Almost one year ago, I quit my personal Facebook page. Here are my top ten, unfiltered thoughts on Facebook:
- After quitting, people no longer assumed that I knew about their life via their status updates and pictures, so they were forced to engage by telling me about their activities. This allowed them to share authentically. Now, I have incredible conversations and they have a chance to describe their experience, not just by posting a picture and replying to comments, “LOL”.
- The people who only communicated with me via FB, are where they should be in my life. They are acquaintances, privy to that type of interaction. It is okay to define the circles and boundaries of people in one’s life. You would not invite your 800 friends to your house and expect to have the same conversation with your close and distant acquaintances. Yet this is what people are doing online.
- I do not view myself as a brand or a promotion device. I’m not a celebrity, nor have any interest of being one. I am not receiving celebrity endorsements to promote products or services, so unless there is serious money involved, I am opting out. People say their personal page is great for their business, but I do not think revealing all of your thoughts and activities is a good idea, even if you were Ghandi. Well, maybe if you were Ghandi. I’m sure he struggled at times and needed privacy to deal with his evolution as well though. We are humans and life is an enigmatic journey. Share your moments with the ones that ‘get you’. I like the Twitter platform. It is great for showing a stream of consciousness of data, and that is all I’m going to enjoy for now. It is more information based and I feel like a better person when I finish with a feed sneak during the day.
- I have more energy to dedicate to the people who actually are my friends. The ones that call me. They stop by. We chat. We laugh. We have private jokes. We don’t share our photos for the world to see. It is between the individuals, most of the time. It is special.
- I thought my social life would suffer when I quit FB and it blasted to another level. I have attended more intimate gatherings and wonderful events that I ever did while on Facebook.
- I can focus better. The static in my brain that is a side effect from viewing yet another food picture is now gone.
- I have nothing to prove. Yes, I really mean this. I’m enjoying where I am, what I’m doing, and usually do not want to stop the joy to ‘share’. The other day, I was on a bike ride by the ocean and stopped to view the waves. I looked down to see 6 people taking pictures of the most monotonous things and posting. I felt fortunate, because I watched the waves and the surfers. I could learn something or get inspired to go out there later. In the moment is where life happens, not planning your next status update.
- No one really cares about your posts, even the ones that have 1000 likes. If this is true, then what is the takeaway from FB? I try to equate it to my sport triathlon. When I first started out, I was nervous before a race. When I realized that no one cares about my times and that I’m just out there to see what I have in the tank on any given day, I nap in my car before the event starts. At least with triathlon, I get to socialize in person, test my limits, and celebrate a healthy body.
- I have dreams, goals, and deadlines. I love to have fun, but can be intense with my vision. Facebook did not add to my life after 2010. I liked it before then. My life and time are precious. I try to answer to my 85 year old self on most days. Do I want to review my life as spending an hour a day communicating with acquaintances or having loose acquaintance friendships over the real deal? Is it really a choice? I found that it sometimes is. Everything you say yes to in life, says no to something else.
- After settling upon these insights, I could not justify participating any longer and it was an exceptional decision. My quality of life, focus, and authenticity have improved exponentially.