How to reduce Facebook time in 3 easy steps

I joined Facebook in 2005, back when you had to have a valid college email address to join. As we all know, it literally spread like a brushfire, and it was awesome for connecting with people in class, getting assignments, looking up cute guys, sharing pictures. A way to share information and news without having to, you know, actually *talk* to people.

But this post isn’t about the dearth of social interaction. Or maybe the subtext is, because it’s all about leaving Facebook seamlessly, without disrupting too many integrated apps (because, let’s face it, reconnecting Spotify is one of the MOST arduous processes). I know this could be done in one step–


–but it’s not always that clean. Especially for community managers, game fans, etc. My purpose in this isn’t to go all hermit-into-the-mountain, but just to reduce the social clutter I’ve accumulated. I still want to use FB to log in to things like Cartwheel or Spotify, and I still want to pull from a pre-established contact list for Trivia Crack.

What I don’t want is unfettered access to my private info, pics, etc, and I don’t want there to be any expectation that I’ll respond to any and every post in which I’m tagged. I feel like I’ve made it too easy for people to insert themselves into my life in a way that that’s unnatural, and I’m mitigating that.

  1. Ask yourself Why are you jumping ship?
    For me, in large part, because I’m a romantic at heart. I love chance meetings with old acquaintances at random coffee shops, and knowing absolutely nothing about their lives. We can chat, maybe agree to get coffee later, and maybe get that coffee. Or not. But we’re not subjected to the mundanebanalities of each other’s lives. We can share the highlights, and not the morning’s commute, or a funny radio joke. I’m not above these things, I’ll just get them from Twitter, where news is as ephemeral as the hashtag it accompanies.Which leads me to the second part: it’s just not that interesting to me anymore. Brands buying space means that the majority of my feed is filled with Buzzfeed listicles and ads. I dread seeing private messages to the point of checking them monthly, because can we all agree that there’s nothing more passive aggressive than a private message?
  2. Start making cuts
    I started by culling down my friend list. If I couldn’t recall who they were in a single glance, I nixed them. I also nixed a lot of the teens and younger folks because if I were their age, there’s NO EFFING WAY I would have wanted my 30-year-old aunt/stepmom/acquaintance seeing some of the pics tagged. And if we’re being honest, I reallllllllllly don’t care about their 400+ pics from album fR13nd$ 4eva either.See? I’m horrible at teen speak. Another reason I need to jump off.After friends, delve into your app permissions under Privacy. Originally,  I unlinked everything, which turned into a huge pain in the butt when I tried to log in to Spotify, Cartwheel, apps that used solely used FB integration. I’d recommend unlinking apps a little more thoughtfully than I did, and keeping ones that you do use. Trivia Crack, anyone?
  3. Delete the apps
    No more phone access, no more iPad access. And you know what? I don’t miss it. I can log in when I’m at a desktop, and, turns out, it’s more than enough. I did keep the Pages apps for my phone and iPad to continue to do freelance work for clients, and paired with Hootsuite and other relevant apps, I’m good to go.

I didn’t quit all social apps. I’m still on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, but those are places where I feel that I’ve found my tribe a little more solidly. Facebook’s grown into a more malicious, ad-and-drama-driven machine with which  I’ve no interest in taking part. Call it my inner yogi coming into being, but letting go of Facebook feels as natural as breathing out all those things that no longer serve you.

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