Why I left Facebook

Last year around this time, I gave up Facebook for Lent.  While not particularly religious, I liked the idea of a personal challenge.  Easter rolled around and I never reactivated my account.  Why would any normal young person choose not to be on Facebook, you’re probably wondering?

Well, first of all, I suppose part of me enjoys being a non-conformist.  With everyone else in the world on Facebook, I liked seeing the stunned looks on their faces when I said I wasn’t.  I derived pleasure from using old-fashioned methods of communication to get in touch, like email or even a phone number!

Second, continuing along those lines of old-fashioned communication, I’d gotten sick of the half-hearted connections that go on via Facebook.  People drop in to check out photos and gossip, leave one-line messages saying they’re thinking about me, how am I doing, and that’s it!  We don’t take time to actually ask what’s going in our friends’ lives.  Strange thing is, a few months after I deactivated my account, I began receiving lengthy emails and lovely phone calls from friends who were checking up on me, wondering what had happened to me.  It was so refreshing!  If I’d been on FB, these friends would have not bothered contacting me.

Third, it creeped me out.  Though I was never one to publicize a ton of personal information, seeing so many others displaying their entire lives online bothered me to no end.  I felt that many of my friends had no discretion.  I’m not calling for full-out secrecy about one’s doings, but way too much info was being divulged on a regular basis.  I didn’t want to read about it.

So, after explaining all my reasons (that still make perfect sense to me), I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I reactivated my account last night.  Yes, I logged on and, scariest of all, everything was still there – photos, profile info, the last posts I’d received on my wall before deactivating.  It was like I’d disappeared off the face of the earth and suddenly returned to exactly where I’d been a year ago.  I look a bit younger in the picture, but I quickly changed that.  (When you’re 24 like me, you want to look older, not younger!)

My return to Facebook is for professional reasons.  Oh, the things we justify in the name of professionalism!  You see, this blog has become my new passion, and I want it to grow even more.  After researching blog promotion extensively online, I realize it’s time to take the next step, using the very social media I tend to avoid.  I’ve already promoted it within the limits of email contacts, other acquaintances, word of mouth,  and within the WordPress world.  Now I need to tap into the vast world of Facebook contacts and see where that goes.

I shouldn’t have done it so late at night, because then I went to bed and had Facebook-tortured dreams involving encounters with long-lost friends that were less than pleasant – people whose names I’d glimpsed briefly, but hadn’t thought about in months!  My conscience is weighing on me heavily.  My promotional ideas had better work, or I’ll deactivate again in a fit of diehard traditionalism.

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15 thoughts on “Why I left Facebook

  1. Lol. I used to be a serious Facebooker, but then people would gripe about how much I updated my status so I stopped using it. I will update my status every so often, but it’s not the level of involvement it was a few years ago. I toy with deleting friends or deleting my account, but I’m not sure I care enough to bother. I’m super careful with what information I put up because of who I’m friends with. I don’t want everyone knowing where I am or who I’m with. I’m getting paranoid in my old age I think. Good luck with your promoting!

    1. Good for you – paranoid is still better than letting it all hang out there for the world to see!

  2. It is unfortunate but true that if you are going to make it in this business you have to facebook, twitter and now Pinterest until your eyes bug out. (although pinterest is fun and easy). You want to make it easy for your readers to find you, to share what you have written. The traditional blog is now just the repository of your writing; it is the social media that tell people to visit it. Smart move.

    1. So I’m discovering, though I have yet to enter the worlds of Twitter and Pinterest! (Only just heard about the latter recently.) By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed your article about books vs ebooks. Thanks a lot for passing it on!

  3. I actually just deactivated my account last night! I don’t expect it to be long, but I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by conversations that, as you rightly state, are only half-conversations. So much and so little is being said all at once! My hope is that when I return, it’ll be for the “business” side of things and that my personal page will quiet down with my full attention to doing so. I’d meant to be online only to help facilitate my professional life, not to create another endless set of conversations.

    1. Good for you! I’m sure whatever time you spend away from it will be beneficial, even if only to give you a fresh perspective when/if you return. Nice to know I’m not the only person who struggles with this!

  4. Welcome back to the ‘dark side’, sweetie! Lol!

    I completely understand your feelings about Facebook… it can be one huge black hole, sucking up every free moment of our time. I have deactivated my account a couple of times because I needed to focus on my writing and other projects, and I have seriously considered deactivating again, or even deleting it.

    But, I am finding out, as you have, that while WordPress and Blogger are great ‘repositories’ for our work, promoting that work is best left to true social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

    So, I will keep my Facebook account (I have a Facebook page too) and try to do a better of job of keeping its use more in the context of promoting my work and the work of other writers. In fact, I am going over their right now to post your article about apostrophe use.

    🙂

    1. Haha, I couldn’t tell you myself… I’m choosing the ‘walk on by’ tactic for now!!!

  5. I regularly deactivate whenever I feel like the “Facebooking” habit is getting out of hand! Sometimes I am shocked to notice how often I am scrolling through mindlessly. On the flip side, when I do deactivate, I miss my distant relatives dreadfully! The pictures of their quickly changing new babes, graduation ceremonies, new homes, etc. The way I’ve balanced it: delete all but 100 very close friends/family members! Some people have been offended and request friendship again which I ignore. It is tough to draw a line but I’m a much happier Facebooker for it!

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