January 06, 2014

8 months without FB... and still running

A while ago, I realized it has been over 6 months since I left Facebook. And yes, I had to ‘realize’ it because I haven’t really missed FB in all these days. This is a little surprising even for me, considering FB had been a swiss-knife of my online activities for over 2 years.

The most amusing part is when people still ask if I am not on FB anymore. It took them 8 months to realize that their ‘friend’ is not present there.

Hence, the question arises: Will I ever return to the greatest social network in the world?

Before I answer that, I want to make a few points:

Quite an "ROI" there, isn't it? ;)
What did I do with my spare time after quitting FB? I started spending all of it on Twitter and Whatsapp instead! Now, I can give quite a few reasons as to why both of these are better than FB, but that’s not the point. People don’t join any social network just because it’s ‘better’ than the other. They join and stick with the one with the best “ROI”.

And that’s the bottom line at the end of day. Are you happy with what you get after spending your precious time on these social networks? Will talking to someone in person or calling them be a better use of that time?

The day I feel Whatsapp and Twitter aren’t useful anymore in my efforts to socialize, or not worth putting my time into, I will quit them too. Because if you look objectively, these are just tools; a means to an end. And that end is being able to convey your thoughts and emotions to people who care to know (yeah, having ‘fun’, joking and sending pictures is all part of the package). It’s about identifying your greatest supporters, confidantes, friends or even ‘fans’ if you like to call them.

And the only way to identify them is to remove those who don’t fall in the above category. Recently I removed about a dozen people from my phone’s contact list, at least 3 dozen people from email contacts, about 10 on LinkedIn and over 25 on Twitter. I also specifically asked those who would like to hear from me daily on Whatsapp, and made sure only those 26 people get to hear what I have to say.

Do I hate the ‘other’ people, whom I removed? No way! I will meet them just like anyone else if we ever cross paths. It’s just that since I am not on their priority list, they don’t deserve to be on mine.

You see, I do not want to be on your ‘backup list’ or in your phone book just because you are afraid to lose contact with me. I don’t want you to be on your network so that one of those days when you are getting bored I can be a source of entertainment for you, or may be do you a favor (perhaps by filling an MBA survey form).

I believe if you have the will, you can always stay in touch, the tools and social networks never come in between. 2 of my best friends are not on Whatsapp. But, we put efforts from both sides to stay in touch on a regular basis, and hence I never feel that they MUST join any of the networks that I use.

So again, will I ever be back on FB? I think, it’s not even a valid question. The valid question would be, am I willing to stay in touch, even without any of these tools, even if that means exchanging mails on a monthly basis at the most? Am I willing to put in time and effort to get to know you more, and probably figure out where our thought points match?

The answer is Yes, of course!...  But are you?

I have written quite a lot about FB, for a guy who never wanted to join FB in first place, then having joined and overused it for 2 years, finally quitting and then even advocating it. I hope this is my last post or discussion about Facebook.

Note: The writing style of this post is a little different than usual. Let me know if you catch that!