In December, I explained why I was leaving Facebook. Last post we discussed shutting down Facebook and how to do that without loosing all your data: pictures, posts, friends lists, groups, pages. All of it. Now we’ll discuss what to do about these questions:
- How will I know what’s going on with my friends?
- How can I let people know about all the important things going on in my life?
- How can I share my inspirational workout or race results and get the recognition I deserve?
- Where will I get my news?
- How will I build my business or stay connected to my professional network?
Go “old school” when it comes to keeping in touch with friends. Call them! Or not so “old school” – Skype or text or email. You know that you can’t really keep track of more than 150 relationships, right? (here’s the data on that) So I created a spreadsheet with 150 of the people that are most important to me who regard me with some importance as well. The spreadsheet has names, cell numbers, e-mail addresses, birthdays, and home addresses. I’m making it a goal to connect with people every week in a meaningful way. As much as Facebook connected us, it also made us lazy, and I believe, took away the personalization and heart in our connections. I want that back.
Build your own on-line presence. Early visions for the internet saw individuals having their own website, but along came Mark Zuckenberg and made it turn-key and free (if you consider giving away all your data “free”) for everyone to have an online presence. But (basic) WordPress is free too and with a little more ingenuity and creativity, you can have your own site. Having your own web page is like owning your own home – a unique home where you can be in control and furnish and decorate it in a way that works for you. This is my site: https://thecausecoach.net: This is Kurt’s: https://fliegel.com.
I have pages where I promote myself professionally, where I write my thoughts on various subjects (this blog), and where I share interesting articles and info like I used to on Facebook. Anyone can come and see what I share and comment if they like. No friend management necessary.
I also don’t think everything we’re experiencing in life needs to be shared publicly. Journaling our thoughts and making note of special memories is however important. DayOne is a great app for logging memories and journaling (honestly, check it out. It’s awesome!). I enter something everyday in my DayOne journal. Sometimes it’s a long post about what I’m experiencing and some days it might be a statement of gratitude or simply what I was doing. It always includes a photo. Everyday I can see “On This Day” posts so I have a flashback of memories – similar to what Facebook memories might share – but the entries often have much more depth.
Join other networks where you will find more people that actually care about your workout. Strava has become the social media of endurance athletes. If you think you’ll starve with out the affirmation brought by likes and loves, Strava has “Kudos” to help you feel loved and you often get them from total strangers that just share your love of running (or biking or swimming or skiing etc). Thanks to some added functionality, Strava is also a great place for groups. I’ve moved my CauseCrew running group off Facebook and onto Strava. I’d like to see more running clubs communicate with members through this site rather than making them feel out of the loop if they choose not to be on Facebook. I also like Instagram because of the visuals and hashtags. And yes, I know Instagram is owned by Facebook. For now, it’s a lesser evil.
Stop considering Facebook a news source. With the amount of inaccuracies flying around that site, it may actually be the worst place for real news. I subscribe to a daily (weekdays) email from The Skimm which provides a general overview of key news items (to subscribe, use this link: theskimm.com/SUBSCRIBE). Flipboard provides a variety of news sources and it can be set up to provide news on subjects of interest to you. Feedly (RRS Feed) can help you keep track of new content on all your friends personal (or business) sites and other websites of interest to you.
There are books to read, too. I am now making an effort each night before turning in to unplug and read from an actual book. Non-fiction, fiction, it doesn’t matter.
Take your business elsewhere! If you want to network professionally, LinkedIn has always been the better platform. if you are trying to promote your business, there may be other avenues as well. As it turned out, while Facebook shares were bringing readers to my blog, actual business was coming through my own networking (much of it done using MailChimp), from LinkedIn connections, and believe it or not, Instagram. And earlier this week, I had my first meeting with a potential client who found me because I gave them “Kudos” on Strava! So those are the places I’m putting my efforts.
I would love to hear from others. What are you doing differently this year to reduce screen time or make your social media experiences more meaningful? What sites are you on? What have you found to be better alternatives to Facebook?