There are interesting things that happen when you have a Facebook profile and very few friends you are following. You have to make an effort to know about people and events and to tell people about events and thoughts. If someone wants you to know something, they have to think of you and then make some kind of effort to let you know. Some people will make this effort. Other people will decide it’s not worth the effort. I know, as I have been in both of those positions.
Since my decision to log off my original account several people have contacted me. Most to tell me that they would miss Facebook me and that they TOTALLY understand why I did it. Some even commented that they may take my lead and make the same kind of changes in their own lives. Those people who wanted me to know something sought me out to tell me. Do you know the result of that? We had a genuine person to person interaction and both of us gained something positive from it. I even have a coffee date this week with someone I might not have thanks to this change!
Another thing you do, as with any addictive behavior, is seek out ways around staying clean. You look for loopholes. I have found several like “oops… I need to go add myself (the new profile) to another group I (old profile) own… I need to log in to the old account… look 56 notifications… I should check them.” Or “I will just post to my old profile… then all my old Facebook friends will see it and will post to it.” I actually did go to my old profile to block my new profile, but I would have to unfriend myself and that just seemed cruel… The brain is a funny creature.
Then there is the dilemma of your new profile popping up as a suggested friend for all the friends in your old profile. Getting new friend requests by the hand full is a great ego booster, but you then have to figure out what to do. These people think enough of you to refriend you. Should you add them since obviously, even though you haven’t spoken to them one on one in years, they think enough of Facebook you to want to read what you are posting. What about the family members that you left your old profile to tend to? Are they going to feel snubbed because you are ignoring their new friend request? So, you drive them to your blog post about leaving Facebook for a while by sending them a message through the old profile and then go check your blog stats to see if they really read it. It all gets quite confusing and labor intensive.
Which leads me to the new behaviors that you replace the old behaviors with. Hopefully, those are less destructive…. like blogging obsessively. I guess time will tell whether it truly is less destructive. I always wanted to write more. Maybe this will push me to that end.
And “Tweeting,” which I affectionately call “Twitting” because it makes the cool teenagers in the house roll their eyes. Ok, let me clarify, I don’t tweet. I read Twitter. I don’t know how to Tweet. I seriously CANNOT.FIGURE.OUT.HOW.TO.TWEET. But, it seems that I can replace the morning news that I used to get from my Facebook feed while drinking my coffee with Twitter. And none of it is personal stuff that will make a hit on my self esteem. I can watch Antonio Brown hug a goal post. I can see all the greatest clips from the latest Saturday Night Live broadcast. I can even get insightful (?) thoughts about the Presidential address from the Oval. But Susie’s latest academic conquest, the Christmas party I was not invited to, and the fact that everyone else has good knees and were at the gym for hours this weekend does not even appear once. Or, if it does, I am hopelessly inept at finding it.
I have certainly found some negatives to this self ban from the Facebook world, but I think they are just withdrawal symptoms. I have to seek out information if I want to know it. It takes a little longer and a little thought, but I kind of like it. I kind of feel free. Like I don’t have to know it all. I am not the one “in the know” anymore. Hmmmmm… that one is going to take some getting used to. I might miss being the go to person. Again, I guess time will tell.