I recently took a two month hiatus from Facebook. Now to many, this probably wouldn’t seem like a big deal. For me though, a great deal of my career has been spent using social media professionally to market schools and colleges. In many ways, Facebook was where is started. It was at least one of the first three.
So why did I do it?
I was sick of it. I was sick of seeing the ads everywhere. I got really sick of the click-bait headlines from George Takei and others. I was sick of the drama and the feels and all of the junk. I felt like I was just spending a ton of time rotting my brain on useless junk.
So I cut the cord.
I almost did it once on my phone. It’s a scary thing to do though. I pulled back after the first attempt. I wasn’t sure if I deactivated my account if I would lose everything, and I had a lot of stuff there. I was definite an early adapter and as near I can tell, I was onboard with Facebook as soon as it opened to the non-Harvard population.
Second time, this one on my MacBook, I did it. Pulled the trigger and deactivated my account. It was neither as scary or permanent as it sounded.
But I still stayed connected.
It’s true. This wasn’t a social media blackout. I still stayed on social media, I just quit Facebook. I checked my LinkedIn. I checked Twitter (oddly enough I used to be a HEAVY user of Twitter, but have found it significantly less interesting of late).
My primary social media toy was Instagram. I used that and checked it pretty frequently. I liked the visual. I like the simplicity. I like the lack of advertisements and click-bait and especially liked the lack of drama.
So what did I learn?
I learned a lot of this experience and I recommend that anyone who makes use of social media in your marketing tool box should do the same. Overall here’s what I picked up:
- I didn’t miss it… I really didn’t miss Facebook at all. The only reason I went back to it is because I felt like I had to for work. That’s it.
- Except when I missed stuff. A good friend of mine’s dad passed away. I would have totally missed that news and the funeral had my wife still not been on Facebook. People tend to reserve announcements life altering announcements for Facebook and there was a sense that I was missing out on the big news and changes of people in my life that I don’t see everyday.
- A multi-channel approach is essential. Facebook users are becoming less active and checking their Facebook accounts less frequently. It used to be that if you wanted something to be seen, you published it on Facebook. I don’t believe that the case anymore. You need to make sure that you are hitting all of your channels.
- Get a website! So many small businesses neglect or don’t even have websites, instead relying on Facebook to fill there need. This got really old after a while. More than once in my two months away, a mom and pop shop lost the sale because they didn’t have a website.
- It feels good to not be so connected. It does. It really does. I highly recommend it.