Facebook Free February aims to reconnect us to real world

Campaign aims to improve our mental health and highlight risks from heavy social media engagement

 

Facebook addiction getting the better of you? More hung up on your status updates than your real-world conVersations? A movement to switch off social networking for a month - or even a week or a day - could be what you need.

That’s what Facebook Free February is all about, disengaging from the social network and reconnecting with the real world.

“The problems associated with social media use and misuse are becoming more and more prevalent in society. Studies and research into the subject convey the dangers and negative effects of social media on our mental well-being and our relationships. I think that many people are aware of their negative social media usage habits but seem indifferent and reluctant to take any steps towards fostering a healthier relationship with their digital worlds,” organiser Diarmuid Sexton said.

Abstinence

The campaign is aiming to get people to sign up for the month, citing the negative effects of social media usage on mental health that a study by the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark highlighted, including higher stress levels and lower happiness levels compared to those not involved with Facebook.

“Initially, I wanted to get involved in FFF for personal reasons. I wanted to become more mindful and less compulsive when scrolling through Facebook. I wanted to spend time without my Facebook ‘feed’ and see if I still felt ‘fed’. I wanted to go to bed at nighttime without the need for one more scroll. And I wanted to wake up the following morning to my own thoughts and not some news article or photo or video of something altogether irrelevant and detached from my current state which stirs some strange emotion in my belly for no good reason,” Mr Sexton said. “It seems that the month of abstinence allows people to see the wood for the trees and allows them to create healthy, lasting changes to their social media consumption habits.”