When I’ve mentioned not being a total lover of Facebook in the past, many of you have expressed the same. Wishing you could give it up but the number one concern being that you did, a Facebook “friend” would take it personally.. so I thought I’d share a little of, I guess my rules and thoughts around it now.
I get frustrated with Facebook. Sold as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family, I sometimes find it to be the opposite. A reason not to text, say a cousin to ask how they are, because you can just have a look on Facebook at their last status. Click like and we’ve done your duty huh?
A bit of fake place where old school friends add each other for a nose at what their life is like now, with no intention of ever actually talking.
Where just after adding each other one of you suggests a play date. You promise to get back to each other to arrange but never bother.
A place where Facebook chooses who it wants you to see and mixes it in with businesses, show casing any products or services I might have googled in the last bleeding year.
An app where you might no longer want tofollow that “friend” who posts their latest pyramid selling scheme daily, mixed with cheesy quotes or the one that writes the daily critic status hoping for a “what’s up Hun” so they can reply “I’ll PM you”. So you “unfollow” their posts but remain fake friends so no ones hurt.
An app that’s makes it hard not to be on it. It’s so much easier to sign in with Facebook wherever you go isn’t it?
So I’ve played about over the past year or so with different ways of using it to find my comfort place. I’m not saying everyone should do this, just thought I’d share what I do.
It’s no secret I have a public page for my vlog. I love how chatty people are over there and that for many that’s the only way they are notified of my videos, if that’s their cup of tea. I’d miss it.
But to have a page you HAVE to have a personal profile.
Option 1. Billy no mates
So I posted to my personal page that I was leaving Facebook and if anyone wanted to stay in touch to send me their number. I set up a totally new personal profile, transferring my page to it and closing down the old personal profile. A clean slate. I told myself not to add any friends. Not to use that personal profile at all. It was only to allow me to keep my vlog page.
And perhaps pathetically I have to admit it felt freeing. No more scrolling nonchalantly on my phone. No more temptation to write pointless updates. One less app pinging notifications.
But… firstly it became difficult for my workplace because a lot of the communication was done in a Facebook group. And I missed the chatter with those guys. The only other thing I actually missed was photos of my friends kids. I love seeing them grow up and though I see most friends in real life, kids change so much in a couple of weeks.
Option 2. All work no play
I added just my work colleagues but unfollowed everyone in the news feed. Not because I don’t care about them, but because I find the news feed a bit of an abys to get lost and waste time in and sometimes overwhelming with info. I follow them on Instagram anyway so was usually seeing a repeat of what I’d already read. I soon realised Facebook still filled it with crap so instead deleted the Facebook app from my phone and used the pages app for my vlog page and the groups app for my colleague group. Ta da. Perfect balance for a while.
Option 3. Do I know you? Really know you?
Two things started happening. First I’ve found sometimes it’s easiest to message friends through Facebook messenger or I’d like to see pics from their recent adventures. So I wanted to add just a couple of people.
Second, Facebook is sneaky at recommending you to anyone with a tentative connection so I started getting friend requests and I hate being rude so would generally feel I should say yes. I made a new rule though, to add only people I see in real life. When I did that I realised that really is only a small number compared to the hundreds of Facebook “friends” at the start. I generally see status’s that really matter to me, don’t feel there is any fakeness/drama going on and know I am sharing those super personal things I can’t yet share publicly in just my close friendship group. With people I know genuinely care and who I love back whole heartedly too.
I know for some people this will be taking Facebook a bit too seriously. I guess a lot is down to personality type and your personal circumstances but this has been the right balance for me. I’m the kind of person who loves a digital detox and who has all the notifications turned off on my phone. What about you? I’d be really interested to hear