Before I dive into explaining all that, please don't take this personally if you're someone that enjoys Facebook. These are simply my ideas and experiences with the site. I don't aim to be a know it all on the subject. I simply am sharing my thoughts because I don't want those of you that have seen me pop in there to wonder what happened.
[our table runner was made by the very talented Heather Moore - love it! - appropriate photo simply because I happen to be writing this here]
So back to my opening comment...
How FB affects my sanity. ('sanity' may be stretching it, but it's close enough)
I'll be honest and say that I joined because I felt compelled to do so. It is considered a major online business tool and a lot of my friends are there. Yes, I fell into the peer pressure hole. But I've never felt genuine there. I've never felt at ease.
The privacy changes —
I consider this is a major issue. I don't like to be concerned about what information I'm sharing with who and what information or photos should be private, which shouldn't, etc. Who has time to go from drop down menus to check boxes because of ever changing policies? I can't even find them half the time! Which leads into...
Design and interface—
The fact that this site is so popular and yet so confusing perplexes me to no end. I don't find it pleasing to the eye or mind. I don't know why there isn't talk about it. Why is it so accepted just as is? I think we've definitely settled on that score and in the process sadly misinformed the masses as to what is an acceptable user experience.
Who to friend and who not to friend—
I'm not out to offend anyone, so at the beginning I tended to add friends that I barely knew online because I couldn't say no. Now it's too late and un-friending people would just be mean. I would just rather keep FB to the people that I actually know in person—but it's too late. It's such a waste of my energy to even think about all that.
How FB affects my time.
From the beginning (because admittedly I wasn't really sure what I was doing), I've had a mess of personal friend followers with online followers and business vs. more personal relationships. Now, I even have two pages (one for business and one for personal). Yes, I have folders and whatnot. I organized it all, but there's still too much to keep up with. Aside from the fact that I'm back to being a watch dog of the privacy policies thing.
I feel like I'm repeating myself too much—
How annoying is that? I figure, if you're interested in my work and my blog then you follow my posts through a feed on a reader or come here directly—why bother and post that on Facebook again (which is what I've been doing)? I feel like a tacky sales person. I'd rather offer new information, interesting links and have my water cooler moments too—which is what I do on Twitter. I realize that FB has worked for many in this way, but I haven't devoted enough time to cultivating relationships there because, again, I'm just not into the site at all. I try to get in and out as fast as I can. I'd rather hang out where I feel comfortable and that's where Twitter comes in.
How FB affects my image.
Like I said, I don't feel quite at ease there. I post and run—and that just isn't me. I like to interact and/or answer questions, but my lack of inspiration for the site makes me appear like I'm not the same person wherever I go. I've always thought that the people that only know me through FB aren't getting the full picture. They don't know the real me. They don't know that I try my best not to do things in a half-baked way and that's what I reflect on FB. Oh, how that bothers me!
Simplicity is what I'm after. I want to enjoy the time I spend online, keep it streamlined and be more efficient. I really enjoy online interaction but I also need to allot enough part of my day to my true passion of creative pursuits. FB is simply something that drags on with no happy ending in sight and it drains energy that I could be using elsewhere. Why waste time with something that literally makes me squirm?
And that my friends, is the reason I will no longer be updating my Facebook pages. I will keep them open, but that's it. I'm out.
Will leaving FB harm me in some way? Maybe. But I don't see the value in continuing. I've come to the realization, once again, that it's best to follow my own instincts. My blog and Twitter feed are my two major online presence tools. Leaving FB will only make me more available to remain in the spaces where I feel comfortable and more 'me'.
• • •For anyone wondering why I'm not completely deleting my account— I decided to change my Twitter name from A Little Hut to my actual name a long time ago. When I realized that I should have kept my business name (just in case), it had already been taken, in a just a matter of a few hours. I'd rather keep my account in the unlikely event that I want to return to FB some day—when and if my opinions drastically change.