Accountability on social media
I recently posted a video explaining my current frustration with Facebook, how 9.5 times out of 10, I leave Facebook wanting to, once again, delete my account. The feedback I received was very useful (thank you!), and, after reading the comments, I took some time to clean up my profile. I "unliked", "unfollowed", and "unfriended" taking nothing into consideration except my mental health. I made my profile private in an effort to eliminate any potential chaos from arising on my personal page.
It was looking better already.
John Mayer? I don't even listen to his music. Game of Thrones? I don't even watch the show. Verizon? We have AT&T. Huffpost Politics? Yeah, no thanks. I "unliked" almost every news organization except World News Tonight With David Muir, 'cause he's my man. I made a list of outlets I like to follow, but that I didn't want to overpower my newsfeed (as news outlets are notorious for doing), bookmarked them, and made sure I was following them on Twitter -- Business Outsider, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review. I like following these guys, but I don't want to see a plethora of in-depth articles on Trump's Twitter Politics while I'm trying to look at a friend's engagement pictures.
At the end of the day, unless they up and rid Facebook of the "friends" list, Facebook will always, always be connection and "friend" based more than interest-based. And because it is connection based is why I had "liked" so many pages. A friend of a friend, or an acquaintance, or a co-worker would invite me to "like" their brother, sister, daughter's pages that I end up shallowly "supporting" 300 causes I'm not the least bit interested in. I know it makes sense; I've done it, too. We're all tapping into our built-in network.
I've grown my liking for Instagram and Twitter, because I enjoy connecting with people through those platforms. It's not weird if another mom messages me or a coffee shop re-posts my picture because...that's kind of what happens on those platforms - respecting the context and all that. It doesn't feel invasive or weird or annoying. Though Facebook has made strides in becoming more business-friendly for marketers (which was super nice as a former social-media marketer) I don't think it's come without annoyance to Facebook's users. Because now? Now we get to hear all about Auntie Judith's unwavering support for the Far Right right underneath seeing an ad for...receiving clothes in a box. (I like my clothes just fine, thanks.)
The most important lesson I took away from people's feedback is my world on social requires management. In my mind, I wanted my presence online to be convenient and easy. As someone who was around during the pre-Facebook era, I didn't see the whole Facebook thing worthy of management, 'cause it's just...Facebook. Like I said, convenience. But times are changing.
One thing is for sure. I'm not going to let Facebook affect my mental health in a negative way. And I'm happy to report that since I took time to give my profile a little TLC, I haven't left FB once wanting to delete my account. Lesson learned, folks. I will be adopting this as a regular practice. Thanks for your feedback, friends!