Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Facebook Experiment – Day 8

Update on my life without Facebook.

Day 1 to 5 – complete success and a few learnings:

What I don’t like about Facebook:

1) Major distraction with too much going on: 
I really enjoyed not processing any of this.  I wasn’t emotionally distracted with anything.  I focused on my real life. I didn’t see Facebook cliques.

Implication:  When I resume Facebook, I need to refine settings and “un-follow”  many so I don’t see a lot of activity and updates on my newsfeed.  It’s not that I have a disdain for my Facebook friends, but it’s seriously impossible to keep up with everyone and truly process what’s going on.   I do like Facebook for keeping track of what's new with people, so I will occasionally look in on their pages.  This selective browsing will reduce the time of useless scrolling. It's sort of like having a fence around your house, I like my privacy and no distractions, and when I come out, it's on my terms.

2) "Idle time" distraction  (waiting in line at grocery store) by hitting the Facebook icon on my mobile device because this became a habit.  Then, in turn, I would subconsciously process whatever I saw and my thoughts would go off in multiple directions based on what I read. For the first few days I actually did this, I would find myself hitting the Facebook app icon on my phone just out of pure habit.

Implication: When I resume Facebook (actually before I resume it), I will move the Facebook app icon to the second page of my iPhone and iPad.  It will be less tempting to check Facebook so frequently.  I will use this ‘idle’ time for better focus or simply not think about anything.

Overall I thought the experiment was going great.  I survived the holidays without posting my usual food photos of the holiday feast I prepared.  I didn’t share my joy of the holidays or my fatigue of endless cooking with the Facebook world.  I was pretty proud of myself.  I used Instagram to post an occasional photo.  This actually seemed more effective because it’s a public page and the hashtags denoted the subject of the photo.  I used Twitter to keep current on the news or developing stories. 

The experiment was a success until day six, a Saturday.  On this day, one of my kids had a happy major life event and he posted a photo of this on Facebook.  I wanted to share in the joy of this event and watch the comments. This was a day not to be missed by a Facebook experiment.  It was time to admit that there are a few things I do like about Facebook and that with proper use management I can follow it.  I put my experiment on hold.  I reactivated my account and posted a photo of this major event as well.  I felt like the Godfather “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”  I caught up with a few other events and decided that I will hold off on the experiment until next month (year).  So I kept Facebook on and now the experiment was to see if I could use it effectively since I learned a lot about my preferences during those first six days.  I use it to check some favorite restaurant specials, use the messenger app to communicate with some friends. 

But on day three, I  decided to deactivate it again.   Why?  It was still distracting.  It takes a month to make a behavior a habit. In the meantime, I’m still learning what I like and don’t like about Facebook. I believe this tool is useful, if I use it right.

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  2. Funny - Facebook keeps reactivating my account since it's been tied to Netflix, etc.
    Happy New Year to you too.

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  4. I think you can delete it but it takes time (months???) - here is the explanation: https://www.facebook.com/help/359046244166395/

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