Why I Would Give Up Facebook in a Heartbeat

Why I Would Give Up Facebook in a Heartbeat

Yes you read that right. A social media professional publicly stating she’d give up Facebook. Let me explain…

I have been a Facebook user since the fall of 2006. I enjoyed simply because I could keep up with my sister out of state. My mom joined a few years later.

Being on Facebook originally was fun – reconnecting with friends I hadn’t seen in years, staying in better touch with family out of state and even getting to give an apology to someone that was about 10 years overdue. There were no ads and no games – you could say Facebook life was much simpler.

Fast forward to now. Everytime I log on, I’m shown more ads that I ever remember seeing. I’m constantly getting game requests from older relatives that all they do in retirement is play Facebook games (MOM!!!). Facebook is busier than it’s ever been. Over 1 billion people and over 50 million business pages.

As an everday user, I’m over it. As a business owner and a social media marketer, I’m deep into it. Can’t win for losing, right?

Today I’m writing this post as a user, not as the social media marketer. To be honest, it’s hard to switch between the two, but we have to. So why am I over Facebook as an everday user?

1. It’s no longer interesting.

Call me boring but all the content in my News Feed these days are selfies, obvious cries for attention and people overinflating their lives. Rarely do I see something good, such as a promotion or someone’s exciting news. It’s more vain and ego and less celebration. There’s too much shallowness in this world, I want to see the good stuff going on in my friends’ lives.

2. Too much noise.

I love the cleanness of Instgram. One nice thread of pictures with comments. Twitter lists too – one nice stream of tweets. Facebook now has your entire left column of your pages and such, then the main feed in the middle and ads and the running trend ticker on the right. When I constantly have 5 or 6 tabs open at any given time, I just want to flip over to something clean.

3. I’m missing out on posts from friends & family.

I know all about Facebook’s algorithm. I know why I’m not seeing their posts, but I shouldn’t have to go to each of their profiles to see what’s going on. I have an Interest List set up for them, but the downside to that is that I see every single page they have liked. all of the friends they’ve become friends with and each time the reach a new level in Candy Crush. After about 5 seconds of scrolling I just give up. There has to be a better way.

4. Too much drama.

This goes back to point number 1. I know almost all of my Facebook friends in real life and I can weed out the BS from reality. Sweetie, you ain’t foolin everyone. Facebook gets really bad during election years and I will typically hide A LOT of stuff during that time. Politics have no place on social media. I have rarely seen a level-headed debate or comment thread on one. No one has time for that! This ecard says it perfectly…Facebook vain shallow not real life

 

So if I’m over Facebook and not using it as much, where in the social web am I? Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. Why?

1. I see the content I want to see.

I am in love with Twitter Lists and Google Plus Circles. These are twoย of the greatest inventions in social media. With each of these, I see all of the content of the people I want, minus the games, likes and new friends. It’s easy to read so there’s no noise and distractions. Oh glorious day!

2. Less drama.

Okay, I have to put an asterisk next to this one because Twitter can be one drama-filled party like the Real Housewives of whatever city it is this week. BUT you only have 140 characters on Twitter, so you gotta be short, sweet and to the point. Not a lot of long, rambling posts like Facebook. Google Plus is typically more mature because the userbase is older, saner and so over the teenage drama.

3. Content is more interesting to me.

I’m all about quality, value-building posts both personally and professionally. I’ve found the content as a whole is better on Google Plus and Twitter. Instagram is fun – it’s like you are getting a behind-the-scene peek at others’ lives in a voyeuristic way. Less drama. Less headaches. Less fakeness. It’s articles I want to read, pictures from people that matter to me and the latest news (seriously, I’ve found I get the news much faster on Twitter than on any website or TV station).

 

Because I own a social marketing business, I cannot leave Facebook. My clients are doing well on it and I need to be there. I’ve scaled back my personal uses of Facebook though. When I do use it personally, it’s from my iPhone or iPad 90% of the time. It’s easier to keep the business part separate that way.

How about you? Are you tempted to leave the big blue brother?ย Would you ever completely leave Facebook personally?

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Mandy Edwards

Owner/Social Media Strategist at ME Marketing Services
Mandy is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a social marketing company located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of over 15+ years covering sales, event planning, local store marketing, advertising and now social media.In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes and Crain's Chicago Business, named to the Statesboro Herald's Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia's top 40 Under 40 Alumni.
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  • Tonnie

    This article rings very true. I quit my personal Facebook in May, and deactivated my personal account. I have created a new personal profile which I use solely to admin the business – a few people have added me as a friend on this profile but I have unfollowed everyone so my news feed shows me only business pages I have liked and nothing else. I am still able to post on the business page and admin that, but don’t have all of the noise and distraction. Downside is I miss some people’s news but I have found that I am still in touch (by face-to-face contact, text , Email or whatsapp) with those people who really matter. Facebook for personal use has had it’s day for me- but the business side is still very relevant and useful and I continue to make use of that service. I also deleted my personal Instagram and took many apps off my phone. I have found life is less stressful and I am able to spend more time with my family and husband in the evenings instead of being stuck on social media. Great article .

    • Thanks Tonnie! You made the best point in your comment – life is less stressful and you have more time with your husband and family. I’m slowly making myself unplug after 5:30pm so I can be mom and wife.

  • Thanks for sharing this Mandy. I feel the same way. Agree with all your points 100% and as more people discover the business side of using it, it becomes faker and faker.

    As I saw the unavoidable adoption and enrollment on it by my older children (they’re 15 and 12 now), I knew I had to let them do whatever everyone else was doing and that it would be like the phone. As I was growing up, not everyone had a telephone at home. In my teens, there were people obsessed who spent hours speaking while they could meet face to face. At some point we were so over it and used the phone only when needed. That’s what Facebook will become for users: a communication tool that people will use to send messages to each other when needed. I don’t know how the marketers will be able to use it then. Maybe Facebook will add Ads on messages ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We’ll wait and see. Merry Christmas to you and your family,

    Veronica

    • Thank you Veronica!

      I agree – things ebb and flow. I think we’ll see how the platform is used change over time. I certainly don’t use it like I did 2 years ago! Like all things that happen, marketers will adjust and keep on moving ๐Ÿ™‚

      I hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas!!

  • Interesting thoughts always good to be challenged/provoked by different views. I do find a few things interesting:
    1. You seem to describe only describe Facebook’s layout from a desktop point of view and not mention the mobile interface at all, which does you in a huge minority of users.
    2. Why haven’t tailored you feed and privacy settings (e.g. block Candy Crush saga invites, unfollowed your selfie obsessed friends, even using groups to share).

    I still have a big friend list (no massive “friend culls” ever made) but my feed is made up of out of county (we don’t have states here!) family and friends with whom I want to stay in touch with. Everyone else on my wider friends list, I consider just a big address book! I have a nice tidy stream of genuine posts (I accept the occasional politics and ethics rant!), I like pages that I actually like, I hide or unfollow posts from people who wind my up or aren’t relevant and I block games.

    This whole world of free online services is all about using our personal information as currency – shouldn’t we be modelling how to use Facebook’s (in this instance) privacy settings, tools and options for our feeds to have a better experience? Then we’ll still have a great Facebook and jobs!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lastly, with Facebook killing organic reach for business in January, the company posts will get easier to wheedle out as they have to be denoted as paid posts.

    PS this was not written in rant-mode, just curious and offering my 2p worth.

    • Nath I appreciate your point of view. To reference a few of your points –

      1. I do use the mobile app, but since I’m a social media professional, the majority of my use is via desktop. I do agree the mobile layout is a lot easier and I do realize I’m not the average everyday Facebook user.
      2. I have tailored my feed and settings. As I mentioned in the posts, you still see just about everything when you have people on lists. I just do not have the time to hide and unfollow everything that shows up. I try, but there’s only so much time in a day.

      You make a great point on modeling the settings and such however, just when we all get it the way we want it, Facebook goes and changes something. You just can’t win for trying (even thought we should!). I do think we will see less promotional/salesy posts starting in January so that will help as well.

      Everyone’s user experience on Facebook is different – we just have to tailor it to what we want and go with the flow ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for such a great comment and for your POV!

  • tlryder

    I’m currently on a month long Facebook fast for many of the reasons you mentioned. I have previously blocked the games and unfollowed and made lists and installed the “fixer” program on my browser. I went on a “like” fast, which was supposed to help clear up one’s feed. While that did help a little, the problem was still there. I realized that all the political posts, pleas for charity donations, and preening posts were sucking the joy of the holiday season right out of me. I’ll probably be back in January, unfollowing and tweaking the settings some more. I fear it will continue to feel bloated and dead even so.

    • I am with you! Right now my feed is also bogged down with ads and sponsored posts with holiday specials – and I’m done Christmas shopping already!

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  • R_U_Inclined?

    For the reason you listed here and because I did want to see posts from my friends, I created a personal Facebook Group. It cuts straight through the noise (political, religious, or crude memes) and keeps us connected. Moreover I encouraged by way of invitation for friends to connect with me in that group or on a platform of their choosing. Instagram turned out to be a a big win in that department. Short story is that I was able to reduce 1,000+ friends to 600 on Facebook which gave me a better feed experience there and on Instagram.

  • Erin Miller

    I could not agree more with your in regards to the Facebook platform. It has dawned on me that over the past few weeks I have really gotten into Twitter and only check Facebook for my company page stats. I actually have people who talk to me on Twitter about common interests and random things. Now, I love my Facebook friends, but half of the people I give a dang about I never see their posts. Or people who I once was very close with I all of the sudden have to go to their page in order to read up on their lives. Like you, I have had my Facebook page for a very long time – you had to have a .edu address in order to register for an account, I fortunately was still in college, which now makes me old – and I have said it before and will say it again, I would get rid of my Facebook profile if it wasn’t for the fact I admin other pages. Thanks for the great article, nice to know I am not the only one who would like to not be on Facebook.

  • Mohamad A. Zahabi

    This article is a sad truth about facebook, how it changed over the past few years to become more like a marketplace, but I believe a professional marketer like you was expecting it, especially when its users are increasing everyday, even moms and dads are joining it nowadays, I understand how frustrating it is to see all these promotions and game requests but this is how a business owner (Mark zuckerberg and co.) would take advantage of such a successful business to consider it a cash generator and we should put ourselves in his shoes, everything has a price and connecting with our relatives for free has an indirect price too and it’s to be bothered with some of those pubs and requests, so I think facebook is a package to take or leave, but I personally would rather keep in touch with my people and see their photos with their families, newborns, thoughts, game requests etc. than to quit it because of some bothering stuffs.

    always like your articles, have a nice one.

  • Roy Morris

    Thanks Mandy, I am now going to check out Instgram.