I have decided to completely wipe (unfriend) my personal Facebook profile and leave it behind, for good.
Now, this might come as a shock to many of you who might find it odd that I would do such a thing but I can assure you that it wasn’t an easy decision and not one that was done in haste. I had been thinking about this for quite some time and some conversations with my friends yesterday helped move the needle into the “execution” part of my plan.
I hadn’t planned on wiping my Facebook profile yesterday but that’s what organically happened. I even managed to capture a video (which didn’t record my audio, so I added a voice-over after) which is embedded in this post and which shares a few of my thoughts about this endeavor.
I first joined Facebook in October of 2003 – a girlfriend at the time signed me up and told me that I “had” to be on this site because that’s what everyone was doing. She went ahead and created an account (got my email address wrong) and so I wasn’t actually able to use it until nearly a year later when I created a new one with the right email address.
Since then Facebook has changed dramatically, many times over. To be honest, the subsequent iterations of designs and features made it less attractive as it grew and expanded, and as it especially began to show it’s foundational goals of profiting as a business. This isn’t a bad thing and there was nothing wrong with FB attempting to make a buck (or two… or a billion) but I’m not sure it was done with taste or with complete respect for its users.
In fact, I know it hasn’t been in the slightest. Add a layer of despotic commercial control and awkward privacy policies and terms of service and you’ve got nothing but embarrassment. Get out while you still can.
But outside of my philosophical perspective, fast-forward to 2012 and I was still using it but it had lost it luster – and I hadn’t “used” it as most people use it in a long, long time. In fact, it became just another outpost to link blog posts that I wrote or that I liked. I hadn’t used it for social interaction (even with close family) for years.
Most simply, Facebook wasn’t providing any real value and I was certainly not providing much value in return. You could ask me what I thought about foot traffic (pageviews, clicks, referrals) via Facebook to my blogs and other properties and I’d say that although it was definitely a part of the overall traffic pattern it was beans comparatively to my other sources.
I’ll tell you one thing though, the mindshare (and mindsuck) of that social property has always weighed heavily and putting it aside has provided incredibly relief. What this does is free me up to be even better in fewer avenues. I’ve shared this strategy and tactic before about how focusing your efforts with one marketing channel is better than diluting your efforts among many.
In the end the internet world will keep on turning and FB won’t miss me much and I won’t miss the non-existent interaction that I’ve really had with it (and you won’t miss me either because I haven’t been very present in that space).
There are certainly some other reasons for which I’m leaving Facebook but those are neither here nor there for this blog post.
Here’s a video of the wipe and below are some links to what I used to accomplish this:
- Greasemonkey Script for Firefox
Note that this does take some time and it won’t be 100% comprehensive since a number of accounts may have been abandoned or closed. I had to manually delete over 100 friends who had closed their accounts.
As you can see, apparently I still have 15 friends, none of which exist though…
In conclusion, I don’t propose that you follow what I have done and I don’t mean any of this to be necessarily prescriptive. In other words, you decide what is best for you and your situation.
I do still have the official TentBlogger fan page, so that’s there but it’s just for this blog and won’t be for personal use.
I’ve abandoned the TentBlogger Fan Page – here’s why.
My family and teams support me and that made the decision even better. The clarity that I woke up with this morning was like a fog being lifted from my spirit and a weight I had little idea that was there.
Heck, I could get used to this. I may leave a few more social networks before I’m through…