get butt-hurt. Seriously.
Even if I did cut my Facebook friend list down to say 300 people, I’d still get multiple requests a day from people. I don’t wanna deal with that shit.
3. How do you keep in touch with people? How did people keep in touch prior to Facebook? If we’re cool like that then you have my phone number. I’m a phone call or a text message away.
Even though I am missing out on what happening with everyone…I don’t really care. Less time / energy seeing what other people are up to means more resources towards my goals.

What Now?

screen shot 2016 04 12 at 1.10.45 pm
There was a point in my life where I didn’t think it was possible to live WITHOUT Facebook.
But then I went a month without it. Then 3 months. Now it’s been over a year and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Does Facebook have a ton of benefits? Absolutely. But is it worth the price that it asks? I don’t think so.
I’m happier without Facebook. You don’t know unless you try. I challenge you to try a month without Facebook.
Don’t announce it. Just deactivate it silently and see what happens.
Let me know in the comments how it goes for you. Time spent in Ad Manager doesn’t count as time on Facebook 🙂

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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