Step 3: Reach out!
Once you know what you want to keep in your life, start making it happen. Go down your list and send everyone a message on Facebook messenger: “I’m leaving Facebook and would very much like to stay in touch. Here is my contact info.” Give your phone number and email address. You can also call them and leave a voicemail (because who ever picks up their phone any more?)
Part of what you want to notice is who takes the time and effort to reach out and establish off-Facebook connection.
Take back your life and be the one creating it, instead of letting Facebook passively hand it to you.
If someone doesn’t, you need to carefully consider how much effort you want to put into that particular relationship. It’s not much more work to send an email or text message than it is to drop someone a message on Facebook. If your relationship with them isn’t important enough to them to switch to another app and type a personal message, that’s good to know. It should dispel once and for all this ridiculous notion that your Facebook connection represents any kind of real relationship. You can always keep putting in the effort from your end, but you’ll know the truth. And when the zombie apocalypse hits, you won’t feel too bad about throwing them to the zombies to buy time for you to escape.
Step 4: Use Facebook Local
When it comes to social gatherings, however, Facebook has changed the world. Many people organize events only using Facebook. By leaving Facebook, you risk being left out of your social circle. You kind of have to admire it. In only ten years, Facebook has managed to hijack the basic human activity of having real, in-person friends.
You can still access your Facebook events without addiction. Install the Facebook Local app on your smartphone. It lets you view just events. You can still receive and respond to invitations without touching the rest of the site.
You can also rebuild your off-Facebook communication lines. People survived for tens of thousands of years without Facebook, after all.
When you call or text the friends you are staying close to, ask them about upcoming events in your social circle. Indeed, you could even throw caution to the wind and organize your own event. A dinner. Or a movie. Or board games. Or rock climbing. You could send invitations via email or even call people. A old-fashioned indulgence in human contact that borders on scandalous!
Step 5: Choose & Check Your News Sources
Remember those news sources you identified, where you get your news? Subscribe to them directly. Then go visit their site on a regular basis. You have the time; it’s the time you used to spend on Facebook. When you go directly to high-quality, primary news sources, you also learn about whatever other issues they’re covering. So instead of your worldview being shaped by whatever things Facebook throws at you, you can look at a broader set of issues.
If you’re feeling super-adventurous, you can imitate adults of long-gone eras. Visit a couple of different sites so you get a broader world view. If you seek out knowledge, you might find it’s there. You might also find out that you’re wrong. Or that you’re right. But you’ll learn deliberately. But if you let knowledge find you, it’s popping up because Facebook thinks you’ll “engage.” So whatever it is, it’s likely to be extreme and one-sided.
Step 6: Pay to Post
Lastly, you may still need a way to post on Facebook, if it’s necessary for your business. Personally, I can’t even visit Facebook for a couple of minutes without getting sucked back in. If you need to post on Facebook for business reasons, you might want to have a virtual assistant do it. Using a service like Fancyhands.com or Fin.com or GetMagic.com, or hiring a dedicated virtual assistant, you can simply have them log into your account on your behalf and post what needs posting.
This is hard. With the rise of Facebook, those of us over 30 have largely dismantled the infrastructure we used to have to choose our friends, build intimacy, organize events, decide our news sources, and be members of a culture and responsible, educated citizens. Those of us under 30 have never known anything different. They may have never seen, and often can’t even imagine building and maintaining offline relationships.
Take back your life and be the one creating it, instead of letting Facebook passively hand it to you. Convenience isn’t worth it. Be the architect of your own life. Be the artist of your own relationships. And be the Arrrrrrr! of your own pirate ship. Lurk on your Facebook timeline to decide who to keep in touch with, what to learn, and how to stay informed. Then go establish offline systems to create the life you want, rather than the life someone else wants you to have.
I’m Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re an entrepreneur, self-employed or otherwise need to control your own time, Get-it-Done groups help you start finishing what’s important, and develop the habits you need to be hyper-productive. Learn more at http://SteverRobbins.com.
Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!