7 Things I Gained by Leaving Facebook

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I recently decided to take a hiatus from Facebook. I realized I was addicted, and the information overload started to overwhelm me. When my friends ask me why I deactivated my Facebook account, I smile and say that I needed a break from being continuously inundated with status updates.

A few months earlier when the idea first cropped up to deactivate my account, I resisted it for fear of being left out. I thought I’d miss out on important information; now I realize I could do without it completely. I decided to take more control of what I see or read.

Instead of being flooded with unwanted information, I now filter what I read. I only read columns in the newspaper on topics which I need for my teaching, like economics and finance.

Here are the seven things I gained from breaking free from the grips of Facebook:

  1. I spend more meaningful time with my family and friends instead of constantly checking updates.
  2. I get to do the things I’ve always put off because I “didn’t have time.” The time I used scrolling through Facebook is now better used for things I enjoy doing like writing, meditation and yoga.
  3. I feel calmer, more centered and peaceful. The information overload was affecting me at a subconscious level.
  4. I have control over my time now. As a result, I feel more empowered, energized and responsible. Every moment counts.
  5. When I find myself with nothing to do, I sit in silence and take a moment for contemplative reflection. This gives me a fresh perspective.
  6. I’m more mindful. Breaking free from a digital addiction made me more aware of my mindless actions that don’t serve any real purpose. Every time the urge of checking Facebook arises, I simply watch the thought and let it go. On a few occasions, I’ve given in to that urge and the feeling isn’t great. I know the power is within me to make a lasting change that will aid me in living the life I want to live.
  7. I experienced a sense of liberation. It’s as if the dark clouds lifted and the mental noise went silent. I dance and laugh more now. I get to stop and marvel at nature’s work. I started noticing the beauty around me instead of looking down at my phone. Inspiration comes to me in ways I’ve never imagined.


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Sacrifice as a Catalyst for Rebirth and Bliss in Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey

Joseph Campbell is one of the most influential writers, philosophers, and professors in history. His work on mythology has taken native stories beyond their face value and deep into the human psyche, where they resonate with the core of who we are. 

Campbell’s life’s work brought countless people across the world in touch with the collective unconscious that underlies our every thought and motivates us to seek happiness. His phrase “follow your bliss” is now a household prompt, thanks to a series of interviews with celebrated journalist Bill Moyers in the early ‘90s. Gaia members can now experience this timeless discussion, listening to episodes discussing “The Hero’s Adventure”, “Sacrifice and Bliss”, and more.

Campbell’s teachings applied the lessons of heroes and metaphors of mythology to our own lives. “A myth is not a lie,” he famously said, despite this commonly misused definition. Rather, a myth is a story meant to turn the mind inward to reflect upon itself and reveal the essential truths of reality and our relationship to the transcendent. 

As Campbell explains in his series of interviews with Moyers, myth is often constructed as a hero’s journey — a pivotal course of events that slowly test the story’s protagonist and push them to the next step of unfoldment — toward transcendence. Each obstacle the hero experiences is a reflection of himself, as he is moved one step closer to sacrifice the egoic sense of self to the greater good, which is total consciousness.

When we study mythology, Campbell taught, we find the theme of sacrifice to be all-important. We must let go in order to receive what is already present. Campbell said, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” The hero sacrifices his lower nature for his higher nature, and his safety for the one he rescues, or perhaps an object of desire for a noble cause. 

Campbell taught that sacrifice is a theme that runs through all things natural — death (the sacrifice of a living being) gives way to new life in an ever-continuing cycle. But death is often metaphorical and may be the death of a habit, a pattern of thinking, or an attachment to something. Or, he said, “When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.”

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