On June 10, 2013, I decided that my Facebook addiction had gone too far.
Instead of spending time with family or getting out of the house, I was continuously sucked into the downward blue-and-white scrolling of the insanely popular social media site.
As a blogger who maintains several different pages, I was constantly checking new updates, searching for social media parties, and looking for content to share. If I spent several hours a day obsessively Facebooking, I could generate some major traffic boosts to my food blog‘s page.
But, that meant I spent hours on my days off of work doing things to watch numbers increase. Basically, I was supplementing my real life with an artificial one so I felt less bored and lonely.
That’s a painful truth to admit. Sure, I justify it as “blog work,” but it was also “sad, bored Rachael work.” The more it leaned towards the latter, the more I knew it was time to go.
So, I finished up a few email relays I had going, sent out a goodbye, and logged off (suspending your account is really about the same as logging off).
The worst part of the entire experience was teaching myself to let go. Why? The second my “I’m leaving” status went live: my numbers dropped.
Not just a little, but a lot. It was like I said “I step on puppy tails and I like it,” not, “hey, I’m moving across the country and going crazy with social media addiction.”
That hurt my feelings (boo, a blogger with feelings!) because it felt like my readers were such fair-weather, one-sided friends that they disappeared if I needed time for myself.
Blogging really is a going-out-of-your-way process. Sure, it might seem like I’m just spewing out content, but I’m actually doing an insane amount of leg work, not including creating and preparing recipes, photographs, posts, and more. It can very easily be a full-time job if I don’t keep it in check.
So, the crux of the emotional pain was that people didn’t want me around anymore if I wasn’t giving them something for free, and that hurt.
Over a month into this little experiment, that pain went away completely. Who cares if they left? That’s not my core readership. My core readers actually comment MORE on my individual posts and I still get traffic from people sharing my updates on their Facebook pages. My real audience understands and, even more, supports my choice.
I blog more, spend more time on the little details, and have noticed a drastic spike in affiliate sales and advertising fees. Yes, when I cut off Facebook, I doubled my Amazon Associates earnings.
That’s probably not a direct correlation, but still, I wake up in the morning and my numbers continue to increase even without the obsessive Facebook stalking.
Do you have a Facebook problem?
Promise you can “quit anytime,” you might.
“Just want to scroll one more page,” you definitely do.
Talk about your statuses and comments in ordinary conversation, you need a break.
Will it kill your numbers?
Not necessarily. Even if it does, does it matter? Would you rather have a high Like count or increased traffic and revenue? What about a little more breathing room in your life? That sounds pretty sweet to me.
The moral of the story: take care of yourself.
Do what you need to do. If you want or need time away from Facebook, go for it. People will leave, but those who do are not really your core readership.
If you have more time for life, you’ll feel more relaxed and refreshed, you’ll write better content, and your blog will improve.
Or, you’ll enjoy being alive, stop worrying about the little details, and have fun a while.
Either way, you CAN be a blogger and stay off Facebook. And it isn’t even the slightest bit of a nail in the coffin.
What do you think? Would you ever leave your Facebook page unattended for a while? Are you happy with the amount of time you spend on Facebook? Would you ever be willing to try a brief Facebook break? Why or why not?