Goodbye Facebook

I'm not sure why writing this post has my heart racing, but so be it...

I've been aware of my compulsion to check Facebook and its statuses, notes, mobile uploads, etc., etc., practically since I first signed up. In the beginning it seemed harmless enough: it was good for a laugh; I liked being in touch with people I hadn't seen in years; and becoming part of the photographic social media community was enjoyable. Then I started realizing that when something of note happened away from the computer I almost immediately would translate the experience into "Elizabeth Fleming [insert comedic moment/event/annoyance here]" format. It was also a time-sucker, and even though it felt like a ridiculous thing to be fixated on, I didn't seem able to cut down my time on it. I spend my workdays in front of the computer, and as much as I tried to do the work first and the Facebook trolling second, inevitably the trolling took precedence. Every time I pulled myself away there was that sense of: what could I have been doing with that hour? Or should I say, those hours?

And so for weeks now I've been asking myself: is it worth it? If every time lately when I think about deleting my account I feel a sense of euphoria, isn't that a sign? It's been easy to talk myself out of it, based on my art, based on having a Fan Page, based on using it as a networking tool. But there are plenty of photographers out there who aren't on Facebook and are doing just fine, and if my creativity is being sapped through a medium that I've come to use as a way to zone out, all the networking in the world doesn't matter. Plus, I'm tired of thinking about myself in the third person.

2010 is coming and it's the time of the year when we make resolutions. Usually I'd be adding something to the effect of "strike a balance with social media" to my list. But I know myself: I'm not in general a black-and-white, all-or-nothing person--in this case however it's like I can't help but eat the entire box of donuts, and then some, so it's time to let it go.

Farewell Facebook friends, I really will miss you. You can always find me here on the blog, or communicate via email (I'm not becoming a hermit), or who knows--I may even see you on the street. I hope you'll send me show invites and information on what you're up to at elizabeth @ Once I'm done alerting all of you via Facebook (ah, the irony!) I'm going to hold a private virtual funeral and bury the beast, 24 hours from now.

Oh, and goodbye to you too, Twitter. I never really did love you.


Liz said…
i deleted my account ago for the very same reasons, and it feels great. i have my time back! and i still have my friends! imagine that.

i missed it at first but now i am just glad it's gone. but, if you change your mind, facebook makes it so very easy to pick up right where you left off.

:) cheers
Good luck with the detox. I should probably do the same.

Please add me to your mailing list.

Happy Holidays
Edie Mitchell said…
You go, girl. You've given me something to think about. Happiest of holidays to you, James, Edie and June. Alex sends Edie a hug!
Anonymous said…
Yay, good for you! I've managed to keep Facebook in check; I only log on once or twice a month or so, as I'm just not the type to whore myself constantly, nor do I care much to read the self-whorage going on from my friends and barely-friends on Facebook. If it's important, I'll hear about it either from them or someone else. The rest is just noise; who needs it?

As for twitter....Eh... I get the value of it despite all the garbage people post (like Facebook, it's only as valuable as the network you create, and some people do indeed have valuable things to share), but I never bothered with it. It's the worst thing about Facebook distilled down to its purest form, and I never wanted any part of it.

Anyway, congrats. :)

-Tim (Kristi's Tim)
Liz--right?? I did a permanent delete, they have that option now. Frankly I don't ever want to get sucked back in. :)

David--of course I'll add you to the list, thanks. I'll keep up with you on your blog.

Edie--thanks :) Edie loved the phone conversation; man that was cute. Happy happy holidays, hug to Alex!

Tim--thank you too! I'm impressed with your restraint. I hear you on Twitter--plus it just really bored me mostly, it wasn't even a matter of being addicted. Another good reason to let it go.
littlepurplecow said…
Gotta say, I'll miss your online presence, but looking forward to staying connected with you here in your space. You are so talented, Elizabeth. And I'm glad we're connected.
andi schreiber said…
I dream of a day without Facebook and struggle to limit my time there. Congratulations on getting out, Elizabeth. You gave yourself a huge gift for the holidays and new year. Maybe I'll jump ship, too. Please add me to your mailing list.

Anonymous said…
Funny you should post this, I'm thinking of giving up Facebook too! It's kinda scary 'cause I connect with a lot of photographer friends and a couple of old friends, but its done nothing for my business other than take time away from it. Good luck. I hope I to muster the same courage.

Judy Lange
Jodi said…
Hard to argue with that reasoning. Facebook is *the* biggest time suck! I will be curious to read how your life changes after the goodbye.

Let's try and get together in person after the new year. Even without kids, it would be great to do lunch one day in the neighborhood. Hard to believe that I"ve been here since August and we haven't gotten together. (I blame Facebook.)
haha I just ignore mine except for direct messages, which are pretty rare for me. I think people know I prefer email.

I've never been one to get that sucked into updates though. Maybe I'm just heartless cause I don't care that much what people are doing this second. If it's really important, they should tell you anyhow, right?
chris everist said…
Sounds good Elizabeth. I feel the same way about FB. I may be soon behind you.
Anonymous said…
Dear Elizabeth:
VERY smart move! Hurray for your wherewithall to cut off the gargoyle's head! Good for you! AND heres to a healthy, happy and productive 2010! All bests, SK Duff AKA
Hey E and all,

Looking forward to a New Years Eve in Hawaii with my intended. Just came back from 15 days in China and missed posting photos for people to see. But you know, FB is like a river, you get off the boat and when you get back on it's a different river or boat. It's good for Birthdays when you live in Iowa. Drinking Chinese Lotus flower tea and excellent single malt scotch at 4 am, jet lag and all. Have a great New Year! Will be in touch.

xx margaret m stratton
Anonymous said…
I hope to someday soon muster up the courage as you! Funny thing is I have been feeling exactly the same way. I have been on FB a couple years I guess, and with 1300 plus frineds I think maybe 20 are "real" friends.
I remember last year when I deleted Myspace it felt so liberating and I thought I would only keep FB. And now I am actually consideing giving FB the ax too. As for Twitter, well that is a complete waste of time.
at one time I was also getting a little obsessed with Flickr. Bu tI think now I am trying to focus more on my own website and less on flickr.
As far as using FB or networking, I think sites like LinkedIn are much better suited for that.
Happy New Year!
missysue hanson said…
I have to say that this is the best New Year's post I've read! I too, loath twitter and have been staying away from FB as much as I possibly can.

Happy New Year & have fun burying the beast ;o)
Anonymous said…

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