What happens when you disconnect Facebook and own a secret Blog?

Last year in August, I stopped writing on this blog. There were multiple reasons on why I had stopped publishing here.

In a year’s time then, I also performed a couple of other small experiments.
  • 1) Facebook was reduced to a very functional-only network/tool for me, largely to get connected with new people I had to reach out to in the new country. This meant many of the people I emotionally connect with were not able to reach me on it. 
  • 2) I did stop writing from August onto the end of last year. In January of this year I started with an anonymous blog. The idea was to try it out for six months.
  • 3) I stopped having a mobile Internet service on my Smartphone since September last year
The downtime allowed me to think why exactly am I on any network at all. And what purposes do they serve- me personally.

Learnings after the jump:

  • 1) I use Twitter extensively for work, ideas, news and collaboration- so that I never really got out from.
  • 2) Lack of Facebook increased my dependency on Whatsapp, but I still missed the community feel that Facebook is able to generate. The numbers and the ‘group’ feature makes a difference and sometimes enhances the ability to create new content, and communicate more.
  • 3) The small UI on my phone ensured I deleted Whatsapp messages almost as soon as they arrived. They held no permanency, like Facebook posts do. Even though they were more personal.
  • 4) I started seeing how new people use Facebook. Absence of the usual comfort circle immediately led to exposure only to the new in my timeline. Especially with my movement into a new city, I realised how new people almost seem to make all their connects through Facebook because it is just practical. It really is the new bar where you exchange numbers. I met people at the bar.
  • 5) I started learning how to use maps and my lost sense of direction while finding new places. I realised I could live without  a phone. In fact I often forget it at home these days
  • 6) The secrecy of the blog made me feel like a geek. But I realised that the reason I enjoyed blogging (writing is different) was the interaction that came with it. I can’t do it anonymously. I would like to own up what I say. I wasn’t inspired to create more content.
  • 7) Posterous died and with it many of my posts that didn’t have a back-up. Almost a wake-up call to aggregate all my online data into one place. My secret Blog has also been imported so you do see posts from 2013 from before.
Now, I feel like a disconnectivity geek. One could be artsy about everything.
Did you ever try a long term online-disconnect?


8 comments
  1. wow! thanks PnP, I’ve heard that too- ‘I saw it on Facebook’ amuses me. I sometimes use that line as well. Hadn’t thought deeply about it so, thanks for sharing 🙂 and hopefully we get to share a Muechner Burger soon !

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! I realized this week that I WASTE (not spend) entirely way too many hours on Facebook. I use it for my blog but I also use it personally. What irritates me is that I have lost contact with many international friends because of Facebook. Not from my end – I am actually really good at maintaining contact per email or postcards or snail mail – but I had a few friends tell me recently “oh yea I read that on Facebook”. Seriously? Get off facebook and call a friend. Get off facebook and send them an email and ask them how they are doing instead of stalking their profile to see where they most recently checked in! The icing on the cake was that last week my husband and I went to dinner in Munich and sat next to a couple that didn’t talk to each other the ENTIRE time – both were on their respective iPhones. Right there I vowed to get off of my personal facebook account and maintain it only for communicating via my Blog! I also bought some postcards from Munich today – a city I live in but I sent a few friends a handwritten note to say hi instead of posting virtually. I want to make a better effort at keeping personal contact before we all get lost in a virtual world that can’t communicate “properly” anymore!
    When you run any sort of online business or hobby its really HARD to disconnect! My problem is disconnecting my personal life from my business life, online! in any case, great post and thanks for the new ideas and also the boost to get offline 🙂

  3. I have not tried long term (not more than 10 days) but I think I can manage it. Though mostly I would miss out reading blogs and twitter (my source of daily news).
    Apart from that I still do not use a smart phone hence not on whatsapp or constantly connected to emails/fb/twitter. This also gives me the freedom to enjoy the outside more without the constant need to check/tweet/ig my experiences.

  4. I haven’t tried it … but I have realized I am not dependent on it at all. i leave my phone at home on daily basis. I do not check my blog or Facebook much over the weekend. It is a constant struggle but I would like to believe I have finally managed to strike a balance.

    P.S. Welcome Back! Though for me you never went any where (;

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