I just conducted an experiment. I was not the first person to do this nor, I can guarantee you, will I be the last. While not of Tincup’ian proportions, it was an interesting endeavor nonetheless.
In anticipation of a project I’m embarking upon I wanted to see what it was like to seriously adjust my Facebook account. So I played around with all sorts of settings and actions; I fiddled around with security settings and limits on who could see my posts. I blocked, de-friended and re-friended people. I experimented with untagging myself. I was invisible for a brief period and just lurked. And then, ultimately, I deactivated my account. Traumatic.
In order to (temporarily) pull the plug I had to assign another Admin to a page I manage lest I not regain control upon reactivation. I also ended up killing a group I had set up for a past event.
When I clicked on “I want to deactivate this account,” I was first shown a whole bunch of friend’s pictures with plaintive pleas of “Laurie and Trish and Steve will miss you!!!” Had I not had my speakers disabled I think I would have heard either weeping violins or the Imperial March.
I hit <enter>.
I stayed deactivated for about 48 hours and, as I anticipated, I saw just how many things flow via my Facebook account.
I forgot people’s birthdays. My automatic networked blogs update from the HR Schoolhouse didn’t post (duh). I missed news, articles, pictures and jokes. I didn’t see much of the regular HR and Recruiting content I regularly read. I was left out of planning discussions for an upcoming meeting because, well, I didn’t exist.
During this time away I was still out and about on other social networks and I saw confirmation of something I already knew – that the feed on my Twitter timeline varies from the feed in my FB timeline. I interact with many of the same people on both (well, plus thousands more on Twitter) but with a definite difference in content and deep interaction. Simply put… it was tough not being on Facebook.
Did I fear my self-imposed LOA? Not really. If I had a case of FOMO I wouldn’t have been able to pull the plug. It did, however, show me just how much I use Facebook to plan and run things – meetings and lunches get arranged, phone calls get scheduled and news is disseminated.
I missed it. Then again, I’m well past my teenage years…