This weekend, I deleted my Facebook page.
AND IT FEELS GREAT!
After the initial feeling of shock and HORROR had died down, I texted my best friends to tell them I’d done it, thinking they might think I am mentally unstable and potentially secretly crying out for help/emotional support. But, conversely most of the responses were along the lines of: “cool man, I was thinking of doing the same actually”. In a nutshell: it’s no real shocker.
Facebook was fantastic back in the 2007-2010. It was simple, and definitely the best way of checking out what my mates were doing – much easier than sending individual messages to people. It was a novelty to have your own photo albums and to have an online scrapbook of your life.
It also introduced a new behaviour that wasn’t socially acceptable before: the opportunity to “stalk” your nearest and dearest. Before Facebook, it was much easier to remain mysterious with your weekend plans, wonder if you hadn’t been invited to a party, or actually let someone know you were going away on holiday. It also brought with it the evolving behaviour of “online bragging” in which people would master the art of making their lives look beautiful without a speck of imperfection. i.e, too busy taking pictures and crafting witty statuses to have a good time.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I do feel that Facebook has a place on the Internet. I think, if done correctly there are many opportunities for brands to market themselves in this arena, it’s still a place that encourages and enables most of the world’s population to engage with images and information. If information is targeted correctly and strategically, there is proof that the majority of people do want to hear about offers, giveaways or just really cool visual pieces of content from a product or company. Mark Zuckerberg certainly knows what he is doing, and it is still the world’s number one social network.
Facebook needn’t worry that everyone is going to flee I don’t think. Maybe just some of the younger users with short attention spans. I think, that quite simply, there are just more options now. Facebook seemed to go into this default mode of being somewhere that people dump or duplicate their content from other networks such as Twitter or Instagram. Facebook for me, conjures up memories of what Nokia used to be before Apple came along. At first, it was at the top of its game. When you don’t have many other options, obviously there is going to be a clear market leader, but only until the day that new shiny, more modern competitors come along.
For me personally, it was the end of the road. I had been whinging about how much time I was wasting on it for months now; the fact that I would just scroll endlessly and acquire nothing but bitterness as I clocked up so much time in the evenings looking at people’s lives I just didn’t care about. I wasn’t learning anything new, I was hardly posting, and it was just notifying me of stuff I didn’t need to look at.
With three email addresses, an Instagram account, a blog, newspaper apps, a busy Twitter feed and a job, it was just the last thing on my mind to check my personal Facebook account. It was just a combination of tumbleweeds, people having a good time at things I wasn’t at, holidays I wasn’t on, or people I would rather forget about.
I must admit, I didn’t actually just go “cold turkey”, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone a few weeks ago as a little ‘test’, and actually forgot I had done it. It made no difference to my daily habits. I didn’t even realise I hadn’t checked out Facebook for weeks before then going onto my desktop and seeing my unread notifications, for some stuff that was pointless anyway. I have so many other ways of reaching my friends, sharing photos, chatting to them or video calling. If anything, I was enjoying the fact that I knew what my friends and family were up to because I had verbally spoken to them, without needing to go on their Facebook page.
Without sounding dramatic, I am genuinely excited for the beginning of being a more productive me, of being able to use this time to read more books, call people for a catch up if I have a spare hour in the evenings, and to not having to share everything with a group of people that I hardly ever speak to, or see. Now a days, I can just send pictures via my phone to people, make scenic pictures look pretty on Instagram or actually follow interesting people on Twitter who don’t mind saying it how it is with less judgement.
The only thing that will affect my day to day life is I will now have to make a real effort to write down people’s birthdays. Oh shit.
Sorry to dump you on Valentine’s Weekend, Facey B, it’s not you – it’s me xox