Facebook and I met about five or six years ago. At first everything was great. We’d meet occasionally, have some fun, share photos and talk about friends. Over the years though something changed, at times things got a bit stalker-ish, a bit intrusive and even rather dull. Like any relationship we’ve had our ups and downs but this week I finally decided to break it off.
Like most of you, up until last week I couldn’t have imagined my life without Facebook. Turns out it’s not that bad. The sun still came up in the morning, but this time I didn’t find myself checking my Facebook app before getting out of bed. I just got out of bed. I hopped on the bus and started listening to some music, but instead of looking at Facebook yet again, I just actually listened to the lyrics of the song that was playing. This is all pretty revolutionary I know, but bear with me.
I’m not a Luddite or social media hater – in fact working for a company like LBi knowing what’s new in the world of the internet is pretty much part of my job description. And even though Facebook and I have ended our relationship, I haven’t given up hope that one day I’ll start again with a better social sharing platform.
So for any of you that might be thinking about leaving Facebook too but are just not sure if you’re brave enough, here are the top five reasons I left.
1. Facebook erodes your real friendships
Seriously, I’d like to call my friends and arrange to meet them in person and actually be surprised when they tell me what’s new with them.
2. Facebook sucks your free time into a black hole
Ever gone onto your laptop and thought, “now, before I get started I’ll just check Facebook.” Then, “oh my God I’ve just spent an hour faffing about on here!”
3. Facebook lets you see things you shouldn’t
Let’s face it, do you really need to see holiday photos from people you barely know or knew ten years ago? Is nothing personal anymore? If I was really ‘friends’ with these people they could show me their photos in person next time I see them.
4. Facebook is stress you can live without
Have a think about how you feel next time you finish a ‘sesh’ with Facebook. Did you log off feeling happy, relaxed and like you are in a fulfilling relationship? Or just a bit irritated, grumpy and slightly depressed.
5. Facebook undermines your self-confidence
Looking at the ‘best bits’ of other people’s lives isn’t always that fun. Wow, off on ‘another’ long haul holiday huh? Wow, another birth, marriage, new car, new house etc. etc. It can all get a bit wearing. Even that tiny twinge of disappointment when no one likes your status update can be a bit of a downer on your day.
So for now I think I’m going to enjoy being without Facebook although I know there may be tough times ahead. What will I do with all my undivided attention? Will I be lonely without demands for updates on what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been and who I was with?
Maybe, but I’m hoping to stay strong… after all, Facebook has given me two weeks to change my mind and come crawling back…
Think this is all too much doom and gloom?
You could be right after all Facebook has over 750 million active users who log on at least once a day and over 900 million pages, groups, events, and community pages. Chances are if you want to reach your audience Facebook is still going to be an integral part of any social media campaign strategy. While there may be the odd grump like me deciding to kick the habit the rest of the planet shows no sign of following suit just yet.