I did it!
I downloaded all my data and deleted my Facebook profile.
Facebook gives you 30 days to change your mind, so I actually still have until July 8th to stop the deletion.
But I don’t think I’m gonna.
Haven’t Missed It
It’s been nearly a month, and I have yet to feel like I miss Facebook. True, I can conceivably think of a situation or two where I might wish I had it.
As I said before, the Buy Nothing™ groups on Facebook are great. I’ve been able to give away a number of items, and also procure some really good things, thanks to my local group.
I was just thinking to myself, “Man, I wonder how I can access the Buy Nothing community without being on Facebook?”
It turns out, they’re launching their own app! It’s in beta right now, but it’s launched in a few cities (mostly Stateside), and you can sign up to get on the waitlist. I’ve signed up and I’m looking forward to it being available!
Alternatives to Facebook
I’m still using Instagram, though more and more I’m finding the mindless scrolling less fulfilling. The family members and friends I initially followed on there have either quit or are posting less, so what shows up in my feed is not as interesting to me anymore.
On a local level, there’s Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a social networking site based on neighborhoods and communities. It’s a lot like Facebook in that you can post photos, videos, links, text, etc, but what you post is visible not just to “friends” but also to your neighbors.
You don’t choose your neighbors, so it’s not like Facebook where you approve friends. You can make your privacy settings more or less strict (only neighbors, neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods, or everyone on Nextdoor).
It’s got to be said that you get a lot of strange people on Nextdoor. It seems that many folks join just to whine and complain about their neighbors. Most people, though, are friendly and share useful tidbits. It’s similar to Facebook in that you’ll see lots of ads, but at least these are usually for useful local services and businesses.
In the past, I’ve used Meetup.com, but it seems to me that it’s not very popular in the States. That’s probably because Facebook is so prevalent and because Meetup charges group administrators a yearly fee. I haven’t been on there in nearly two years.
Ravelry is my knitting social networking site. I try to keep my profile and projects updated there, and it’s my go-to for patterns, inspiration, yarn reviews… everything! I LOVE Ravelry!
For all your literary social networking needs, Goodreads.com is the place to be. I’ve had a profile on here for years, but since I’m now in a country where I have easier access to English-language reading materials, I am using it much more than I used to.
I like seeing what people are reading, what they think of their reads, and also following authors that I like. I read my first Louise Erdrich novel recently, and I’m very excited to read more!
That May Seem Like a Lot…
Sure, that’s a lot of social networks to be on at once. And I’m not even up-to-date on TikTok, SnapChat or any of the other cool platforms the kids are using these days.
What I like about the platforms I mentioned above is that they’re very focused. Aside from Meetup (that I really don’t use anymore), they each have a specific area of focus: neighborhood stuff, knitting, books. I like that they each have their theme. Often, they overlap, and it’s wonderful when they do. But it’s also okay to keep interests and hobbies separate. I don’t feel like it’s too much “work” to maintain these profiles because they’re activities I enjoy.
Not Cold Turkey
All that to say that I’m not off social media altogether. And who knows, something may bring me back to Facebook someday. But so far, the cord cut has felt really good, and it hasn’t been as scary or as isolating as I thought.
Are you thinking of giving it a try? I’d love to hear about it!