Friday, August 2, 2013

Taking the Plunge and Deleting Facebook

I've decided to take the plunge and delete my personal Facebook profile. If you've read this blog long enough you know that I've taken breaks from it before but I have always gone back. This time, however, I am going to say goodbye to Facebook for good. (For the record, the blog's FB page will stay up with some help.)

It's not going to be easy. I've had a Facebook profile since 2004, when it was called The Facebook and only college students with valid student emails could sign up for it. Elitist noses up in the air in those days. lol. I've deleted FB once before (back in the summer of 2006 during the days of my reversion) but I was struggling keeping in touch with friends so enter FB profile 2.0 which I've had since November 2006. I'm so used to it that it's going to take a lot for me to not cave and change my mind or make a new profile and start over. But when I do feel the little "c'mon, get another profile" temptation, I'll just go read Matt Warner's post on The Real Reason to Quit Facebook to remind me of why it's a good idea to stay FB-free.

Besides the reasons listed on Matt's post (many of which are also my reasons), I have my own (long) list that starts and ends with "need to cut back on the gossip, negativity, and time wasting." Whether or not I engage in gossip, it's still ever-present. I've asked to be kept out of "the loop" and I still get it. Same with rants (which is so easy to do on Facebook and I've been guilty of in the past) and the like. So easy to "catch up" with friends by seeing their statuses, photos, etc. without ever talking to them. It's so easy so find games to waste some time. Trust me, I've spent a lot of time on the Journey of Moses game when I could've done other, more productive, things. Also, I'm way too overstimulated online. I've been feeling somewhat overwhelmed for the past couple of months and I really want to cut back and retrain my brain to not be in constant need of something new to do every couple of minutes.

I have to admit that a big reason why I sort of don't want to (though I still will) delete my profile is because of the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which apparently many people experience. Social networks are such a big part of my life since most of my friends are out of state (I am one of the few of my friends who stayed behind in L.A. after the age of 21) but it shouldn't be this way. With freelance writing and working from home, a huge chunk (most of) my socializing was done via FB and Twitter. I've honestly just gotten lazy and I don't like it. While I am not ready to give up on Twitter just yet (I have been using it more and more for networking these days), I am so ready to get out of my little cocoon and out into the "real world". This presents a new problem (I am terribly shy offline) but I really cannot rely on social networks to make/keep friendships.

I've already notified my friends on FB that I'll be shutting it down on the 10th (giving friends who rarely use it to get back to me with updated email and snail mail addresses). It'll give me a good excuse to make plans to actually see (face-to-face) those I haven't seen in weeks / months and to send birthday / Christmas cards via snail mail. I am a huge fan of writing letters by hand so this will actually be an added perk.

For those of you who have done it, any tips on how to brush off the temptation to go back to it? How long was your adjustment period? I know it won't get easy but I know it's also not impossible. If I can get rid of cable (though very difficult to not have it these days, especially with the Premier League and Scottish League seasons beginning this month), I can get do without Facebook after a while.

Anyway, just wanted to jot down my thoughts and explain things a little better so I don't keep repeating myself on FB, Twitter, and email.

Now I'm going to go enjoy Jamie Cullum's newest album and either work on my novel or read a book. ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

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