Facebook RIP April 1st 2007 – August 30th 2013
Yes, I killed my facebook. This Facebook RIP article will explain why and how I have made the transition away from Facebook. Yesterday I downloaded my facebook history! It’s kinda scary, it shows you everything you uploaded and said from the moment you logged in. I can read every post I ever made and every post my ‘friends’ posted on my wall. I can see all my pictures and I should be able to see all messages, but there appears to be an issue with that at the moment.
Looking at all this data and realising that my first log in was made on 1st April 2007 highlighted 2 things to me….
- 6 years of my life has been documented and given to a company in the United States
- I signed up on April Fools Day!! Does that make me a fool?
So as I embalm facebook and place her in a virtual coffin ready for burying, I have been researching other posts about the various deaths of facebook for others. I have found a surprising amount of people who are feeling the same for a number of different reasons.
In the main, people find it’s sucking their soul and their time. Most of the posts are irrelevant and digging around on facebook takes so much time for very little gain.
Gone are the days of distraction and novelty and even some social media sites are expressing their dissatisfaction with their return on investment, related to both time and money.
So is the facebook bubble slowly floating downwards and bracing for impact, with the inevitable burst growing closer each day? Or are people so addicted that they just can’t let it go?
Why People Use Facebook
People have many reasons, but initially it was my intention to stay in touch with friends. I pushed facebook invites away for so long, until I finally caved:-
My first facebook post:-
Taken from the download I mentioned in the first paragraph, it’s clear to see the time and date this post was made. When downloading this file, facebook sends you the file and issues a warning, saying that if you didn’t request this file, then someone may have hacked your account and that your personal details may be at risk! Comforting!
It certainly makes you stop and think. Identity fraud is a high possibility, depending on what you post on facebook.
As your facebook use grows, you find other uses for it; inviting people to events, spreading your own gospel on whatever subject matter you choose to force on people and simply nosing around. Some people use it make themselves feel better about life, even if it is by bulling others, or by reading how dull other peoples’ lives are.
Facebook truly is not a place to shine. It’s a window into peoples lives, but not necessarily an accurate one! What I share on facebook, is ‘what I share on facebook‘ and not typical of how I would start a conversation when meeting someone for a coffee, or out at a social event. The problem is, people read through your timeline and take that information as YOU, even though it’s just one facet of your personality. People chose to showcase different aspects of their lives or maybe use it as an outlet for trying to make positive or sometimes negative change.
Whatever your use, facebook has been designed with the intention of capturing your attention and causing an addiction. The more people that use facebook, the more money they make. It’s now become a huge cash cow and as such; has HUGE power in influencing society and politics. Any addiction is unhealthy, and with most people logging in everyday, it’s undoubtedly an addiction. Sometimes people log in once or twice or more a day. The download also lists every log in, date, time and location. Go see for yourself and tell me, when you look at that information that you’re not addicted!!
How to drop facebook
It is no easy feat and that’s exactly what facebook wants, and what addiction is. So, the first steps is to realise than none of it actually matters!!
If you died tomorrow, your facebook notifications would keep streaming in and messages would pile up. And so what? I took 7 days off from logging in to facebook and I realised than I didnt miss anything. Not that I know what I missed, cos I didnt look. But if you don’t know what you’re missing, then where’s the issue. Our addiction to information is as unhealthy as our addiction to facebook. None of it really matters.
The process for me:-
- Didn’t log into facebook for one week
- Deleted the facebook App from my phone
- Passed on my work’s facebook duties to another colleague
- Focused on my own business’ email lists
- Pointed people to my own personal website and email list
- Began making sure I had friends email addresses
- Started to contact people directly instead of through facebook
- For business pages I manage, I will auto schedule posts to the facebook page, and set up email notifications only for replies & comments on posts (removing the ‘message’ option from the page)
I’m hoping to slowly transition away from the facebook business pages too, but I need to conduct more analysis of visits from various facebook posts. I will be using Google Analytics to determine which links people are using to reach my business web site.
Why are businesses directing their customers to another company!!? Yes, facebook is another company, not yours. It’s time to direct customers to your own company website and your own company email list.
The following may encourage you to leave facebook
Building Better Relationships
Relationships on facebook are superficial. Not by intent, but by circumstance. Depth is required to grow relationships. Physical contact, good conversations, less one-liners and more good times. Remove the superficiality from your lives that Facebook creates so they can make money and truly connect with your friends, your amazing friends!!
Being away from facebook meant that I felt further away from some of my friends that are all over the world. This only encouraged me to email them, or skype them, or even simply think about them more. It encouraged me to even look through old photos (not on facebook). Without the useless snippets of information scrolling past your eyes, you feel the need for a deeper connection. This also carries through into the physical and tangible relationships around you.
More free time
Instead of whiling away hours reading useless information that feeds the ego, time is freed up to focus on those things that interest you more. Maybe you will start searching the internet for news or other information based on what you truly want to learn, instead of taking suggestions from others.
Perhaps your hobby starts to take on a new dimension or your sanity starts to return. Not being bombarded with information gives rise to space within, allowing you to develop a stillness and the ability to reflect on your day. This promotes a healthier body and mind as you stop neglecting the thing that matters most; yourself. If you do require certain news, you can maybe create a feedly account to pool all your relevant news stories
Less Adverts and Commercialism
I don’t watch TV, which is great, as I am not constantly controlled by the media. As the media and corporations start to take over facebook I am reminded of the various large corporations that attempt to purge you of money for their useless and unhealthy products. Without facebook this drain diminishes greatly. More free space in your head!
Normal thinking returns
In a world of share, share, share, like, like, like, our thinking has turned into the same. We are constantly thinking of things to share, or statuses to post. We see something cool and we want to post it on facebook.
We are no longer appreciating things for what they are, yet look at them based on how others will react to the same thing.
“My friends are gonna love this, I gotta share this on facebook!”
Even if subconsciously, we’ve all been guilty of thinking this and most likely multiple times a day. Since not being able to share things, I have taken a deeper appreciation for those things. As I still want to create and share things, I now turn to my blog for a less cluttered, more focused forum for expressing and sharing the things I value and care about.
No more useless information
As we stare at our facebook feed, we see things that temporarily grab our attention and instantly distract us from our initial reason for logging on in the first place. I have been caught looking at photos of someone I don’t even know when I suddenly realise, shake my head and re-focus.
Aside from not being distracted by posts from people you hardly know, you are also not guilty of supplying people with information they couldn’t care less about. By taking my ‘sharing’ procedures to my own blog, I will attract only the people that really want to read my posts.
Getting more Personal
By cutting out all those people that don’t really matter (although everyone does matter in their own way), you can focus on the ones that mean the most to you. I propose to create a password protected section on my site for close friends and family where I will share my own personal pictures, if people really want to see my pictures they can, but they also have to go to a little more effort, ensuring that only those that are truly interested will be checking out your stuff. By not littering facebook with my stuff, I am doing many people a favour by not subjecting them to stuff they don’t really want to see.
Do yourself and others a favour; release yourself from the grip of facebook and re-connect with things that truly matter to you in life.
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