Tiny-Small hugging a stuffed dog.

My Besties Are Going AWOL From Social Media


My besties are going AWOL from social media. They are getting helicopter’d off this Internet island left and right. I am standing her waving as they run off into their “real” lives. By “real” lives I mean they are spending time with people in the flesh and doing stuff that does not require typing. I’d forgotten that even existed. I am kidding of course. I mean, I do have a two-year old that keeps me very grounded in the real world with potty training, building forts and washing a million loads of laundry each week. I am also slightly prone to exaggeration, but to be fair there is A LOT of laundry. There is also, usually, a lot of typing and chatting over nonsense like whether or not Adam Levine will ever follow my blog friend back on Twitter or whether or not I should give Tiny-Small a sticker for going potty next to the potty instead of inside the potty. These are not life changing events. These are just topics that keep me from facing my actual list of things to do. I am easily distracted.

Tiny-Small hugging a stuffed dog.
Plus, I have more time to spend with this girl (Tiny-Small hugging her stuffed dog that she named Barbara).

Mostly, my friends are taking breaks from Facebook. Some have actually deleted their accounts. I have to communicate with them by email which feels old-fashioned even though it really isn’t. It’s like hearing a song that was popular when you were in high school being played on the local, oldies radio station. Hopefully, at least a few of you still remember what a radio is. I have to admit, I kind of like the email exchanges. I have enough space to write lengthy philosophical observations and to share extensive personal information nobody probably wants to read. Email serves my wordy-ness well. I am reveling in my captive audience and unlimited character space. Given enough time, I may drive my friends right back to Facebook where I have to keep my interjections and introspections to a minimum. Only time will tell.

Still, I miss the give and take and smart, witty exchanges I had with my inner circle on Facebook. I miss the support and the moments of chit-chat I sometimes needed to recover from having my feelings hurt or when I need some honest feedback immediately because I am freaking out and being totally self-absorbed. They keep me in check. They remind me of my priorities and goals. They help me to laugh at myself. Friends are wonderful at diffusing a situation when diffusing is what you need the most. At the same time, with everyone on break I am forced to actually do work. Things are getting crossed off my “to-do” list. I signed up for Instagram. I joined some art communities. I learned how to make a Twitter newspaper. You can check that out here: Making Art 24-7. It’s my art paper generated from the people I have in my The Arts! Twitter list (If you are an artist and want to be on my list just send me a message on Twitter. I’ll add you to it).

I have also had more time to paint and to mess around with my website settings. I even had time to read blogs and leave comments yesterday. It was just like old times, when I first started blogging, before I had discovered the conversational aspects of social media. I have been less distracted by the little numbers on Facebook alerting me to new cat pictures being shared or messages about breast cancer awareness. The ping of an alert has lost its urgency. Maybe that is a good thing. Somehow, most of my besties going AWOL has forced me to be on a mini break too. I am kind of enjoying it.

Have you ever had this experience or deleted your Facebook account or another social media account? What was it like for you? Were you ever in my position where you became the last man standing? What was that like? Please feel free to over-share (you know I usually do).



24 thoughts on “My Besties Are Going AWOL From Social Media”

  1. I’m still here, too! I’ve been noticing a number of my friends doing the same, but the funny thing is within a week or so they’re back, especially if they are a writer. I guess people are so used to clicking on links to blog posts via social media that they don’t bother with email subscriptions. I suspect that those few who left and came right back noticed a huge drop in clicks through to their blogs/websites.

    Personally, I wish that I lived in a place where I actually had real life friends with whom to spend time — all my “real life” besties are scattered across the planet, literally. I’m thankful to social media that I can still be a part of their daily lives, albeit virtually. One day I hope to live somewhere closer to the people I love. Fingers crossed it’ll happen.

    1. I have the same problem. My friends are not here. I rely on the Internet to keep in touch. I subscribe to a lot of blogs with RSS and email. I miss a lot in social media. It probably has to do with the time difference since so many people I read or know are on the East coast.

  2. I’ve gone through several cycles of intense online socializing and withdrawals over the past 20 years. Honestly, friendship is friendship, where ever it is found. Most people stay in that outer circle, but the ones who become close friends remain so, even when you or they leave the venue where you met.

    1. That is true and I am discovering that email works just as well as Facebook. Living in a small town out in a rural area my daily human contact is often just my family. I am grateful for the Internet because it gives me a social outlet and a way to connect with people based on interests instead of just proximity.

  3. If there weren’t a few friends that I have no other means of communicating with other than facebook, I would totally get the heck out of there. It’s shown me sides of people that I would have rather never known about. But, I haven’t been able to pull the trigger yet. Maybe email really is just the way to go…

  4. I don’t mind social media too much. It shows patterns in society. I’ve met a ton of people through vending that I wouldn’t necessarily call or email but it’s nice to know what’s up with them. I try and use Facebook for networking. Yeah, I post an occasional cat picture but I balance it out with sharing friends’ websites and projects. We artists need to band together and social media can help. I know I’m always “available” which makes it looks like I’m staring at my computer instead of working but in reality, I’m painting away and listening to useful videos. I just keep the sites up so that if any of my friends want to chat or ask questions (I’ve been helping a few other painters improve) then I’m there. I hardly ever take time to go through the whole feed and see every meal picture and political meme. There are a handful of people that I may not see updates from and I’ll go to their pages specifically on occasion. Like everything else in life, social media can be useful as long as you keep a balance with the rest of your life.

  5. Of course I am the lamest of the lame. I made an FB page and then left it for dead one day later. It’s hard to keep up with all of this stuff but I have noticed over the past year that people seem to come and go…and then come back again. Distance makes the heart grow fonder? I tune in and out with no consistency whatsoever. But then when I do tune in it’s always fun to catch up and see what has transpired since my last visit.

    1. You are probably just a healthy social media consumer. You haven’t reached code red addiction level (yet). I have noticed when I am away for a few days and come back I don’t feel like I have missed very much. I think you have a good strategy!

  6. I am facebook addicted, obviously, and once I tried to stay offline as long as possible – just to check if I can do it. Turns out was not that hard BUT from that moment I appreciate the positive sides of facebook (or just any social networking website, fb is just an example). Distracting with new photos, people writing so much nonsense there or just pretending they have a better life – that’s the negative side. But I can communicate with all of my friends in one place, see their faces, know what they are up to – it is so much help when I am far away from them (and I am always far away from someone – when I am in UK I miss my Polish friends, when I am in Poland I miss my UK friends, and when I am some place else I miss everyone).

    1. I agree. It has some amazing benefits for me as well. I have reconnected with old friends (one who is taking a break…shaking my fist in her general direction :)) and made new friends. I do like the pictures and seeing kids grow up. I don’t have that many people in my feed pretending their lives are better than they really are. Or, if I do then I don’t know it! I am often impressed with people. I have a friend who cooks the most amazing dinner for her families and I am in awe of her. She is in awe of my painting. We both have messy houses! I guess we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, but that is what makes people interesting.

  7. A thought provoking post.

    I was very late to FB, only getting an account a year and a bit ago, and now I don’t really use it much. I think I missed the heyday of it and don’t quite understand its usefulness. And then one of my New Years resolutions was to start a Twitter account, but so far it’s a fail. I did start a Pinterest account last month and just got an email note yesterday saying that I hadn’t done anything yet, and suggesting some things I might like to do, like make a board. And I have no cell phone therefore no Instagram.

    So while you and your friends are moving away, I am thinking I am missing something by not being involved. One thing I know I love is blogging and reading and commenting on other blogs. Now, that I have found very interesting and engaging. And since I’m not doing the rest, I have time to do it!

    1. I think that is such a great example of using technology in the way you want to and in a way that works for you. None of us have time to use all of it. I like Twitter for having conversations and Pinterest for collecting ideas. I had a Pinterest account for about 9 months before I figured out how it might help me! I had Twitter for over a year before I used it. I like the engagement on blogs too and you are so right…I have way less time to read them with all of these pages to manage!

  8. I’ve taken breaks, but I prefer to find balance instead of fasting. I do get a lot of positives from social media. But I need to learn to put down the screens more when my family is home.

  9. since my accounts are blog-related, I view social media from that perspective. I enjoy interacting with my blog buddies online (I mean, that’s the only way since most of us are miles apart) and I don’t feel obligated to read minutely about their lives! I rarely visit my accounts more than 2 times a day.

    1. You have it down well. That is what I would like to do eventually. Right now I am learning so many new things that it is easy to just pop in several times during the day. It can be fun. I guess it is all about finding that balance that works for you!

      I agree…social media is a tool…especially for bloggers!

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