Deprioritising Facebook

A few months ago I stopped using Facebook. I deactivated my account, deleted the Facebook apps from my iOS devices, and went cold-turkey. I have subsequently had to reactivate my account because of the need to engage with some groups that exist only on Facebook, but I continue to ignore my timeline.

It has been a great change for the better. Facebook adds a huge weight of nothing. It’s empty calories. It uses up time that could be better spent elsewhere. I haven’t missed any news; I don’t feel less engaged with the world. To the contrary, actually. I feel more engaged. I don’t crave the little dopamine hits of likes and comments. I’m still writing and recording aspects of my life, but now they are feeding content that I own, whether it’s on my own microblog, or in my Day One journal, or (heaven forbid) through one-on-one conversations.

It surprised me just how easily I was able to ‘kick the habit’ of using Facebook. I thought I would miss it. As if to emphasise just how hollow the platform is, I’ve not had any of my myriad followers reach out to check if I’m still alive since my departure! That point highlights the disconnected connectedness Facebook promotes. Sure, you ‘like’ somebody’s post, but do you remember it 30 seconds later? Would you notice if it were not there? The evidence would suggest not, and that spot in the timeline would just be filled by something else.

If I could dump the Facebook platform entirely I would. As it is, I will use it as little as possible, and only as required for specific functional tasks. I am not willing to gift my attention to Facebook, for it to leverage into profit. My hours on this planet are too valuable to give you them for free.

Writing versus Speaking

If I have the option to communicate through text or voice, I’m choosing text every time.

I don’t love writing; it’s not a passion. I’m more happy working with numbers, to be honest. What I am definitely not, though, is a talker.

In writing, I feel that I can more eloquently express my views. In conversation I never quite feel as agile, by comparison. It takes a lot of focus to think on my feet and maintain the flow. Add to that, the little voice in my head that is always there in the background, questioning whether the person I’m talking to is listening, if they care at all, or are they bored out of their brain. Talking comes with pressure!

When I write, however, it comes out much more formally than when I speak. I struggle to achieve a relaxed tone in my writing (as this article may attest!). I also have no indication as to whether my words have ever been read — conversations don’t have that issue.

Ironically, so much of my work relies directly on my ability to have conversations with clients. There is a discerning factor, though. In these instances, I prefer to consider myself an empathic listener and interpreter. The more I listen, the more I can understand. If I’m talking, I’m not getting to the root of the issues and concerns of the firms I am trying to help. Sure, I will add some value through some suggestions, ideas and stories, but that tends to come more easily.

Then I go away and write some outcomes and actions!

Podcasting

Podcasting has definitely gone mainstream now. There is nothing in technology more reliant on voice and speaking than podcasting. Blogging I’m comfortable with – it’s writing. Podcasting? I have been a happy listener for years, but have never been a producer.

A new version of the app Anchor has been released for iOS and Android. The app has had a pivot with its focus now being the generation of short, simple podcasts. I’ve downloaded it, but haven’t yet had a play. I will probably try recording a few podcasts, but I have strong doubts that any of my efforts would be any good.

I really don’t like the sound of my own voice. I feel bad for people who have to listen to it normally, so to record myself and have to listen to my own voice in an extended recording is confronting in the extreme. I’m also not sure that I could maintain a coherent and interesting structure while speaking. Writing is different. You can plan, outline, edit, rewrite. Voice recording requires a lot more editing effort to achieve the same, and I’m no audio engineer.

I don’t own any professional podcasting equipment. I don’t have a good mic. If I started a podcast it would be rudimentary at best. Then again, that makes me sound like the target market for Anchor.

Finally, but probably foremost, there is the issue of content. What to talk about? What to say? Why would anybody bother to listen?1

So I may, or may not, trial a podcast. I might record it, hate the result and delete it. Or it may turn out okay and I might share it to my blog. Who knows? I don’t know!


  1. To be fair, all these questions could just as easily be levelled at this blog, but here I am, typing away.