It’s now been one year since I closed my personal Facebook account and quit using that company’s service. In other words, I’ve been Facebook-free for over a year. Ironically, I still have to maintain a single FB account placeholder that allows me to keep the JSN Facebook business page. I may be closing that as well one of these days. I’ve already removed the links and references to it away from JSN. But, for kicks and giggles (and for old time’s sake), I’ll broadcast this article on the JSN Facebook account as well.
Looking back, and having a year to reflect on being Facebook-free, I must tell you that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Like eliminating smoking or heroin, you won’t realize how much better you are without Facebook until you’ve had it out of your life for a while.
Here’s what you can expect if you no longer use Facebook:
Quitting Facebook is not an easy task to do these days. In fact, it’s quite a challenge. However, once you get past that first week, it does get a lot easier and you won’t feel like you are missing out on so much. Actually, if you really think about it, if something becomes so difficult to quit, then that’s a problem in and of itself.
Let me be clear: I still use and enjoy social media. I just dislike Facebook. I still interact on social media a lot, but in a much different way now. I share articles on my own web site (yeah, I love getting familiar with my own www space again, imagine that!). Instead of one big mega-Facebook account, I choose to participate in smaller, but more targeted and specialized social media interest accounts, blogs, discussion groups, and photo sharing. But they are kept separate and distinct from my personal life. I’m totally into photography and am able to interact with photographers all over the world. It’s very cool for that. I think the problem with social media lies with how personal you let it become. Keep social media at arm’s length and away from interactions with close friends and family, and you’ll find a good balance. And keep it away from work. Nothing is more demeaning and silly than seeing work colleagues bickering back and forth amongst each other on a Facebook page like idiots.
One thing I did that helped myself become Facebook-free was to set up a Picasa account to share photo albums with family. Not being able to share photos on Facebook was one of the biggest deterrents to my wanting to leave their service. Problem solved. And I like the features much better on Picasa anyhow.
Last year, people told me I was nuts for leaving Facebook. They actually got upset. It was the same emotional reaction as if I said that I'm packing my family up and moving to Mogadishu.
Looking back now (a year later), I can honestly say that I had no idea what a good decision it turned out to be. Or just how right I was.