You may have noticed that I’ve been a little absent here lately. My blogging disappearance can partly be explained by the flu that loudly reminded me of the importance of remembering to get the flu shot. I’m also still recovering from three crazy months leading up to the end of the year that included nearly daily Twitter parties among other professional obligations. And of course, there is my conscious decision to seek a little moderation, the kind of tempered behavior that laughs in the face of daily blog posts.
But the main reason why I’ve been posting less often this month is that I’ve been writing a book.
If you’ve connected with me on Facebook and Twitter, you may have seen my updates related to the book. But I haven’t really blogged about it because I believe in the jinx (no whammies, no whammies, no whammies!) and writing a book is a lifelong dream that I was afraid to lose. Picture me knocking on wood and throwing salt over my shoulder right now.
Even though I haven’t been blogging about writing a book, I have actually been writing it. And it turns out that these things take time (who knew?) and concentration (you don’t say!). So with a final deadline looming, I decided to step up my game and take a Facebook break last week.
Do you know how hard it is to work when you’ve got this little torture device burning into your peripheral vision?
Sure, I could ignore it. Actually, no. Clearly I could not.
Yes, I could just click on that little X and make that tab go away.
But I decided that was not enough and actually logged out of Facebook after posting this:
Then I clicked on Log Out. For real.
I stayed off of Facebook completely for the few days it took me to finish writing the final chapters of the book, and upon finishing ran as fast as I could to log back in. But in those few days I learned some interesting things:
- People don’t believe that you aren’t there. Despite my very clear status update letting friends know I was gone for awhile, people still posted questions to me on my Wall and tagged me with questions. Some came right out and called bull under the aforementioned status update, which I got to see when I returned a few days later.
- People bring Facebook to you. In just the few days that I was logged out, people came to me in Skype, through email, and via Twitter direct message with play by play updates from Facebook. They wanted to know what I thought of what someone said, could I believe what had happened, and are you really not going to log back in and respond? Nope.
- Facebook is the biggest time suck ever. Okay, so we all kind of already know this, right? But when you actually log out and actually ignore the platform and the people on it, your productivity suddenly goes through the roof. I own my business so if I’m wasting time during the work day, my boss is already aware of it. But the idea that other people have that same taunting notifications number on their work computer concerns me. Maybe it’s time that we all re-evaluate the misconception that we’re great multi-taskers?
- Life without Facebook is peaceful. I am the queen of crowd-sourcing and oversharing. And I will admit that during the days I was away, I found myself writing status updates in my head. Ridiculous things happened. I almost had out-of-town visitors with less than a week’s notice during a crazy busy time, but suddenly was without my normal platform to vent. I got over the flu only to end up vomiting at two in the morning with no place to scream about it. I was provided a discount on my house closing when the attorney found out that I tweet a lot (NO. REALLY!!). But despite these somewhat alarming urges to share on Facebook, in general the experience was positive. It was kind of nice to not have thirty opinions in response to every thought in my head. And as much as I love my friends, I am probably a happier person if I don’t know quite so much about quite so many people.
So tell me…could you log out of Facebook for a few days? A week? Longer?