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a year without facebook.

July 7, 2011

It has been over a year since I wrote this post and closed my Facebook account. So how have I found life without having a profile on the biggest online social media site?

Fine! Quite good and carefree, in fact. I must admit that occasionally, when seeing colleagues on Facebook in the office looking at friends’ photos, I have thought “it would be nice to have access to that”. But then I remember that the whole point of leaving Facebook was to leave hassle behind, and not only do I not have to worry about looking through reams and reams of photos and other notifications, I don’t have to get into the murky politics of accepting and ignoring friend requests from colleagues whom I don’t really know, or people I haven’t seen for years without worrying that it might come back to bite me through a mutual friend. I don’t lose productivity time through Facebook. I still vastly prefer Twitter because I can update it with the minimum of effort, and it’s much more like a conversation than like a Myspace page with bells and whistles. Perhaps I’m just getting older, but I don’t miss Facebook chat and I am going on MSN less and less. While I think that all of the stuff the internet can do is amazing, I am living my life more and more in the real world, and as I grow older and more independent and responsible, my time is taken up with real concerns such as cars, bank accounts, finding a new job, moving, affording a holiday…

The only thing that might bring me back to Facebook in a small way (and this remains to be seen) is my job. Not to converse with colleagues or keep up with any popularity contests that are going on (I am so not interested in that, as I already know who my friends are and I am content with that), but to liaise with students in a professional capacity. Some older staff have embraced this, while others are nervous about it and it admittedly has its risks in terms of e-safety. But my job revolves around working with teenagers, and Facebook is one of the major ways in which they communicate and interact with one another. I therefore feel that while using their personal emails has worked absolutely fine for me this year, perhaps next year I shall set up a Facebook account for my tutees so that I can announce things to them on there, and they can use Facebook as a means of communicating with me if they need to – perhaps it will be more intuitive for them than always emailing me. I have also written a tutorial activity on advising students not to put up ill-advised things on their profile, as important people such as employers might be able to look at this! I then realised that as part of the discussion, I recommended tutors to advise students on how to change their privacy settings… but not having Facebook, I no longer know exactly how to do that! So in a very small way, I am out of the loop – but it would only be a concession to work purposes that I might return to Facebook, in a small way.  We’ll see.

I feel like I am treating myself a bit like an addict, and acting as if anything that threatens my abstinence from Facebook might be a bad thing… although I was never excessively hooked on it in the first place! Generally, my life has been a lot better and freer for having closed my account. Although when I was talking with Elenna on the way to work this morning, and she said how much she has benefitted from Facebook reuniting her with old friends with whom she had lost touch – for me, I have been there and done that. Anyone I wanted to regain touch with, I would either have done it up until last year, or it’s not worth doing. Perhaps my opinion will change in the future, who knows? I just prefer having one less way for people to contact me. After all – as I said last time, “all of [the important] people have my mobile number, my email, my address.  If they really wanna talk to me, or I really wanna talk to them, I will make an effort to do so in a more personal way than Facebook offers.” Game over.

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6 comments

  1. I’m sure there are millions of good things about living without facebook.. I don’t think I could do it myself – I met my dad and sister on facebook after 17 years and because of it I live in three different countries in one way… I don’t think there is another way for me to stay in touch with my friends and family to be honest… But kudos to you, congrats on the year!


    • Hi, thankyou! I had a look at your blog and it’s clear you live and love fiercely – keep going, you’re an inspiration! 🙂


  2. Really digging this blog. I got backlinked to it from the BeYonce review on Last.fm. Really money!

    http://wheelchairphilosoper.blogspot.com

    http://thumbtack.com/michaellapenna


    • Hey, thankyou! Glad you enjoy my writing 🙂


  3. I just deleted my FB profile on Friday… I’d been on there for almost 3 years. It’s difficult not to go back… but my reasons were a bit like yours.. all the important people in my life have my personal contact information anyway, I don’t need facebook to communicate with them. As FB changed once again last week, and I was going through their privacy settings again… I realized how much personal information I had shared, and how much of this I really didn’t care to share anymore… from photos to my opinon etc…. I’m hoping to make it a year without it myself. Reading your post was most encouraging to me. Sometimes I just felt like I was being stalked… mostly by friends who share very little about themselves, and delete or hide most of their posts.


  4. […] for the past year or so, and we both considered closing our accounts (for me, this would have been the second time). I don’t know if Toby still will, but I was set on it – returning to Facebook only […]



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