I made my last post on Facebook about six weeks ago. However, I did not follow through with my plan to completely delete my account. I still “lurk” on Facebook, reading other’s posts, and very occasionally commenting on other’s posts.
As I prepared to delete my account, I realized a couple of important things:
- There is information that I get only via Facebook
- Many people have moved to use Facebook for event planning, or to announce life events. I don’t want to make myself a burden to close friends who then have to contact me separately (should it occur to them) to let me know of such things.
- There are conversations I want to be a part of (and there are conversations I don’t want to be a part of)
- People seek advice, ask for resources, and generally engage their community via Facebook. These are the conversations I want to be a part of.
- I was grateful for the timing of my “departure” from Facebook. The recent conflict in Israel/Gaza tied me in emotional knots, and I was glad to not feel any obligation to post about it, or respond to others via Facebook. Were I still actively posting, I would have felt that obligation, and I undoubtedly would have gotten into “discussions” that would have stressed me out. These are the conversations that are best had in person, where both parties can easily remember the humanity and emotions of the person with whom they are conversing.
- Facebook is, for better or for worse, a networking tool, and is necessary as I am searching for work.
- I am looking for a new job, and every job I have found up to this point in my life, I have found because of a friend or family member. It is foolish to shut down the most comprehensive tool I have for letting my personal network know that I am looking for work. As I look for a full time job, I am also hoping to pick up freelance and contract based work. Facebook is by far the best tool to allow me to do this.
- Facebook allows me to maintain in person friendships
- There are people I have seen in person who I would never have connected with were it not for Facebook. As long as this continues to be true, Facebook will have real value to me.
So, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and iPad. I carefully consider every comment I make on another’s post. I have begun to go through and delete the posts about my children. I am in the process of moving the pictures, funny comments, and stories into the kids’ baby books, which is a better place for them anyway. I message people directly when I have something I want to say to them, usually on a topic they have posted about.
I realize that this isn’t a complete solution for all of the issues I raised in my previous posts about my concerns with Facebook. But for now, I feel comfortable with this change. I will be posting on a limited basis, mostly for networking purposes.