As 2016 draws to a close, the hot topic seems to be about social networks and their impact on the world. Recently, I have been toying with leaving Facebook. Not for political reasons or because of a lack of privacy, but because I don’t like how I feel after spending time on the social network. I feel that I have wasted time. I feel that I have seen a side of my acquaintances I didn’t really want to see. I feel further away from my friends.
As I thought about leaving Facebook, I worried about what I was going to miss out on. I worried that people wouldn’t be able to find out about the work I was doing. I worried that the videos I created wouldn’t be sharable anymore. I worried that my friends and I wouldn’t connect anymore.
Then I hit the button. All of those feelings were replaced with logical responses.
What am I going to miss out on? Friends and family will have to connect in new ways through text, phone, or face-to-face. I’ll have to actually go to family events or parties, instead of living vicariously through Facebook, if I want to participate.
How will people found out about my work? Facebook is not the only place to learn about me. I haven’t left social, I have a newsletter, and I have a public email address. Yes, I won’t be found on Facebook, but 99.9% of my work the past 10 years was not discovered there. Only a handful of videos really found an audience on Facebook. But those videos are in multiple places, not just Facebook. I’m okay with that.
Will my friends and I connect anymore? We never really connected on Facebook. Sure we had small conversations, but we didn’t go deep. And that is something that is valuable to me. My friends and I will need to connect in person or on the phone when it’s time.
It’s weird how addicted to Facebook I got. It was hard to say no, to turn it off, to think I was going to miss out on something. Ultimately, I became a junkie, looking for my next fix. Perhaps it is time for me to go to Social Media Anonymous?