facebook-get-a-life

Quitting Facebook

Today, Aaron Street and I made a pact to deactivate our Facebook accounts through the end of April.

Ditching Facebook is something I have been thinking about for a little while. When Aaron mentioned he had been thinking the same thing while we were working together at a coffee shop, I guess that was all the excuse I needed. I created a dummy account for Lawyerist to manage its Facebook page, and we both turned out the lights on our personal accounts.

I don’t hate Facebook or anything; I actually like staying in touch with people I don’t get to see very often otherwise. But scrolling through my newsfeed usually feels like twiddling my thumbs, not hanging out with friends. Plus, my Facebook profile is, at best, an incomplete picture. Someone recently posted a picture of me sitting next to a woman who is not my wife, and a friend asked if everything was okay at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if others assumed she was my wife.

Facebook encourages us to draw conclusions about our Facebook friends based on insufficient data. I don’t post many pictures of my family because Jess likes her privacy, and we have agreed not to post pictures of the girls in public (or on Facebook, where the privacy settings never seem to stay put). I wonder how many of my Facebook friends don’t realize I have two smart, beautiful little girls and an amazing wife to whom I cannot do justice in Facebook updates. If you don’t see pictures of them or updates about them, how would you know?

That said, I deactivated my Facebook account mostly just because I wondered if I would miss it. I’m predicting I won’t. Or not much, anyway.

If you miss me on Facebook, you can see my pictures and read my thoughts elsewhere. None are as personal as Facebook, but that’s kind of the point of this experiment. If you miss my company, call me up and let’s get together.

(image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boltron/4461019149)

6 thoughts on “Quitting Facebook”

  1. Welcome to the club. I did the same 2+ years ago and have not missed it a bit. But, why not ditch Twitter too? LinkedIn really is better for any business use and Twitter has mostly become a useless stream of noise. Also ditched Twitter and have not missed it at all.

    1. I like Twitter a lot for conversations around some events. It’s often good fun to have a meta conversation around a conference on Twitter. Nothing else works as well. (Caveat: huge events quickly become an un-followable firehose.)

      Twitter is also a decent way to get news. In between the two or three conferences I attend each year, I mostly fire up Twitter to keep an eye on what’s happening in my areas of interest.

      LinkedIn has its uses, but I don’t generally enjoy using it. I check in a couple of times a day, usually, but I don’t get much out of it when I do. I guess I’m still trying to figure out how to get some rewarding engagement there.

      Of the social networks, Google+ is definitely the one I enjoy most, primarily because the communities are a well-executed platform for building small, active communities. I’m far more likely to be able to start or join a good conversation on G+ than on Twitter or LinkedIn, where conversations are fleeting and people rarely remember to come back and continue them.

  2. The challenge is to give it up without blogging about it (or, as many do—but I don’t think you did this—say you are giving it up and then checking Facebook a few days later to see whether people comment about it).

    Oh, and the purist would also delete the account, not deactivate it. Deactivating is for wimps. :)

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