Next Friday, I'm deleting my facebook account. I've been saying it for months. Years, probably, but my twitter history doesn't go back that far.
My twitter friend Chris Stedman just released his book IRL: Finding Realness, Meaning, and Belonging in Our Digital Lives which has led to thinking about my social media and digital ~ ~ identity ~ ~. I've let my friendships become the ones that I engage with on twitter or facebook, instead of the people I most want in my life.
I don't need to explain that Facebook is a net negative for society. We've all seen a meme shared by a distant relative that is not only embarassing, but in some cases dangerous. I'm afraid of a platform like Facebook having the power it does to shape reality. I believe (and think they've shown it over and over) that facebook is always going to choose ad profits and chasing engagement, regardless of the downsides.
Even though I haven't used Facebook as my main method of keeping in touch with people for years, it is a great place to see the last pictures of me hanging out with a friend or check on their birthday or other important event. It's nice to see a party we went to together in the "memories" and send a quick text to catch up. For some people it's more of a "how did I meet this person, did we become friends in line for the bathroom at 1:30AM", and you can easily tell just by looking at their facebook! I don't need to be friends with those people anymore, probably.
I spend about 15 minutes a day browsing my facebook feed right now. I want to invest those 15 minutes in one-on-one conversations, group chats, zoom calls and letter writing (maybe idk).
So I'm going to move my contacts into Monica (more on that ⬇️), delete my facebook, and try to be a better friend.
I think that the primary problems driving Facebook are the same problems driving instagram. An ad supported model that requires you to be in the app for as long as possible. New features are in search of other streams of revenue (the shop button) or in keeping you glued to the app. It doesn't feel healthy, and I'm already down to posting relatively few times a year on my instagram grid.
HOWEVER, I still talk to so many people through instagram stories, and it's one of the ways that I get to explore and interact with the world while stuck inside my apartment. The goal I'm giving myself is to be off instagram entirely by my Birthday (June 1st) 2021.
Giving myself a little time to move IG friends over to Monica and figure out other ways to keep in contact with them.
Don't worry, I'm still very online and can be reached easily:
Where you'll be instantly added (or updated!) in my personal CRM....
Just deleting facebook isn't enough, I want to become a more engaged friend and work on building the connections I've let fall to the side.
I've got ADHD, and that makes keeping in continuous contact with friends hard 🥺, so I'm going to use as an opportunity to create orginization that I can follow down the line. When I make a new friend, online or offline:
One of the features that I've found that I need is called "stay in touch", which allows me to remind myself to reach out to someone. I'm sending myself staggered emails for friends I haven't talked to, and hoping to spend those 15 minutes a day I've gained reaching out.
I'll start the very long and hard process of creating profiles for my friends from Facebook (just not the distant relatives with dangerous opinions) and other places, and start adding in the activities we've done together in the past. My hope is that this will be a forcing mechanism to start sending those emails, texts and catchup calls that I've been slacking on.
A constant danger for me is starting a new tool or process and then dropping it after missing a day. Checking Monica has become part of my daily routine and is at the top of my daily todo list template. It gets duplicated every morning and 🤞🏼 that is enough for me to turn it into a routine!
I'll be following this guide for deleting my account, and recommend that you consider it 😉