OMG ! 9 years on Facebook. It all started with a simple update “is downloading i/e 8.1” , I mean really IE even it’s year 2008. But that also means orkut account was still active and testimonials were “THE” thing.
But there were “no friends” and then Zynga launched Farmville. Farmville to Facebook was like talking tom or angry bird to Android. Perfect example of a add on driving the larger product. They both fuelled each others growth and complimented each other perfectly.
And suddenly friend count soared to 500+ with request from your colleague’s wife’s mother’s phew! which where happily accepted. They help you water your farms , extend helping hand and help you earn some +XP points. It was an addiction across and everyone was sharing cows , goats and converting ugly ducklings to swans. I retired from the game in Nov 2009 with a dream retirement home with forest estate , poultry farms , private circus and hot air ballon for occasional romantic rides.
(Click on image above for full view)
I didn’t realize then deleting one app can generate such a backlash and loss in friends but gain of real time. All of the sudden fight with my wife over withering crops just vanished and we have time to water our little kitchen garden.
Then there was a transition and Facebook was no longer the social network. It got embedded deep into my work and the life revolved around decoding and differentiating between Facebook like and Facebook page , privacy policies , facebook apps, feature update, Social plugins and finally to Facebook Connect Button. A game changer and winner in all ways and facebook was never personal again.
With the new wave of mobile internet and facebook penetration, everyone is connected ( Really !!!). You have random people on friend list who don’t greet while crossing each other but spam you with “dekhte hi like karen” , “1 like is 100 salute” , “1 comment is like 100 slaps” images. Your wall is filled religious and political crude jokes, if you consider them jokes. You spend hours reading brand promotions and random news feeds.
A notification beeps on mobile and PC simultaneously and you check frantically to realize a friend of friend has liked a month old status on some post buried deep down memory lane. you can never get a right concoction of privacy settings or news feed. Off late I felt that it has not only become an addiction but distraction from routine. So I took a challenge , to keep myself away from facebook for one month and see if I can survive this. But at the same time as internet product manager and avid fan of internet tech I can’t really do away with it completely. Also the nature of my work don’t allow me to deactivate or delete the account completely (Step by step process ) as it is linked to multiple work related applications. Also its a necessary to be in sync with what is one of the largest internet company is doing to keep users engaged.
Its only 2 days of not checking my facebook account and I’m one permanent browser tab and two apps (Facebook & Messenger) less on mobile. So technically my facebook account is not deactivated or deleted but its dormat for any personal activity. Few observations :
a. Life has not changed drastically at-least work not effected in any ways. Did it increase productivity ?
b. Time spend on Quora increased by 3X ; taking nicotine gum to reduce withdrawal symptoms after quit smoking
c. No more information overload on pointless political dramas ; de-amplify noise.
d. Wrote a blog post after so long.
e. Most important, Phone battery last longer. I should change post title to this for better SEO score.
Only thing seems to be missing is some genuine update of long lost friends in far lands, but think it’s time to pick up the phone and call them up.
But nothing is permanent and so is this self imposed ban. So keep calm and I’ll be back on June 17, 2016 and the narcissist in me would love to see following on login. Not sure how many request I’ll approve knowing that rejecting “friend request” or “unfriending” someone is considered blasphemy in Fb world 😉
PS: The setting of this blog will post this to my all social networks including Facebook (go ahead like & share it). BTW I am still reachable on whatsapp for all forwards , jokes, good morning / suprabhaat messages. Feel free to add me to all random groups.