Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why I 'Like' My Facebook-Free Life

One Wednesday about a year ago, I sat in a circle with the other moms at playgroup, listening to them talk about a mutual friend who'd (surprise!) had her baby that morning. They knew the birth stats, how the labor went, and had even seen pictures of the umbilical cord, which had somehow gotten itself tied in a knot. They'd gotten a play-by-play on Facebook, of course, and I'd been clueless.

My blog may be on Facebook, but don't let that fool you. I don't have a personal account.

That's right: I don't have a Facebook account. People usually react to this news as if I'd mentioned not having running water in my thatched-roof mud hut, but it's true.

Even though it means I find myself hopelessly out of the loop sometimes, here's why I'm not on Facebook and I 'like' it:

Why I Like My Facebook-Free Life -- 4 reasons not to sign up for Facebook (they're not what you think!)  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
photo by mkhmarketing


1. In real life, it's easier to decide who's my "friend." 

Friendship gets complicated on Facebook. I'm aware that if I sign up for Facebook, I'll soon start getting friend requests from people I talked to one time in the hallway in high school 20 years ago. And I'm not quite sure what I'd do about that.

Would my not-quite-acquaintances be offended if I don't friend them on Facebook? Should I friend them? Are they my friend? What's a friend, anyway? Gah! I can't deal with all these existential questions! 

2. My life is overwhelming enough as it is.

A running stream of the thoughts and happenings of everyone I've ever met (because, let's face it, I'd end up accepting those friend requests from random people I vaguely know) sounds like my worst nightmare. I can't even remember all the things I'm supposed to about my own life, letalone everything about everyone else's.

I already have a long list of books to read and projects to do that I wouldn't complete even if I lived to be 500. Keeping tabs on everyone via Facebook seems like a ridiculously impossible item to tack on to my to-do list.

3. I don't really want to know everything about everyone. 

I've gotten to be on friendly terms with the UPS delivery guy (our house runs on deliveries from Amazon, after all,) but it would be pretty awkward if next time we chatted about the weather I secretly knew all about him, his hobbies, his family, what he had for breakfast that morning, and had casually perused his Cancun vacation photos and his extensive selfie library.

And vice versa. I'm perfectly happy to leave some mystery between me and my casual acquaintances. How else am I going to convince anyone that I'm normal?

4. I already spend too much time online.

From what I gather, Facebook is apparently a black hole from which there is no escape. I hear people talking all the time about "quitting Facebook," while everyone around them just rolls their eyes and says, "You'll be back."

My kids already refer to the computer desk chair as "mommy's chair." If I signed up for a personal Facebook account, I'd probably never make eye contact with any member of my family again.


That being said, there are times I do think it'd be nice to have a Facebook account. I miss out because Facebook is the only channel for a lot of people when it comes to sharing birth announcements, showing off baby pictures, and keeping in touch with friends who move away (because sending an email is, like, so 1997.)

Right now these are the reasons for my Facebook-free life, but you never know: maybe one day I'll be the person you kinda sorta know from your past sending you a friend request (Hey, remember me? I borrowed your pencil once in chemistry in the 10th grade?)


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Unremarkable Files

26 comments:

  1. Haha! I have both a Facebook account for my blog and a personal one. Truthfully, I spend more time with the blog one though. Networking and connecting with other blogs can become a real black hole!!

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  2. I like my Facebook free life too! I do have a personal FB page, but I thought I needed it for my blog page. I do not use the personal one, I do not accept requests, I do not update, heck I don't even use my real name! It doesn't matter I friended someone and more people figured it was me. However, they soon learned I don't use it, maybe to like a blog page.
    I've heard of too much drama via FB.
    I have my own FB story. My good friend text me to see if I was okay, you know because my grandpa was very ill. I had no idea what she was talking about. :( My brother posted it on FB.
    Anyway I totally understand where you are coming from. However like you I miss out in things :-/
    XOXO

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    1. You do technically need a personal page to create a fanpage, but I cheated and did it through Phillip's account. Which he doesn't really use, either.

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  3. DITTO THIS! I got rid of personal Facebook in 2013. I didn't even know a friend of mine who lives all of a half hour away is halfway through her pregnancy. Good grief. How close are we really then? All of your points are on target. Love this!

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  4. Just hopped over from Saturday Sharefest @ The Sits Girls. I also gave up Facebook for 12 months (lets not go into why!) and it was so freeing! I still managed to keep up with what was happening in my friends lives through the old fashion grapevine. Back on line now for my blog but like your approach for just Facebook blog page - food for thought...

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  5. I have a number of friends without facebook--personally, I like it a lot. My husband is literally all of the family that lives in the same country as I do. My friend list is limited to actual friends and family, and it helps so much when you're living far away, to still get to experience a tiny bit of everyone's lives. I'd love it if my friends and family blogged, but they don't, so facebook is a good substitute!

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  6. I had an account with Facebook for awhile. It was fun at first, and then I just got fed up with all the maintenance, and found it to be a distraction on more "productive" things I could be doing with my time so I closed it down and now it has been years since. I have never missed one minute of it and know what I need to know without it. I don't need to read every single thing my "friends" are doing or thinking. And I don't care what people think of me not having an account. That makes me normal. I communicate with my friends using real live speech.

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  7. Oh how I'd love to kill my personal Facebook account, but I don't see a way around it really. I need a personal account in order to create a blog page anyway, which I plan to do when I have a decent banner picture. For the time being, my privacy settings are set to the very strictest they can possibly be, and people cannot post things to my wall. Before I changed that setting, people were constantly posting "only 2% of readers will share this" things, or letting the cat out of the bag in regards to my pregnancy, or criticizing me for something private, not realizing that my wall can be seen by anyone who is my "friend. Also, the majority of my blog traffic currently comes from my personal Facebook account, so I'm worried that if I stopped using it in favour of a blog page, I'll lose a lot of that traffic. That's an aspect of my blog strategy I still have to hammer out.

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  8. Good reflections, thank you for this post! I have been posting my daily photos (Project Life) on Facebook, which my family is happy to see (since I live abroad). This year I have been posting the pictures twice a week, and now I am also considering dropping the personal account. We'll see :) Living abroad I feel Facebook is an easy way to write to people, not needing to keep account of the ever changing e-mail. There's pro's and cone's in everything.
    I'm popping by from Saturday' s Share, Happy weekend to you,
    Nina

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  9. Amen sister friend! I have a Facebook account (and have since 2004...) but I don't look at it anymore unless I need to. I think about it more as a phone book. I can get a hold of people through FB that I can't anywhere else. But when I want to talk to a friend, I generally opt for a text or phone call. Your #2 is the main reason I can't even stand to look at my FB page: "A running stream of the thoughts and happenings of everyone I've ever met...sounds like my worst nightmare." It completely is. :)

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  10. I used to be pretty active on Facebook, but I've changed and it's changed and I'm over it. I stopped using my personal account last fall and just have my blog page. I like my life Facebook-free, though like you, sometimes it's a bummer hearing about certain things later.

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  11. Love This! You took what so many of us have thought but never said out loud :-) Thank You!

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  12. i agree with every point you made! i deleted my facebook last March, so going on a year now. and i really don't miss it because i never really saw what my close friends/family were up to anyways with all of the links and articles that fill up the newsfeed. i do miss out on some things, but honestly, if people are in my life... then they communicate with me in other ways. i have to be more intentional with relationships, but that's not a bad thing. i prefer it!

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  13. Oh how I wish I was brave enough to do this! I've been thinking about it for a while now. Took it off my phone which has helped but isn't enough really. You're an inspiration!

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  14. I'm the same as Suzanne!! I've been on since 2006 and I love it too much! Your are an inspiration and I need help!!! #thetruthabout

    www.runjumpscrap.com
    www.dietitianslife.com xx

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  15. I don't have any real friends, I need Facebook to make me feel popular! Lol, only joking...tbh I really only joined because I was on a forum which I'd been using for about three years and made some good friends and when it closed everyone moved to FB so it was a way of keeping in touch. That was in 2009 and we are still talking to each other daily. We don't all know each other in real life and there are many miles between a lot of us. I do like to take a break every now and then though.
    #thetruthabout

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    1. There are a few blogging-related FB groups I'd like to join, and I can't because a fanpage can't join (only a personal page.) I don't deny it would be nice for some things...

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  16. I've used my personal account a *lot* less since I started blogging but I find it can be a good way to stay in touch with some people (the irony being that the less you use it the less likely you are to see a genuinely interesting or informative post from someone you know and love!). It does sometimes make me feel a bit rubbish though especially if I am feeling a bit "meh..." and then see a string of glamorous holidays and nights out of others! Proceed with caution!! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout Jenny :-)

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    1. I always try to remember that the vacation photos were taken in between temper tantrums and the picture of their clean house is strategically positioned so that you can't see the nuclear disaster area behind the camera!

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  17. I completely agree with all of this! I do have a personal facebook and my goodness it is a blackhole. There are so many times that I know I should be doing something yet I find myself over and over stuck looking at other peoples craziness. Great post.

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  18. I have a love/hate relationship with FB for many of the reasons you listed here. I reluctantly reactivated this week after a month long fast in which I had all but decided to delete my account. But then I realized how much I do need it for networking. So I've decided to put some serious rules down for myself. No scrolling. No getting involved (does that sound bad?). Make a list of what needs accomplished before I click on; do my business, then click off. Otherwise, I am one who gets lost in Facebook Land. I LOVE this post! And I love your blog! I hadn't visited before now (shame on me!) but I'm now your newest follower, even if we aren't Facebook friends. Haha

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    1. I need to make a list of what I want to accomplish every time I go to the computer - otherwise, an hour goes by and I look up from Pinterest (with no idea how I even got there) and go, "What was I going to do again?"

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  19. I completely agree. I just recently signed up for a facebook account because I can't create a blog fan page without creating a personal account (I think they changed the rules). I have no friends on my personal page and have no intentions of really adding anything to that personal account. I wish there was a way to only sign up for a business account. :(

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  20. I felt like the only person in the universe that didn't have a personal fb! I'm so glad to learn that I'm not alone. When I created my blog fb and business page, I had no clue what I was doing. The personal profile that I created is solely for the purpose of being admin for the pages. While I do have "friends" there, it's really just all blog/biz people and contacts. I have all the social media for that - blog and biz, but not for me personally. And like you, I like it that way. I'm SO with you on all the reasons. But also, I think it's kinda creepy how people can find you so easily.

    Visiting from last week's Wonderful Wednesday blog hop. =0)

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  21. YAY, Jenny! You are our hero!!
    I too have a love/hate relationship. I got so fed up 2 weeks ago, I deactivated my acct and started a new one, and only friended 5 people.
    But, I do like looking at the pix of my family, when I can't be there face to face! BTW, how do I get rid of all those "post or you will die" things??? I HATE those!!!!

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