“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” ~Winston S. Churchill
On October 12, 2014 I did something that almost no one saw coming. I left Facebook. I couldn’t leave Facebook entirely because of groups that I have created, am a member of, or manage. But I stopped posting to my private profile. What happened when I just give it all up? I lost 186 “friends” out of about 300 (I’m not a “friend collector” so my numbers are relatively low in comparison to others). Some of the people that unfriended me never once even said “hi” to me. And they sent me a friend request. Some who are relatively quiet but only engage occasionally posted on my timeline that they missed me. And those that I thought were friends I haven’t heard a peep from. Even more disheartening is that some of the people that I considered to be my closest friends unfriended me and ceased all contact with me. Their message to me was clear. I was now a persona non grata. There are the select few that sent me private messages, and I do have conversations with them that way – in spite of my “leaving” Facebook. This is social media. That means connecting and engaging with people. Networking and building relationships. Laughing, crying, and sometimes sharing parts of yourself that you wouldn’t think that you ever would.
As an introvert by nature, social media is a challenge for me (though, the people that actually do engage with me might think differently). I’m very good at public speaking and “working a crowd”. But the crowds themselves can produce debilitating panic attacks. I’m fairly shy and it can be hard at times for me to warm up to people. I don’t just randomly go out to different events. You have to actually invite me (which 99.9% of the time never happens). I prefer a good book to “good gossip”. Museums and the symphony to clubs and festivals.
After leaving Facebook, my inner circle got even smaller as I learned that people I trusted no longer wanted me in their life. I had seen an evolution over the years that disheartened me. People who were once starting out in their careers and engaged with me all the time, suddenly snubbed me after becoming successful. People with kind and generous hearts turned cold and outright mean.
It broke my heart to realize, and then have to come to terms with, the fact that I don’t matter to people the way and to the extent that I thought I did. There I was. By myself with my thoughts.
I’m a woman bound and determined to make her businesses successful. Furthermore, to help others do the same. Bound and determined to live a life that I’ve always dreamed of. I don’t give up and I don’t give in.
What fortified my decision was that Facebook as recently made it even harder for people like me to build a business on a smaller and more prudent budget. The days of organically building your audience on Facebook are over. You will now be required to purchase newsfeed or ad space. I simply refuse to do that. Some say that it’s no different than any other form of paid advertising. And to an extent, they’re correct. Where I draw the line is when something that was free and Entrepreneur-friendly has now become a “pay to play” situation that all but cuts out the small business owner. The tone of everything has changed on Facebook, both personally and professionally.
With all of this in mind, I have made the decision to leave Facebook, with the exception being given to groups that I am a member of, created, or manage. Some say that I will be doing myself a huge disservice, and that my businesses will greatly suffer. That is a risk I’m willing to take. What once was a great place to form a community has now become a place of gossip and greed. People have taken to attacking each other in the name of free speech. Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It is simply no longer the place for me.
- At midnight December 31, 2014 I will be deleting my fanpages. I encourage you to sign up for the email newsletters to stay up to date with my businesses and blogs.
- At midnight December 31, 2014 I will cease posting to my personal profile permanently. I will still respond to private messages that are sent to me, or posts that are made on my timeline. My engagement with others will become very limited.
- I will maintain engagement in the groups that I’m a member of, created, or manage.
- You will still find me on other forms of social media: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That is where I will be focusing my attention, in addition to my businesses and blogs. You can find links to my profiles in social media here .
- I will be focusing my main forms of communication on actual phonecalls, emails, and texts. If you don’t have that information but would like it, please let me know and I will be happy to share it with you.
Please know that if I truly consider you a friend, that will still be the case regardless of my level of engagement with you on Facebook. Since beginning my hiatus from Facebook I have seen the following things happen:
- I have the greatest sense of self that I’ve ever have.
- I’ve learned who my true friends are.
- I’ve learned that yes, there was life before Facebook and there will be life after Facebook.
- I have the mental stamina and endurance to do other things in my life that I would like to accomplish.
- I lost myself in the process, and not in a good way. The hiatus has helped me start to regain all of that.
- I went “back to basics” in every aspect of my life, and “downsized” when and where I needed to. My life is now richer and more fulfilling as a result. I love and appreciate the little things, not just the big things. In simplicity I have found peace.
- I can now truly follow all the things that I am most passionate about.
Will I eventually really Facebook permanently?! Probably. But that time has not come yet. Thank you so very much for everything. I look forward to connecting and engaging with you in other ways.