This is what I want to be an honest feedback about this experience. It was not all green and beautiful. Removing an addiction sometimes makes you discover new darkness and I will explain which ones exactly.
Following only close friends
In April, about 4 months after removing completely my Facebook Feed, I discovered that I was missing news from some close friends. I’m only talking about 7 people max. Because I was travelling frequently this year, I had no clue of what they were doing. I missed some news, pictures and articles. Nothing dramatic but in general I’m very supportive and proud of what my friends are doing.
I changed a bit my strategy and started following only them and even activate push notifications when they shared something. But I realised, once again, that in the end we talked about it on the phone or in real life. Notifications were useless.
In addition, most of them already send me content directly in Messenger or WhatsApp if they think it’s important. I also removed the Facebook application from my phone. I can still check on facebook.com if I have some notifications.
So, this strategy of following only close friend didn’t really work in term of “reducing noise”. I unfollowed them again. You need to decide what is your real motivation to remove your Facebook Feed and for me it’s clear: I don’t want digital noise to encourage real interactions.
As I said in the part 2, I really experiment having less, what I call, calibration regarding what I do.
I truly believe we behave in a way that is socially accepted by our peers and our peers have a strong influence on us through social networks.
Removing this influence was a huge change this year. You won’t feel it right after quitting Facebook, it’s a long process. But you slowly realise how much you restrict yourself and don’t live the life you want. I have countless examples. If we just take the social part, you will feel more and more comfortable talking to strangers in any situations, in various languages, without thinking they are judging you. If you’re not as perfect as your profile picture, it’s fine. They won’t care. At least you’re real, you accept to be a human, and you are brave enough to just talk to them without expectations.
This is a big topic and I’m just scratching the surface. I hope I will get back on this later. But trust me, if you expect some real change in your life, removing Facebook is a huge bonus.
The simple fact to see less “content” makes life more interesting. Because everything seems new again. You haven’t seen 10 articles and 30 comments about it, you just experience it on your own.
Instagram Stories, the new Evil.
Now I use Instagram a lot. I don’t really post pictures, or likes, or comments. I share stories and watch other’s stories. My god. How addictive is that shit. I feel trapped again because I love pictures in general and Instagram was for me a good place to be inspired. Now it’s mainstream (that’s not new, but it’s even worst today) so everyone basically is on Instagram.
What is the most addictive part is the list of people watching your stories. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. There are a lot of articles on the web about the way Instagram sort the people in the list below your stories.
And from what I experienced: the algorithm is right, all, the, time.
Long story short: Instagram uses a very large bank of data to understand how you interact with your followers to bring the most “interesting ones” to the top of the list. Most of the time: the people you want to sleep with.
Once again you can deny this, but you know my position on the topic of Instagram and data (see my article “Instagram is listening to you”). I’m preparing another article specifically on Instagram Stories. Because it’s an amazing example of perfect recommendation algorithm.
I feel bad because I enjoy watching most of the stories I see and I like sharing mine as well. But I want to overcome social network influence for real and I’m thinking about unfollowing my Instagram friends too.
It’s about radical change.
I still believe this is just the start of the journey. At some point I will have the courage to remove all notifications from my phone or turn on “Do not disturb” mode. It was impossible for years because of urgent notifications from my clients but now I have absolutely no reasons to have an emergency direct line. All my client work is under control and doesn’t need this kind of monitoring.
I promise, you will not miss any important news from Facebook, and I’m sure not from Instagram either. There is no shortcuts to create deep and meaningful relationships. We need a step back in this modern age and re-consider how we approach people and find deep happiness.
Remember, define what makes you really happy, no one will do it for you. If you still need social networks to feel good, don’t quit them. Just try a break for one or two weeks and see if it’s making your life better.