Life has always been crazy busy for me (it is the Webber way), so it was always difficult for me to remember to call or check in on all the friends/family I want to keep in touch with. Facebook has been a great way to reconnect with old friends, connect with new friends, and generally keep relationships going that wouldn’t otherwise have kept going for me.
When I lost my job in 2008, I was in the middle of using Twitter and started meeting a bunch of new friends. We would get together at tweetups and other events and have some great conversations. A lot of us found each other on Facebook and LinkedIn and connected there in addition to twitter. It was awesome being able to keep up with everyone wherever I was surfing.
After a while I realized how much information was getting pushed in my direction. I was checking in on Twitter and checking in on Facebook and getting the same information both places. It started becoming a lot of information to process (even if I was just skimming the information) and I was checking in on both of them fairly often to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I knew I needed to take a look at how I was using Facebook and how I could turn down the amount of information it was pushing in my direction.
To do that I needed to define why I was using Facebook. I thought through a few different ways, but decided that only one was going to work for me. I decided that I would start using Facebook to reconnect with old friends and stay connected with friends and family that i didn’t interact with on a regular basis.
This made the most sense to me because it didn’t remove Facebook from the picture. It allowed me a method to connect and reconnect with people who don’t expect any sort of regular communication with me, but still want to get a general picture of whats going on in my life. Once I made the decision not to use Facebook as an everyday communication tool, I realized that I did not need as many emails coming through to me. I went through and removed almost all notifications in my Facebook preferences. This was an awesome for me because it meant that I had one less website to check throughout the day AND less emails coming through to my phone and computer.
By defining what Facebook is for me, I now can set expectations for myself and others as to how I will be communicating and how often I will be communicating on Facebook. I no longer need to think of this input as critical and now have one less place that will distract me regularly.
I am now one step closer to a simpler life and that is a good feeling!