Minimising Facebook Part III: The Result

“Just making the decision to actually leave has made such a difference. My world feels smaller; more manageable.”

I wrote the above one day after deciding to half-quit Facebook. The feeling has become the new reality. There are so many things I don’t have to give a crap about anymore, and guess what? Apparently they didn’t really matter, because I don’t miss ’em.

Things that stood out:

I ruthlessly unliked page after page, and three weeks later, I could barely tell you the names of any of them. Bonus: those I can remember, I can just visit if I feel like it. No need to click that like button if the name of the page is stuck in my brainpan.

I do admit, I did join a couple of new groups–but they were about dancing and drawing in my local area, two active off-screen real-world pursuits. I confess I haven’t followed up on either of them yet, but I expect to. And if I don’t, I’ll eventually come to the conclusion that they must be deleted.

Unfriending brought a lot of new (old!) people to the fore, and allowed me to reconnect if I so chose.

To boost my feed of fewer pages and more people I haven’t talked to in a while, I installed Social Fixer several days ago, a free add-on for Mozilla Firefox that allows you to customise your facebook experience to a greater degree–and as a bonus, shows ‘recent posts’ rather than ‘top stories’. I now get even fewer page posts in my feed because Facebook can no longer push them to the top. It likes to do that.

I will definitely be donating to it, probably about $5 AUD (more than you’d pay for most apps!). Poor guy has a lot of work keeping up with all Facebook’s new screwups.

One thing I was surprised about was how many notifications I keep getting. Based on past experience, I was expecting it to slow to a trickle of 2-4 per first logon in 24 hours. But it hasn’t slowed. I’m getting about 16 notifications every time I log on. EVEN THOUGH I’M BARELY DOING ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK.

A closer look at just what I’m getting notified about, though, explains it. I’m receiving a notification every time a couple of pages are posting. I don’t want to unlike them–they’re small organisations such as an indie game developer I struck up a friendship with in class last year, and a free local park library. Not being able to figure out why these two are particularly favoured, I just put up with them, and pay attention to the 5-ish notifications that are actually about something.

These notifications would be fewer, only I still have that impulse to make witty remarks every so often…

Ultimately, even with all my new notifications, not a lot happened on Facebook–and keeps not happening. In a really really good way. Seriously, guys, it is so awesome.

I do still visit every couple of days, and if I’ve visited once that day it’s more likely I’ll visit again–but it’s no longer something I default to when I have nothing else to do. In fact, it was kind of scary how quickly I went to Facebook when I had nothing else to do. Close latest tab-I’m bored!-Oh no!-type Facebook into my browser and press enter. Within a couple of seconds. I don’t have that reflex action anymore, which I suppose is really what this whole thing was about.

So! I hereby pronounce this experiment… a success! And if there’s anything worth updating about this, I’ll post and let you know.

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