Last week on my Facebook, I shared this article about not "liking" anything on Facebook as a way of building more meaningful interactions and getting a better newsfeed.
Me before last Thursday:
The truth is, I used "like" as a way to acknowledge that I got a message. Someone would post a response to a post, and rather than saying "Thanks! Totally!" I would hit "like."
Since I ordinarily use Facebook from the smooth surface of my iPhone, typing a response to everything I want to like is a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Plus, I have to think of words in order making sense have. The way. Something?
Here's a perfect example
I posted this photo on Saturday:
with the caption "We call this disco ear."
You can see the whole thread here.
Predictably, people responded with things I would have liked -- particularly my friend Paula who responded posting her own dog's disco ear (mega adorable). And instead of liking them, I just read them.
It was like someone had held up their hand for a high five and I just walked off.
Are people offended? I don't even know. (if you have posted a comment between Thursday and today, I feel like I owe you an apology, but I'm not entirely sure what I'd be apologizing for)
So, yeah. It's different.
I don't think enough time has passed to show any kind of change in my newsfeed, but the way I read my newsfeed is different. I will respond with "perfect!" or "I love this!" when I wanted to hit "like." It feels like a more genuine interaction to me, but how does it feel to the people who posted?
They'll have to tell me themselves.
It's also exhausting, which makes Facebook exhausting, which means I don't want to use it, which means I spend less time on Facebook... which, objectively speaking, is probably really good.
I use Facebook WAY TOO MUCH, for both work and personal relationships. It takes a lot of my free time (and sometimes my not free time).
In the past, I have tried various ways of cutting down on my Facebook use -- everything from trying to use sheer willpower to uninstalling the Facebook app on my phone. Until now, I really hadn't decreased my use at all.
I think this might be a tipping point for me... not just about creating better relationships or improving my newsfeed, but in my overall use of Facebook. Once I decided I was willing to be rude and stop acknowledging every post with a "like," I stopped worrying about offending people and -- surprise -- it cut whatever invisible social tie that bound me to Facebook so much.
We'll see where this takes me, but at the cusp of Christmas and just as I have started re-organizing my life, the timing is great.