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Should I Quit Facebook? Here’s How to Decide

By Laura Galbato May 09, 2024 Lifestyle

I joined Facebook in 2008. Making connections was exciting and, in the early stages, anyone with a pulse was quickly a “friend.” That boy in my 8th grade algebra class who I vaguely remember? A friend. The woman I met at a local event? A friend. My cousin I haven’t seen in 20 years? A friend. It was an exciting time and making connections felt good.

Some 350 friends later, I often toggled between staying on Facebook and quitting the social media platform. I know I’m not alone. We weigh the pros and cons. We pledge to spend less time scrolling through the lives of other people and more time living our own life. Finally, we set resolutions to start new hobbies, learn new things, and nurture real relationships through tangible connections.

Yet, year after year, we stay. We love the good and tolerate the bad. But, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to step back and make a conscious choice to either stay or quit. Four years ago, I chose to quit this social media platform and haven’t looked back. For you, your choice may be different.

To help you decide, I designed this handy-dandy flowchart as a guide. (If you click on the chart, it will open a .pdf file for you to view or download.)

If You Stay

You’ve thought it through, and you’ve decided to stay on Facebook. At this point, build on what you enjoy about it. To make Facebook great again, you have to be part of the solution, a role model. Here are some pointers and ways to keep it healthy.

  1. Find the right balance by setting time limits and making sure the other aspects of your life are front and center: your relationships, work, hobbies, sports, and interests.
  2. Model good Facebook behavior by not ranting, posting fake news, participating in time-sucking vitriolic debates, etcetera. The timeless CNN article, The 12 Most Annoying Types of Facebookers, provides a comical read.
  3. Remove the app off your phone to remove the temptation to mindlessly scroll.
  4. Unfollow or unfriend people who continually post content that annoys you.
  5. Unfriend folks who you really don’t know or care to spend time with. I call it the Grocery Store Test. If you saw someone in the produce aisle and you were way over by seafood, would you go out of your way to talk with them (time permitting)?
  6. Do not feel obliged to “like” statuses that you really don’t like. The Facebook algorithm is set up so that what you like will appear more on your newsfeed.
  7. Subscribe to a high-quality online or print newspaper that ranges from the skews left to neutral to skews right range (chart here). If you’re getting your “news” from social media, you may be getting inaccurate information.
  8. Consider your interests and like/follow their Facebook page. Their content will then appear on your newsfeed. For example, if you enjoy travel, follow Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Budget Travel.
  9. Make sure your privacy settings are set to your liking. Here’s an informative guide from Techlicious entitled, The Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy Settings.

If You Quit

Breaking any habit takes a bit of effort, with the first few days being the hardest. Some folks find it easier to leave Facebook if they’re on another social media network like Instagram. That was the case for me. I found Instagram to be a better fit for me and having that alternative made leaving Facebook easier.

To take a trial run, you may want to deactivate your Facebook account. Deactivating is temporary and gives you the flexibility to come back and reactivate your account if you choose. While your account is deactivated, people can’t see your timeline or search for you. (How to deactivate.)

If you choose to permanently delete your Facebook account, you can’t regain access if you change your mind. Before you delete your account, it may be worth downloading your Facebook data, which will include things like birthdays and photos. (How to delete.)

Once you’ve quit Facebook, use this as an opportunity to do more of what you enjoy and discover a kazillion other things to do. Read a book, go for a walk, play a game, call someone, start a hobby, cook, lift weights, create something with your hands, have lunch with a friend… the possibilities and experiences are endless.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you feel about Facebook? Have you thought about quitting Facebook, or do you love it?

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Irma Gurman

Having been a vocal music teacher for 28 years, I had thousands of students, many who I loved and loved me. We keep in touch through Facebook. I can be a part of their lives, see them marry, have children, grandchildren etc. We reminisce and truly enjoy the connection. I also travel and am a member of several travel forums which are very informative and interesting. I have eliminated “friends” who are truly not “friends” and enjoy what remain very much.

Michael Van ryneveld

It’s an interesting and apt post. I go through slightly addictive stages, but have found it helpful to specifically use FB for the interest groups that I like to follow – the 4×4 stuff, music, and cycling, for example – it’s an extension to my actual hobbies.


I have quit Facebook. At first it was difficult. But now I feel so much better. I permanently deleted my account. I even try to spend more time offline I got tired of all the hacks and questionable friends.


Good thoughts! I plan to stay awhile as it fills a need to stay connected. Thanks for sharing!


I don’t consider myself addicted to Facebook and really just keep to have some kind of outside connection. Anyway I’m so thankful that I didn’t delete it… reconnected with a high school friend last year who ended up being the love of my life and we just retired together!… we are 66 … yikes! Social media can be ok!!!


That’s a sweet story! I just reconnected with a friend from undergrad who also attended the same high school. We became good friends in college then lost contact. Unlike you, no love story (he lives with his girlfriend in Thailand), but a nice reconnection.


I quit all social media with the exception of YouTube a few years ago. It was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. The toxicity and misinformation being spread became far to overwhelming for me. I looked at it this way and asked myself a question..I have managed to make it through 60 years of my life without it. Is it something that I really NEED? The answer was NO. That’s when it all became quite clear. I will never go back.


I felt exactly the same way and quit, also. No regrets!


I am so with you Julie. I see the value of FB if one has close friends and family geographically distant and it is used as a great way to keep close. However, I had “friends” from far away whom I have never met and who cares if you are with Dick and Jane at “Chez Dumonei” having the best salad you have ever had…or those that continuously post their feats of workout/ athletic or social prowess daily….and then there’s the toxic misinformation and hateful politics with “friends” who just want to pick you apart for disagreeing with them. ugh. Who needs it? I also am only on You tube and then monitor that time very judiciously. I think if you are a person who is highly sensitive and tends to absorb the energy of negative stuff, think many times before getting on FB.


It really doesn’t make a lot of sense to have friends you never met. You needed to check your settings.


Same! I quit over 12 years ago right before the birth of my oldest grandchild. I’ve never looked back. I’ve spent those years enjoying him and the other grandchildren who’ve followed. Would never go back. Like others have noted, it’s a toxic soup of hate and misinformation no one needs in their life. Enjoy what’s right in front of you!

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The Author

Laura Galbato is mosaic artist, writer and healthy living enthusiast. After a successful career as a compensation consultant for LCG Group and Towers Perrin, she returned to earlier passions for her second act. Laura loves hiking, golf, mosaic art, and a good glass of champagne.

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