Getting fed up of Facebook, tired of Twitter or irked by Instagram? One top comms manager has had enough. Here’s what he did and why…
by Rob McCleary
So this morning at approximately 7.45am, there I am lying in bed, a good 15 minutes in to my daily morning ritual of looking at my Facebook feed and do you want to know what I found out about? Did I find out if the world had ended or if nuclear war had broken out? No, I get that from the good ol’ Beeb notifications. Are my loved ones ok? I don’t know - if posting a picture of last night’s tea is anything to go by then my Auntie is fine.
So what did I find out this morning?
Well, the answer is – not a lot. Not a lot at all thanks to the saturation of information all in one place at one time.
It was at this moment and, frankly, it had been coming for a few weeks, I decided to delete my Facebook app on my phone. Enough was enough. I’d just spent 15 minutes of my free time, my valuable free time, where I have a bit of peace and quiet, no phones ringing, no emails to answer and here I am looking at Panda memes and Game of Thrones updates, none of which are dramatically enhancing my life.
I was getting really frustrated with how much time I was spending on there and I don’t think that I am the only one. The ‘social soul cleansing’ where you take some time off from social media for a long period is becoming increasingly popular.
The Comms Unplugged event - where Darren of comms2point0 is a co-organiser with Sally Northeast and Georgia Turner - is a nod to this: a unique and challenging weekend away where you are invited to attend as comms professionals and leave all your worldly social media devices at the door and clear your mind and soul and I’m all for this. If anyone feels as liberated as I did this morning hitting that delete button, then it will be worth it.
So what happens now? What about the job I hear you cry?
Well, for a start, we have plenty of apps and services that purposely remove you from your personal account so you don’t need it to login for example, Facebook for Business or SocialSignIn.
So how long will I last?
I really don’t know. I did this at Christmas and I went cold turkey for a month. I deleted my app, took it of my work PC and sent a raven to the family to tell them I wasn’t dead, just offline.
A word of warning, Facebook does not like you turning off Facebook. It knows what you are up to! It will start sending you notifications via email to tempt you to go back, it may be a Panda meme, a Game of Thrones theory or a picture of your Nan’s dinner, don’t do it. Turn off all email notifications before you do delete the app.
So has the bubble burst for social media? I doubt it. Has it become the only place for people to go to? Probably.
Is it the only place for people to go to? Absolutely not, there’s a whole world out there and I feel like I’m outside the bubble looking in, it may be lonely at first but I think my views will widen and it will help me be more creative with my time.
So wish me luck and the next time I see you don’t be upset if I ask you questions I should know the answer to like, ‘What have you been up to?’ ‘How are your kids?’ ‘Have you been watching Game of Thrones?’ because the chances are, I won’t know and how nice will that be?
Rob McCleary is Communications Manager at Gedling Borough Council