Putting Facebook on Pause

Facebook is one of the most visited sites on the internet, and I don't just mean by me. Image courtesy of Frano Bouly (Creative Commons License)

Facebook is one of the most visited sites on the internet, and I don't just mean by me. Image courtesy of Frano Bouly (Creative Commons License)

In the week that Facebook turned 10, I decided to rethink my own use of the social network.

I've been a Facebook member since 2006 at a time when you needed an academic email address to join. Eight years ago my Facebook friends contained other academics and alumni. Following Facebook's decision to open up registration my lists swelled with family members, co-workers and old school-friends.

Since then, Facebook has been losing value for me. I don't post status updates regularly. My photo's aren't synced. I haven't scheduled many events. I don't use Facebook Messenger.

I found myself lurking more than engaging. I'd check Facebook in the morning, on lunch, when I was queuing, when I was commuting. But I was only reading, I wasn't interacting with people.

This gave me a false impression about the relationships I was having with the people I was friends with on Facebook. I was no longer putting effort in maintaining real world relationships as my lurking gave me a sense of connection.

In reality I didn't have that connection as I wasn't engaging with people.

To improve the relationships with people I care about I've decided to put Facebook on pause.

No longer lurking, I'm going to have to put in some work to maintain these relationships. And it's work that I want to do to get more out of them.

I'm not closing the door on returning to Facebook in the future, but for now I won't be available through this channel. I might come back one day, but by then who knows - maybe my friends will have hit pause as well?