I’m a huge fan of social media. It is fun to connect to new people and read curated content.
But, I’ve decided that, over time, Facebook has become less relevant in my life. I hate saying that since my classmate Sheryl Sandberg is the COO, and I owe her for coming to speak in Boston, but that’s the truth.
Privacy: I post some family pictures, and some members of my family are pretty sensitive about it. So, I yesterday developed a sub-category friends’ list for family, to which I can post pictures to a narrow circle. But, it dawned on me that I’m now spending a lot of time managing my Facebook account. Which, leads me to the next point.
Time: I don’t have much of it. I’m already on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. I devote much time to a job I love. I blog. I cook on the weekends for the family. I exercise daily. As a spouse, father, and entrepreneur, I don’t have much time. Something has to give. Enough.
Diminishing returns: Facebook has hit a saturation point in my cohort. Every classmate or close friend, who would have joined Facebook, seems to have done so already. I make/receive a new friend request maybe once a month.
Who is a true “friend”?: I think family and close friends are pretty clear. But, someone whom you’ve not seen since first grade? A person you met once at a business conference? And, if you ignore a “friend request” or “un-friend” them later, are you then accidentally insulting them?
Social validation: I’ve worked hard to reduce my reliance on social affirmation and validation. Being a contrarian is a key part of being a good VC, and I long ago promised to live a life of personal authenticity. I think a modicum of validation is OK, but I found that I was getting “hooked” on people’s “likes.” I don’t think that’s healthy.
Twitter: Has been great. Very rapid response rate. High growth of followers. Incredible flow of curated content. In fact, traffic to my blog via Twitter dwarfs Facebook. Also, nearly everyone with whom I interact frequently on Facebook is also on Twitter. They are sharing largely the same content. So, huge overlap. Twitter has been a better use of time.
So, going forward, I’m spending much less time on Facebook. In fact, I’m going to delete it from my mobile devices and will only check it almost-never.
I’m breaking up with you, Facebook. You’ve helped me connect with so many great people, which I appreciate. But, we can still be Friends, right?