“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.” ~Maya Angelou
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about why I left Facebook . After some time, I decided that I wasn’t going to delete my fanpages as I said that I would. Those that had supported me deserved to be recognized. I also continued to interact on my personal profile, though I do interact much less. Once again, I was bound and determined to make things work. Two years have past and not much has changed. There is still a lack of participation to some extent, which is disappointing. But I believe in second chances, because heaven knows I’ve had more than my fair share of second chances at times.
Yes, I lost a lot of “friends” when I took a hiatus. That only reflects them, not me. I’ve added some people to my connections, which has proven to be interesting. It seems to me that whom I’m connected with on Facebook is an evolution. Somewhere along the way I read that everyone is in your life for a reason and a season. How true! With the most sincere candor, I missed the people that I had truly developed a bond with, a friendship if you will.
So much has changed for me personally in the past two years. It took 19 years (on and off) to earn my Bachelor’s Degree, but I did it! I’m now currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Early American History. Part of this success is due to the fact that I severely cut back on my social media interactions. I also came to the conclusion that I as a person had evolved and that the connections that I had made on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram needed to be refreshed. I disconnected with quite a few people and I changed the types of connections I was making. It all came down to the old adage of quality over quantity.
When it came to Facebook fanpages, I “unliked” almost all of them. Not just because it was tweaking the algorithm in a way that I didn’t like. It was once again due to the fact that I personally have changed. I no longer looked to Facebook for all my news, I switched over to Twitter. And at one point I followed almost 2,000 people/businesses/organizations. I widdled that down to just over 300, which is decidedly more manageable. This leads me to a piece of advice: your social media experience is yours. You can change it as you evolve as a person and that’s perfectly ok. Sometimes change is a good thing!
The most massive change that I made (one that some might not agree with) is that I stopped using LinkedIn altogether. I no longer have the app on my phone and I haven’t logged into the site in months. It, by far, is the most high maintenance profile of all my social media profiles. I deleted the group that I had on there because I didn’t give it the time and attention that it deserves. I grew tired of people spamming my LinkedIn inbox with all their products and services that they claimed were better than others. I’m not a connection collector, and I was getting the impression that was the goal for many people. While I am an introvert, I’m a people person too. I put a high value on the connections that I make. I prefer to build sustainable relationships (both business and personal). I also grew tired of people making promises of connections and referrals, then never following through.
My most successful profile is on Pinterest. I enjoy Pinterest because I can share things that I enjoy without it actually being personal information about myself. I’m not as open as others are, so this is a good “happy medium”. While I am on Instagram, I am not concerned with the numbers. I simply enjoy the experience.
It all comes back to where I started – Facebook. My experience on the platform has shown me more about human nature than any other life experience could. It frustrates the dickens out of me sometimes, but it’s all about the lessons learned and those that I will learn in the future. In some ways, I will continue to decrease my engagement on Facebook but there are so many other ways that someone can contact me that I don’t think it even really matters. Calling me or sending me an email will always be the best option of communication.
There are most definitely more changes coming, but that’s all I can share for now.