- You spend less time online. This was certainly true for me. A few days ago I calculated how much time I spent in front of a screen - any screen at all - and it was less than 2 hours a day. I believe I am doing more productive things with my time, but what's more it sets an example for my children. I don't want them growing up thinking its okay to be consumed by electronics; to be seated at the dinner table and be looking at your phone instead of each other.
- You have better feelings towards humanity in general. If you're not on FB, you don't see the inflammatory political statements, inane comments, ridiculous selfies, or general stupidity that seems to congregate on the FB. You don't become embroiled in arbitrary 'discussions,' in which there is no accountability or satisfaction. Your opinion about the population improves.
- You can be genuinely surprised when you see your old college pal walking down the street. You went on a service mission to Botswana?! You don't have to act like you didn't already see all their pictures online.
- Parental judgement. No one can make comments (positive or negative) about your parenting decisions, and you aren't comparing your children to anyone else's. What?! Their kid just wrote a letter to the Nobel Peace prize winner? What's my kid doing right now? Oh yeah, in the corner acting like a wounded panda.
- Being present. Your mind is not silently distracted by something incendiary or pointless you read on Facebook. It allows you to be more present in the moment.
- You are not tempted to cyber stalk an old flame/lover/hater/arch enemy. We have all done it, yo.
- More mental real estate. Do you really need to know what your old neighbor's favorite band is? Or what your sister's best friend's hair cut was in 1998? Nope. And that information is taking up space in your brain.
That being said, I have noticed two downfalls of being a non-FB participant. Firstly, I don't have any connection to my friends from Semester at Sea, or old friends from childhood. That does make me sad. The truth is, once that connection is severed, its not like you make up for it in any meaningful way. Secondly, I am routinely behind on pop culture. Did I see that video that went VIRAL a few weeks ago? Nope. But somehow...I am just alright with that.