Just a warning before I begin, this is a rant. But i hope in some way this can serve a purpose and be helpful to you.
So today I decided to delete every photo on Facebook, every tag, every bit of personal information, my business page and then the account itself. I then headed over to Instagram and permanently deleted my account. But why you may ask…
Firstly I would say it is a matter of time. Either social media in general takes up to much of my time or I don’t seem to have the time to go on it. Two extremes I guess. I haven’t been on my Instagram account for about 2 months and just seem to post on Facebook when I share a blog post I have just written. I hardly ever go on there to scroll through what my supposed friends are doing. I would say posting images, blog posts and updates has never really enhanced my life in anyway and yet its one of those things that we can be convinced we need. Either for personal or business use.
Which leads me to say also I have never had a lead from Facebook or Instagram which has resulted in pounds in my pocket, in this respect it is a total waste of time.
I have been on the fence for a long time whether to pay for advertising on Facebook but cant justify it. I don’t like the idea that my success hinges on paying for a Facebook ad’s. Same goes for Instagram.
As a sole trader I have to use my time wisely, it can be very difficult to manage all these social accounts along with doing all the work I need to do each day. Time is a precious commodity and you don’t get it back. There is science even to prove that breaking concentration in looking at your latest posts can actually have a detrimental affect on productivity which I have shared below. All in all it is not a positive experience that the majority of people have when it comes to Facebook and social media at large. I just simply don’t want to be part of it.
At the end of the day Facebook is a business and we are the product, the platform and the people behind it know this and use us as such, and yet without us knowing it.
It is very subtle in its approach, seemingly innocent and as if it benefits us and enhances our lives, but I am sad to say it simply doesn’t. We can experience changes in our brain and withdrawal symptoms as if its a drug, and know I didn’t just make this up check out more of the links below.
Next I would like to say is that the foundation (which is not very nice) on which Facebook began has not changed, it only seems like it; let me explain….
So back in the day around 2004 a nerd called Mark setup ‘Facemash’ which initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students but this setup was to serve a purpose. The site was comparable to Hot or Not and used “photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the “hotter” person”. Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.
So we can see hear Facemash set the tone and the moral highground…..errr not! for the future of what we know now of Facebook. The initial intention of this site is still with us today. You might say that’s harsh as Facebook benefits millions today for many different reasons but this one intention that has never changed. I think its always interesting to look at the route of something, because there we see clearly everything as a result.
It was to compare, compete, judge… and to make one person seemingly better than the next.
From what I see nothing has changed. Today we might not use Facebook with who is hot or not but we do it to the extreme with our lives.
Are we portraying a life in all its false glory only for someone else to see this and feel as if their life doesn’t match up. I’m sure we have all had that warm fuzzy feeling when this happens!
This goes for business reach as well. This comes in the form of those awesome likes, the more you have the more successful you must be, right? Not necessarily, more likes can result in less engagement and having thousands of likes doesn’t mean they are genuine people. At the end of the day you can buy likes which to me defeats the whole purpose. I am sure this doesn’t apply to everyone but I am trying to generalize the concept of a business account here. One of the youtube links below explains the stats and management of business pages by Facebook a lot better than i could so make sure you check them out.
So what else can be said about this….. well I guess I am going to be more focused on other stuff from now on, regain my true identity in a measure and potentially in time might even delete twitter as well. I think I will be keeping Pinterest as its not technically social media but a visual search engine. As a designer I get some great inspiration from Pinterest and its a good source of website traffic. I think it sets a good example to my kids that this sort of thing just doesn’t make us a better people.
What Cal Newport explains in his Ted talk just reaffirms what I had already thought in that as so many use social media it doesn’t make you stand out from anyone else. I cant tell you how many signups to webinars and downloads of PDF’s I have seen on my feed, all saying the same sort of thing. Really its just all one voice saying the same thing…..MONEY! I want to make someone take notice for what I do for good wholesome reasons, however I am not sure at this point what that looks like?
Anyway if anything here has resonated with you please feel free to comment below and don’t forget to share this all over Facebook and social media…haha!
Check out the links below as well as these might inspire you to quit Facebook and even social media as a whole. I dare you today to delete your accounts. In fact I started writing this post yesterday and finished it today and today I went and deleted my LinkedIn as well. I can feel the withdrawal already! Give it a try, be FREE from Mr Z.