A few months ago, I pretty much quit posting on Facebook. Up until then, I had been a pretty active participant. I was happy to post about the things that my family and I were doing, and I was happy to connect and comment on others’ posts. I wasn’t quite to the point of posting pictures of my meals, but you could have a fairly accurate diary of my life if you cared to read my posts.
I quit writing political posts a few months before, learning what so many others already knew: no one changes their mind (and very few have an open mind) on Facebook. The partisan battles about everything from ISIS to abortion had become tiring and sad. I also watched as otherwise kind people developed what I call “Facebook courage” and made comments they would never make in person.
However, for a couple of reasons, I decided to stop posting — even about personal stuff. Firstly, I just started to think about it too much and check in too often. It became too fun to see what others were doing, thinking or reacting to, and I enjoyed getting feedback on the various posts that I made.
But, a bigger reason for stopping was the fact that what I considered sharing was thought to be bragging by some of my followers. I didn’t think it was — and in truth, I still don’t — but maybe it was. I shared our trips, because I would frequently get tips from people who had read the post, been “there” before and wanted to share good suggestions. The same dynamic happened with recent or planned purchases. And, in all candor, I loved sharing (okay, maybe bragging) about my kids. But I did hear comments that bothered me and, while I don’t generally blow with the wind on things like this, I thought: A) there might be some truth to it and B) even if there isn’t, but it bothers some people that I care about, why continue?
No longer posting hasn’t freed up all that much time, because while I checked frequently, it was only for a minute or two at a time. I now go for days without checking Facebook at all, and although I feel a little out of touch with a few people where Facebook was our primary form of contact, I’m sure that will work itself out over time.
I’m not knocking social media in general or even Facebook specifically, and I’m certainly not offended by people who are really involved with social media —although, there certainly are a lot of people who are offended. Right now, I’m just testing a Facebook-lite life for a while to see how it works out. Have you reduced or eliminated Facebook? Do you care to share why and how it’s worked out for you? If so, please call or send an email — I may miss it if you post.