Learning to live without Facebook

Last month we lunched with my old college roommate Lou and his wife Maribeth.

Having lost touch, Lou and I reunited through Facebook. They were here attending a wedding, and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together.

Facebook has allowed me to re-establish friendships with many people from throughout my life. My daily presence there has ensured I’m current on birthday greetings, photographs, and many milestones that would have otherwise been overlooked.

I’ve become a Facebook-aholic, unable to turn on my phone without checking for status updates.

I’ll talk with friends, forgetting that comments made in that environment are shouted to the world. Strangers abruptly interject nasty comments, and I regularly find myself in unproductive debates with people who delight in tormenting me. They rarely want to participate in productive conversations.

Until now I’d forgotten Weinberg’s First Rule: “Never argue with an idiot.”

Then an online friend with whom I’ve always disagreed politically made disparaging personal comments for no reason. I tried joking to deflect the hostility…but no luck.

My bride observed how my stress level rose considerably when I’m on Facebook. It was having a negative effect on my relationships, creativity, and sleep patterns.

Something was going to have to give.

My bride’s suggestion of a week’s hiatus from Facebook was just the tonic I needed. A second week away and I felt like I’d been on vacation.

That was three weeks ago.

Still, I must post materials and place advertising on Facebook. The question: how to inoculate yourself to that swamp?

My solution: dash in, post what I must, and quickly leave. A fast birthday greeting here and there…and I’m gone. No dialogue. No diatribe. No ulcer.

Trying times bring out the best…and the worst…in people. But what I see as the best may be to you the worst.

I’m hardly abdicating my responsibility as a citizen and am happy to have political discussions any time. If you want to have a respectful, responsible debate about the state of the world, I invite it.

But nevermore will I be bait for a troll who seeks to distract me from being creative and productive at work. Facebook is the time-sucker I’ve always heard, and I’m keeping my focus on my clients and my business…where it belongs.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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