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One Week Without Facebook

I'm logging out of facebook - One Week Update

Two weeks ago, I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone. Last week, I decided not to log into Facebook to check my personal profile anymore. You can read more about that decision here. Part of me kind of feels childish for just not going on Facebook. For a moment, I felt like the kid who decided to leave because the other kids wouldn’t play nice. The problem with the majority of the people on Facebook is that they do not respect the thoughts or opinions of other people. These people have no regard for others. What is interesting to me is that these people seem to only exist on Facebook. There is a different mentality on other social networks such as Twitter, Linkedin and even Instagram.

Over the last week I have ran different situations through my head that could get me back to Facebook such as deleting a lot of these negative people from my friends list or just deleting my entire friends list altogether and then add people back that I want to remain online friends with. All of this sounds like too much work. There is no easy way to do this when you have 4500+ friends in your friends list. I don’t want to delete my account because as I have mentioned before, there is a timeline of my life for the last many years on there and I do not want that to go away.

I also noticed that my Instagram was posting to my Facebook profile and my wife mentioned that people were commenting on the photos I was posting from our trip to Newport Beach last week. I wish that you could pin a post to the top of your profile like you can with a Facebook Business page. Since Facebook does not show much of what you post to your entire friends list, many people do not know why I am not responding. There is no easy way to make that known. I did add a message in my about me section mentioning that I am no longer checking my Facebook profile but people who are already my Facebook friend would have to dig to find it.

I have been considering disabling my Facebook profile because that would make it easier to remove myself from the equation. A friend of mine deleted his Facebook profile and then started getting messages and calls from people asking if he was ok. He said that people thought he might be having marital problems or that maybe something went wrong with his health. This is the kind of weird OCD or whatever it is that people on Facebook have. Facebook is so engrossed into people’s lives that when something doesn’t seem right, they assume the worst and have to know the gritty details. The issue I have here is that most people would never bother to call or check in on you personally so long as you have your Facebook profile going. The moment you remove yourself from the tribe, everybody assumes the worst and must know the drama. When there isn’t any drama, they go back to scrolling Facebook on their phones in hopes to find something else they can feed off of.

What is hard is that all of my family uses Facebook to stay up to date with what we are doing and to see photos of our kids. To be honest, I kind of like it that way. My family and I talk maybe once a week, sometimes a little less than that. It’s just the way we have always been with communication, even before social media. My wife’s family talks much more often and seeing a post on social media often triggers a phone call. When I decide to post to my blog or another social network, my family often does not see that post. Being on Facebook does make it easier because everybody is there.

Not posting to Facebook all week has also changed how I feel about Facebook pages for businesses. The more Facebook forces businesses to pay for advertising the less I want to be involved with it altogether. When there was talk of the Facebook IPO, I knew that they were going to have to switch gears quickly into money mode and that is what they have done. Facebook runs tests on us showing us different content to see how we react to it. They show us less of what we actually want to see so we spend more time there. For many, it has turned into an addiction. For me, I would spend a lot of time there just trying to find something interesting. It would take me 10 minutes of scrolling to find something that was interesting enough to read or comment on.

I get it, we are all busy these days. We have filled our lives with so much stuff to keep us occupied that we don’t have time for real life interactions. We don’t get the details on each other’s lives like we used to so when we see something on Facebook, we obsess over it. We have also lost context. We are left to draw our own conclusions. To be honest, I would rather that less people know what is going on in my personal life. I would rather those who do care about what I’m up to ask me what I am up to by giving me a call or text message. I miss the days of getting coffee with a friend and talking about life.

Whats next?

I am going to continue not logging into Facebook and will stop Instagram from posting as well. Hopefully this post will remain on the top of my profile so people can see that I am not physically present on my Facebook profile. If anybody wants to stay up to date with what is going on with my family and myself, you can follow this blog or the links below. There is also a Photos section of this blog that contains photos I have been posting here rather than to Facebook.

I have also been reconsidering my presence on several other social networks. Instagram is owned by Facebook so I am sure they are working toward making changes to it like they have with Facebook. They have said that there will be ads and the feed of photos will start to change. It’s only a matter of time before Instagram becomes more of a time consumer.

When talking about social networking with people, I have always told people that I would rather be someone that somebody Google searches for than someone who just shows up in somebody’s news feed. I want to add value to the internet and that means coming up with content that is useful and interesting. I want to connect with people who have similar interests and desire similar things in life. Facebook has not been the correct platform for that.

Blog

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Social Media has reshaped the way we share online. There used to be a time where I shared everything I found interesting on my blog. Even during the age of Myspace, I still shared most of the content I created or came across on my blog. With Facebook and Twitter’s popularity, I have found myself posting more to these social networks and neglecting my blog. I have long been an advocate for creating content on your own website and using social media as a catalyst for sharing that content. Social Networks come and go, so it does not make sense to create all of your content on a social network whose audience will most likely shift to a new location one day.

When I create content, I post it to my website and post links to my social network profiles. What I have not done much of is sharing content I find interesting to my blog. When I find something I like online, I often post a link and a short thought on my social networks. I should be doing this on my website.

Starting on the first of the year, all content I create and share online will originate on my blog. I will then share the content I post to my blog on my social media profiles. I have already began testing this in various ways by posting to my blog from my various devices. I am excited to make this change because I have become somewhat complacent with sharing content in multiple places such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

Throughout this process it will be interesting to see how posting here changes engagement that I normally would have received on posts directly to the social networks. Will the amount of times content I post get shared change? How will the social networks treat my content considering it originates outside of their network? Testing things like this is fun to me. I have already noticed that Facebook does not show content that links away from their website nearly as much as when you post directly to Facebook. Deciding how I will post content to Instagram will be interesting being that you can’t link away from Instagram easily.

For those of you who have been following my blog, you will see a lot more content then you were previously used to me posting. This is also why I went to a more minimal look on the design and layout of my blog as well.

When it comes to sharing content, I want my website to be the first thing I think of, not a social network. Once I share that content on my blog, I can then share it with the social network I feel it would be most interesting to. For example, I share more family and life related content on Facebook. I share more tech related content on Twitter and Google+.

Let me know your thoughts on what I am trying here. Do you think it’s a good idea or should certain content be posted directly to social networks while longer content be posted to blogs?