In his latest post, marketing guru, Seth Godin, says “The narrative of social media grooming is a seductive one, but it’s as much of a dead end as spending an extra hour picking out which tie to wear before giving a speech.” Among other things, this made me realize once more that my decision to quit social media (Facebook in particular) was a good one.
Before I knew it, as a Facebookee, I found myself scrolling until my eyes hurt and my head span, comparing my life to the life on the screen (and always coming out short), wondering why people I knew were getting bored on FB rather than reaching out with a message and so on. Contrary to what I thought it would feel like, the decision to quit FB came quite naturally to me. I went from over 500 “friends” to about 100 and then to none – virtually. The “surprise” of this was that only two (2 !) people reached out to see what happened and if I am ok. Two – out of 500. WOW!! To me that was such an eyeopener. Not that anyone believes that people you “connect” with via social media are truly your friends. But I could have been fooled once or twice … 🙂
So, what does life after FB look like? I read more, my address book has reduced significantly but I reach out in person to the ones still on it, I live more in the present and in my own life rather than virtually and in someone else’s. And I don’t really waste my time trying to prove to the world that I have the perfect family, perfectly trained pet, best weight and skin and smartest quotes to share. What a relief!
I do feel quite disconnected from the world which seems to have moved almost entirely online and peak over my partner’s shoulder every now and again to see what is going on. But I truly don’t miss it all that much. This parting has helped me understand that there are some clear guidelines to forging true relationships with an online, on paper or 3D presence: the answer to all of these questions must be yes – is it real / authentic? do you feel truly connected? are you learning anything?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, think again, life is short and time is the most valuable thing we have to spend. Do it wisely!