As an experiment, a year ago I turned my personal profile into a Page on Facebook and left all of its wonders behind. Why did I do this?
Well, a variety of reasons – one main thing I was aware of was the sheer amount of downtime I was spending scrolling aimlessly through posts and links without actually achieving anything productive; there are countless articles and books on my ‘must read at some point’ list, so I decided to see if Facebook was a becoming a blocker to me progressing on those and other things in my life (tennis, washing up, taking bins out etc.).
So, what have I managed to learn in my year off? Several things:
I do feel more disconnected from friends that I do not see on a weekly/fortnightly basis – I have no idea what friends from farther afield and around the world are doing (see point 2!). On the other hand, with those who live near us, or those I see when visiting family, I can grab the occasional beer or game of tennis and, consequently, I feel more connected to those I see regularly now.
I definitely have a whole section of friends who do not use any other channel to communicate now – even the humble ‘Hi, How Are You?’ text seems to be no more. (PS, erm.. I have noted it might be these people are not in fact wanting to be my friend any more – I will confirm if this is why now on Facebook ?I guess!!!)
I am definitely more engaged on other channels now like Twitter, Instagram etc. so, in terms of the share of my time, that has been successful for sure.
As a consequence of a lot of personal interaction not being available to me through ‘not being on Facebook’, I have been increasingly aware that I have little or no awareness of some (perhaps all) of the sentiments, trends and opinions, and am also less in touch with what’s ‘going on’ in their lives in general, which is understandable, so does Facebook really ‘own’ certain elements of personal relationships and experience in this way? It certainly seems so…
Anyhow, the experiment continues – I’m going back to Facebook in January 2015 – I’ll let you know what changes in my life this time next year because of it!