Mark Zuckerberg’s tweaking of his algorithms has come too late for me. I’ve quit Facebook as of 8 Jan 2018. Well, it’s more correct to say that I’ve deactivated my account. Why? Well, to answer the question in the proximate rather than the ultimate sense, because I didn’t know the difference between deleting and deactivating. But it turns out that theoretically I can reactivate. It’s dead easy apparently. And if I really want to permanently escape, I have to go back in there so I can get out properly – ie, delete. You know what? That sounds like a ruse I’ve fallen for far too many times in my life. So it’s not me dangling, it’s them. It’s you, Mark. Cos I’m away.
I was a late convert to FB. Very late. Embarking on a pretty scary freelance career, it felt like part of the package that I had to engage in social media. I was doing it for work. So, that’s okay, right? Well, turns out it’s not so easy to keep FB confined to work. Suddenly your personal life and your professional life are bleeding into each other. You find yourself eavesdropping, reading stuff, that keeps you horrified, riveted, and wondering where in the world you’re ever found time to do any actual work. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed a lot about FB. But ultimately, being on FB turned out to be exhausting. I felt bombarded by having to make decisions. And don’t get me started on the adverts and the fake news, or all the other stuff that’s been swilling about.
Anyway. I’ve quit. It feels a little strange. I don’t have to charge my phone quite as often. I feel more … calm. Less harried. And it turned out that FB really wasn’t that great at promoting my work. I don’t know if I attracted more than one or two people to my courses as a result of being on FB. Considering the amount of time I spent on it, that seems like a pretty poor return.
So the ultimate answer to the question, is that I quit FB to get my life back, my sense of self back, my sense of control back. And I do have this website, so it’s not like I’m spurning online self-promotion altogether.
Any advice on Twitter, anyone?
(UPDATE! On 20 March 2018, I went back in to delete permanently. 14 days to go and counting!)