40 days without Facebook (The Experiment Part 1)


Bethany Hargrove
The Broadside

What happens when someone who is admittedly a total Facebook addict completely gives up the #1 social network for 40 days straight?
Being a spiritual person, I, Bethany Hargrove, chose to deactivate my Facebook account for Lent. The idea was that I would spend the 40 days in more metaphysical meditation. But the 40 days without Facebook turned into a battle of wills within my head and without.


Week one: First half of the week, I had withdrawals. I kept wanting to post status messages; this was the hardest stage. I took out my typing energy by texting more, and then I started writing a novel. Many of my friends teasingly told me I wouldn’t
make it the 40 days, which just made me more stubborn.

During the second half of the week I started to feel a wonderful sense of anonymity. I didn’t have to answer to anyone or anything; an illusion that was created by my constant use of Facebook.

Week two: I was positively basking in the autonomy, but I almost turned to Twitter to spew my thoughts into the Internet. However, I decided that this would be cheating. I filled up the procrastination time with guitar and writing.

Week three: In the thick of week three, my resolve began to weaken. I thought about all the fun conversations I’ve had on Facebook, witty exchanges between family members, mis-quotes being reposted, and the like.

But then I thought about how much I would get teased if I gave in early, and that strengthened my resolve.

Week four: At this point I finally was getting used to the lack of Facebook. This week and week five were pretty uneventful.

Week five: Since I couldn’t procrastinate with Facebook, I became very good friends with Stumbleupon.

Final week: Because none of my friends really used any of the Internet boredom-outlets I tried, was really tired of not having a proper social network and missing out on Internet-related shenanigans, so I basically spent the last week counting down to when I could log in again.

However, the first day I was back on Facebook I felt like I’d spent the day looking in people’s windows and/or reading their mail.

Coming next week, 40 days Without Facebook pt. 2 the Re-Entry.

Bethany Hardgrove can be reached at beth.m.hargrove@gmail.com


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