Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run

October
31,
2011

I'm a social networker. My entire life is online and has been since I was 19 - what feels like since the beginning of time. Twitter & Facebook, my website, DailyMile, Gmail, GoogleTalk... everything. I am online all day every day. I enjoy a day off here and there to refocus but generally I am either on my phone or on my MacBook Pro getting work done or socializing. I've had my business since I was 20. I've watched it evolve and grow into a very social place. I love that social place.

First, I was on MySpace, then Friendster, then Facebook came out to more than just a few elite colleges & I jumped on. Facebook has helped me keep in touch with people who I lived near on both coasts, people who picked on me in high school, and people who I've wanted to cultivate close friendships with, along with all of my friends and colleagues that I wish happy birthday to once a year.

Today, I quit Facebook.

Everyone thinks about doing it from time to time but then they remember that their grandma keeps track of them that way and can't pull the trigger. I have thought about it many times but never could do it. I wanted to but felt compelled to keep in touch with the over 500 people I was 'friends' with. Until I went to TEDxMidAtlantic.

One of the speakers, Rebecca Renard, is a librarian in DC and gave a talk on teens and their need to give love. She started talking about how she would post an update on Facebook and instead of waiting until the next day to see if anyone liked it, she'd jump on 2 minutes later in hopes of positive feedback. While everyone laughed, I realized that I am the same way. I don't even realize it. After tweeting that, one of my fellow attendees tweeted that he quit Facebook 3 years ago and has never looked back. This stopped me in my tracks.

Backing up a little, Sisarina has implemented an almost weekly No Talking Tuesday policy. We shut down all forms of communication except email and get a LOT of work done. We all look forward to this day. I didn't realize how often I open my Safari to find my preloaded Facebook wall to see what people said about my post and then get sucked into everyone's pictures and updates until we started No Talking Tuesday. I know I have to be social during the work day but I realized that I spend a LOT of time getting sucked into it. I click that Safari window that holds Facebook and my personal Gmail about 100x a day. How? Because I have social ADD.

Being an entrepreneur, I don't have a lot of time to waste. Another TEDxMidAtlantic talk gave a lot of insight into how much time we have and how much we have to budget in that time. He explained how each of us has a suitcase that equals our budget. This can be money or time. If we have a small suitcase, we have to remove things from it so we can fit in other things. Since we already have only the things required, we have to make sure the sacrifice is a good one to replace it. If we have a large suitcase, we just throw stuff in it & leave some room for other things but we don't think about that.

Facebook is what I removed. I have a very small suitcase of time. I have a LOT of things crammed into a very small amount of time. Between running a very busy business and a very busy life, Facebook is not something that're required. I have incredible friends that I chat with on IM or text or even the ancient email everyone thinks is disappearing. My friends will always remain my friends, my colleagues will continue to be great colleagues. I'll see my friends as normal but I'll say "so, what's going on in life?" and really not know the answer.

I'm not saying here that everyone should jump the Facebook ship. I'm also not saying I want you to come to my website all the time and find out what's up in my life. All I'm saying is that I am too easily absorbed by Facebook and hope that you'll text me to say hi instead.

Happy Facebooking!

*photo credit: Teresa Thomas (thanks for documenting my last moment on Facebook)

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