Updated: Sep 8, 2022
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My 18 Year Journey with Facebook Comes to an End
It was 2004. I was sitting at a computer in the old University of North Florida library under the fluorescent lights. I was cruising my MySpace profile when a fellow student looked over my shoulder and said, “Hey, you should check out this new website called Facebook.”
I logged in with my .edu e-mail address and the rest was history.
Eighteen years later, I told my husband, Franck, during one of our many neighborhood dog walks that I was “over” Facebook and Instagram and what it had done to divide the United States and commercialize our private conversations into targeted ads.
Last week, I was scrolling Instagram and suddenly, I felt a strange sensation that I can only describe as a drain occurring in my body. Whatever energy that I had to open up the app and looked at it just disappeared. I literally didn’t “feel” the need to look at it anymore. So, I dis-activated my profile and uninstalled the app.
Fast forward to this week. I accidentally logged into my original Facebook account. I logged back out, went to my current account, and conducted my usual affairs. My final post mentioned my new forum where I could discuss my books, web series, online course and interviews with interested friends and readers.
Facebook Cancelled Me
The next day, I opened the Facebook app on my phone and received a notification that my account had been disabled for a “violation of Facebook terms and agreements”. The violation was having two accounts in my name. The app instructed me to follow the directions to restore my account. In fact, there was nothing at all that allowed me to do that. I tried talking to someone via the chat bot, but the person said to click on a phantom blue button that didn’t exist. It said to put in my phone number to restore my account, but no recovery text message came.
After 30 minutes of frustration, I realized, “This is it. The end of the road.“
My 18 year journey with Facebook is over. How it ended was perfect. There is no way for me to create a new account. There is no way to restore it because of how poorly Facebook is designed to serve people when they have real problems.
How Facebook IS Incompatible with The World I Want To Create
Facebook isn’t aligned with my value system. Facebook isn’t aligned with the reality I want to create.
The greater truth is…
The world conformed itself to my word.
The world gave me what I asked for.
All in a way that I couldn’t even orchestrate.
Knowing myself, I don’t think that I would have just quit Facebook cold turkey without taking some time to do so. I have lots of friends all over the world that I like to stay in contact. But, I know these people love me no matter what. So, in the greater scheme of things, having a Facebook to maintain a connection with my friends and family really isn’t essential.
There are many other ways of connecting with people. How Facebook is commonly used is incompatible with my values and business strategy.
I just can’t see myself spending hours on the computer coming up with “content” to get engagement.
I can’t rage bait people because rage isn’t a part of my emotional vocabulary and I have no interest in upsetting people for clicks, likes, shares, and comments.
I’m not here to start debates, argue, share their opinion on things that have little to no impact on their real lives.
I won’t use advertising to create click funnels that charge too much for online courses that give little to no value.
I won’t advertise - period. In their scheme, if I don’t pay, I don’t play.
The facts were:
Facebook didn’t add anything to my bottom line. I didn’t sell books or materials through Facebook.
I never got coaching clients out of Facebook. I got coaching clients through Malakye.com and through my word-of-mouth network.
I had more appropriate engagement on Malakye.com and LinkedIn Because those are the places where people are actively seeking to improve their wealth and happiness. Facebook is a distraction machine.
One client/friend told me, “You’re anti-social media. You’re all about personal connections.” It was clear that my brand is about real world connections rather than social media engagement.
You Can Be Successful without Facebook
I always tell people who are trying to build a brand - you can be successful offline without having to be successful online.
The internet is a tool to showcase what you do, who you are, and how you help. It’s an interface for people from all corners of the globe to find you and connect with you. But the end goal is a real, personal connection - because, at the end of the day, that’s where business happens: in the real world.
I help you to make a real world connection in your career and business in my job search and career change workbook: It Pays To Be You.
I show you that you don’t even need to use social media to create a professional experience that is right for you.
I teach you skills that will help you gain the consciousness, creativity, confidence, and connectivity necessary to engage with people in real world situations that increase your sense of personal satisfaction and improve your own bottom line.
Of course, if Facebook and Instagram are giving you what you want out of life, then keep using the services. This isn’t a bash at Facebook or Instagram at all. Many people find these services as a tool to grow their career, business, and personal connections.
Facebook simply became incompatible with the life I want to live. I want to see the real world in real time, not through a camera or a screen. I already look at the computer enough in between law school, my business meetings with people around the world, and writing my books and blogs. I’m all “screened out”.
Your Turn: Tell Me Your Experience with Facebook
Do you still use Facebook?
Do you use it to grow your business or expand your brand?
What about Facebook do you find useful?
What about Facebook do you find toxic, unsafe, or unhealthy?
Let me know in the comments - join me in the forum to discuss alternative ways to grow a brand online without using Facebook.
Today, I discovered that they reinstated my Facebook account. Too little too late. Thanks for all the memories, Facebook. It was fun while it lasted.