and just like that, i’m facebook-free! feels good.
— design for mankind (@erinloechner) January 17, 2013
She joined other friends that have recently taken breaks from Facebook, like Jessica Gottleib and Amy Lupold Bair. Jessica states in her blog post, “I’ve been frustrated with blogging lately. I’ve felt like I’ve been doing too much writing but if you look here the content doesn’t show that story. Sadly the content is living everywhere but here and I need to remedy that.” Amy talks about taking a break so she could work on a book. “I stayed off of Facebook completely for the few days it took me to finish writing the final chapters of the book,” she said in a blog post. “And upon finishing ran as fast as I could to log back in.“
I asked Erin Loechner what inspired her to shut down her personal Facebook page (she still has Facebook business pages). “The catalyst for me leaving was actually a safety concern,” she told me. “Last summer, I came across a Facebook impersonator who copied all of my photos and pasted them onto her profile, aptly named Erin Loechner. The impersonator then added all of my friends, one by one, until a few of them notified me of the fake account after realizing it wasn’t truly me. It was disconcerting to say the least, and I slowly realized how readily available my personal information is on that particular network. Without me providing any information, it was obvious who my friends were, what restaurants I frequented and where I lived. That sort of access to my personal life and family made me incredibly uneasy.”
But it was something she’d been considering for over eighteen months. “As soon as I became pregnant with my [now] 6-month-old,” she said, “I knew I’d have to redefine my priorities online in order to maximize my productivity. Facebook has always been a social network that has distracted me more than aided my business, so it only seemed natural to move it to the back burner in lieu of more effective promotional tools.” Best of all, she says, “The only consequence I’ve noticed has been immensely positive: I’m no longer distracted by an endless stream of updates, I feel worlds safer, and I’ve found that I pick up the phone to catch up with a friend now that I’m not passively seeing her updates online. I feel like I’m actually fostering true relationships, rather than simply observing them. All in all, it’s been a great experience!”
I’ve been considering leaving Facebook for some time as well; with over 4,000 Facebook friends, it’s no longer a place I experience any true engagement and frankly, I’d rather have folks read my blog instead of my Facebook updates.
What about you? Would you consider leaving Facebook or taking a break from the site? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.