It’s now been over a month since I deleted my Facebook account and I thought I’d take a moment to share a few thoughts and experiences that I’ve had over the past 30+ days and take a moment to reflect.
I Don’t Miss It
I had a routine where I would go to Facebook at least once-a-day just to catch up what my friends and family were up to. After deleting my account, I thought that I might miss that part of my routine but surprisingly have not. If anything, I’ve reached out via text messages or other formats to keep in touch and I think I like it better. It’s more direct and more focused. I’ve even gotten on the phone a few times. 😯
Twitter Is My Go To
I’ve also found that I use my Twitter account a lot more and it’s been my go-to for social media. For some reason the signal-to-noise ratio doesn’t seem as high as my Facebook feed was and having people respond directly to a Tweet feels more direct.
Having the Tweetbot app is a big help with this since it syncs where I am in my feed between my various devices so I’m always in the same place when I switch. This was one of the pet peeves I had with Facebook — it was just a constant flood and I never felt like I was current. This is probably by design. UGH
I’ve Reconnected Through Other Formats
Through Twitter and direct contact, I’ve been able to re-connect with a lot of the people that I felt I lost contact with after deleting my account. I can’t say that I’m 100% since I haven’t been able to keep up with the Middle Tennessee Minis club and a few others, but I have been able to hang out with friends who are so I don’t feel too out of the loop.
It’s also forced me to be a bit more social in real-life as well. For example, I’ve found time to go by New Heights Brewery to hang out with some of my MINI buddies.
I Have To Tell People
The biggest surprise in this experiment is that I have to tell people that I no longer have an account. This came up just the other day with my wife. I realized I had never told her and while we were cooking dinner, I had one of those “Oh yeah… by the way…” moments. I figured she would already be aware but this was news to her.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise since she’s not a heavy Facebook user or anything, but I figured she would be the first to notice. She didn’t. In fact, no one did. I know this sounds a bit lame, but it feels a bit like you left a gathering and no one noticed.
To be clear, I am not complaining and I’m not sad, or bummed out, I just found it fascinating to see just how little of a deal this was in the overall scheme of things. One of my reasons for delaying my decision was that I thought others might be disappointed and that they would think I didn’t want to be friends anymore — or something to that effect.
In reality, nobody noticed and no one really cares that much. Why should they? Facebook is an insular experience where only thing things you allow to steal your focus and attention are permitted entrance. The thought that by stepping away from the platform I would cause some sort of a ripple only to discover that it didn’t even register on anyone’s radar. With 20/20 hindsight, I can only sit back and go “Duh!”.
Louis C.K. Hates Mobile Phones
In thinking through this, it reminded me of a bit that Louis C.K. did on Conan about why he hates mobile phones. I don’t think that it’s just mobile phones but he makes some really good points.
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty — forever empty.
That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and that you’re alone. It’s down there. And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going, ‘oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone.’ It’s starts to visit on you. Just this sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it…
That’s why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.
I don’t mean to end this entry on a downer but Louis makes a pretty good point. It’s a point that was driven home when I sat back and thought about why I didn’t delete my account sooner — I didn’t want to be lonely.
The good news is that I’m not. Well, at least not any more lonely than the average person is on any given day. 🙂 I’m still connected to what matters to me, I’m being more social and, now that I think about it, I’m blogging more too!
Overall, I’d call this a positive change.