My Facebook Experiment

FB logo FI 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 ofLaurie 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


  1. HRBR says:

    And now… you’re back! 🙂

  2. What a fascinating experiment! I don’t dare do that…not because I’m addicted to Facebook but because I am a gatherer, not hunter, of human contact. If I didn’t interact online, I doubt I would talk to anyone. (Okay, exaggeration…but not much of one!)

  3. Kyle Jones says:

    My favorite line from your post: I was left out of planning discussions for an upcoming meeting because, well, I didn’t exist.

    Isn’t it amazing how, in just a mere handful of years, we have become so connected in a way that one simply “doesn’t exist” if they remove themselves from a social network?

Leave a Reply