About a week ago, I decided to delete the Facebook app from my mobile devices. I did this because all day long I would get notifications and updates. Most of the updates could have been turned off if I had spent some time customizing, but I didn’t want to deal with that. I felt that my phone had became too much of a distraction in my life and I wanted to get some part of that time back.
Over the last year I have noticed that I check Facebook much more often than I used to. I used to get on once a day for a few minutes just to see whats new. These days, Facebook has figured out how to get us on there more often and I believe they do it by showing us less of what matters to us. I have noticed that I don’t see much from the people who are closest to me. I have to scroll past a lot of nonsense before I actually reach something that matters to me. I know that part of this is due to the fact that I used to just accept all friend requests and this resulted in 4,500+ Facebook friends. In reality, I have probably have seen 100 of them in the last 2 years, maybe less.
I also had noticed that most of what I come across on Facebook is negative. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comment under a post I make or posts that are in my newsfeed, they are negative. I can’t share anything on Facebook anymore without someone throwing me under the bus for it. Sometimes my posts are snarky but often I post about my take on things. It is then that I get thrashed by people who are my “friends” on Facebook. Nobody honors anybody’s opinion these days. Nobody can just let a person have their opinion and make it known these days. Posting it online means that you are going to get crap for it.
I am not running away from confrontation or differences of opinion, I just realize where my time could be better spent. Social networks come and go and for the most part, the friends that are kept there are not friends, perhaps not even acquaintances. I will keep posting, but I won’t be checking for comments or responding to them. I will post to my blog, which posts to other places such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
I will continue to check Twitter because I have an interesting feed there. On Twitter, you can craft your news feed to contain posts from people you want to hear from. You can do this on Facebook, but it is not as simple as it is on Twitter. Twitter keeps posts short, so scrolling past long winded complains is a thing of the past. Google+, though not a popular social network with many people I know personally, has a lot of professionals who post valuable content that I find interesting. Because of that, I will continue to check Google+. Because Twitter and Google+ are not filled with ads and other nonsense, it takes less time to check them.
Why not just delete Facebook?
I have been a Facebook user since the day it became available to the public. At the time, I wanted something other than Myspace, which had became just as horrible of a place to spend time as Facebook has become. The problem is that I have a lot of content on Facebook. I have posted countless text posts, uploaded 1000′s of images and videos. I know that I can export them, but I don’t want them to go away. My wife, family and close friends are still on Facebook. If they want to tag me in something, I want my name to be there. I don’t believe that deleting Facebook is the answer. I never deleted my Myspace profile.
Since joining Facebook, I have gotten married and have had 3 beautiful children. There are a lot of posts and images that comprise a timeline of that chapter in my life. I may want to scroll though that from time to time.
I will be posting more to my blog
Rather than posting to a social network that will most likely go away one day, I will be posting to my blog. I started this blog in 2005 and had been blogging since 1996 when I created my first website with Frontpage. I have a photos feed on my blog that I have been posting photos to that I would normally have been posting to Facebook. To make it easy to go back and see photos by subject, I have been tagging photos. For example, you can see photos I posted during our Newport Beach vacation by viewing the Newport tag, or photos and posts from Nascar races by viewing the Nascar tag. People who care to can still post comments under my posts, photos or videos and they can do so without the Facebook ads and other nonsense. People who actually do post comments there will most likely be actual friends of mine who are not just trying to take me down a notch.
I have always been a big advocate of driving traffic to your own website rather than sending it to social networks. Most of what I write does get posted to this blog, my company blog or other sites of mine, now I plan to post all content to my own websites.
It will take some time to completely log out of everything that Facebook sends notifications to, but I will get it done. I have already deleted all mobile apps, logged out browsers and system updates on my Mac. I changed privacy settings to show a notice to those who happen upon my profile informing them that I am not logged in any longer. I am sure it will take me a few weeks to figure out the best way to keep Facebook active while remaining logged out.
Will I be back?
I am not sure. I am already enjoying other things rather than hoping for at least one positive post on Facebook for every twenty I scroll past. I have started catching up on blogs I follow and will even have some time to find a few more to read.
I finally got to a point where I realized that Facebook was a distraction that mostly brought negative energy my way. I will still get notifications of me being mentioned in other conversations because I have had many people tag me with questions. I enjoy being useful and love answering questions when I have a decent answer to provide. I will just provide whatever feedback is required through email or in person.
I will also continue to post to my Facebook pages. I have Facebook pages for my Photography business and my Marketing company. Facebook is still a somewhat decent way to keep a feed going with updates.
What could you do with your time if you were not scrolling Facebook all day?