What I learned from my impromptu Facebook Diet

Recently I went on a Facebook Diet. I know there are a plethora of blog posts about people giving up Social Media.   Don't click away... I'm gonna increase the amount of insight, and decrease the amount of self-aggrandizement.  The ratio will be close to perfect.

While the timing overlapped with Lent, it was not something this heathen officially gave up for the Catholic season. I just, more or less, made a conscious effort to limit my Facebook activities about this time. It helped that my day job was so busy that checking Facebook first thing in the morning wasn't always an option. I don't commute to work anymore but my mornings are spent getting moose and squirrel ready and off to daycare.  Therefore I no longer engage in my commuter ritual of burying my face in my phone and ignoring all the unwashed masses on the Blue Line.

I still checked FB regularly for the distractions. Working from home, Facebook is my way of keeping up with friends Life Achievements and a poor way of interacting with people on a virtual level. Admittedly it is also the source of the majority of my news.   I still maintain that FB can be an excellent archival tool to remember what you did x years ago and who you did it with.

But I didn't post as many status updates as I have in the past. By the scientific method of making shit up, I'd say I posted only 10% of what I normally do. I still checked into places, posted pictures of my doucenugget cute kids and tagged friends where appropriate.  Also, I didn't make it Facebook official by ironically announcing it on any social media platform.

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What did I learn? The less you engage with FB, the less it engages with you. One of the few posts I did share during this diet was that one about "if you knew me in high school, " I got a few comments but not nearly as many as some of my other posts if This Year in Facebook is to be believed.  That is even adjusting for all the people who have hidden or taken a break from me, and vice versa.

I don't know much about the FB algorithm, other than it is evil and more regressive than the tax code, but it does seem to be based on interaction.

Facebook is a bit like high school in more ways than one. It mirrors my High School experience in that freshmen year we were all equals. Then the cliques formed and people factioned off. By senior year I had a handful of close friends and the rest were classmates that I use to know. On FB I have some friends who have never interacted with me and vice versa. SomedayI might purge them.  Or just leave them in the FB archive, a souvenir to prove to the world we were once friends.

 

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