It’s been about one week since I deleted all my friends on Facebook. And I’m still here.
I wasn’t able to delete my account. For a number of reasons, I manage a handful of pages or communities on Facebook, like Disposable Memory Project and The 100, and deleting the account would have meant I had to hand over control to another user, which isn’t the right thing to do right now. Additionally, I use Facebook Authentication for SO MANY services that deleting my account would have been painfully disruptive.
So, I removed all of the friends.
What is left behind? Nothing but page likes and advertising. Facebook without people is sad place.
It is a really poor portal with streams of content from brands that you once had a passing engagement with.
As a result, I haven’t checked Facebook once this week.
So the immediate result is that I have freed up a great deal of time which I spent browsing through updates and social content. I mostly miss this on train journeys or whilst waiting for things. I have seemingly replaced it with increased use of:
a) Podcasts – I am now listening to more content
b) Feedly – I am reading content and articles, rather than updates and comments
c) Messaging – I’m responding to more emails and sending more WhatsApp and SMS
d) Music – listening to more music
e) Nothing – I seem to look out of the window more often
As far as connecting to my friends in a more meaningful way, I’m not sure that has happened yet.
Why? Because Facebook teaches us to interact with our social network in a frictionless way.
In two forms:
1. Post to your network, and see who is interested.
2. See what your network is posting and react to what is interesting.
It feels like the lowest effort possible, you’re throwing out something that MIGHT interest SOMEONE, and you’ll get a response.
Rather than thinking about who might be interested in the specific thing you’re doing, and telling them.
It also makes me think more about what i am doing that I would share.
— Matthew Knight (@webponce) April 17, 2014
“i’m making cheese on toast” – i would happily post that on twitter/facebook/instagram, but would I write to a friend and tell them that? No, probably not.
“i’m thinking about you” – i would happily send a message to someone about that, but would I write it publicly on a wall? No, probably not.
And finally, I’m only making cheese on toast. I have very little interesting content to truly interest my friends. So I need to do two things:
1. Ask my friends what they are up to (because I don’t know ambiently any more)
2. Do more things that are interesting in order to have things to talk about
Also, I got sick, and I lost my voice this week.
I don’t know if that is related, but losing my voice seems apt.
I hope I will get it back next week.