Like it, love it or loathe it, we have all become slaves to Facebook. But not one of us actually uses the platform to its full capacity. So how has it become a necessity for so many of us? Why are we so sucked into the Zuckerberg empire?

Facebook FOMO.

We spend hours and hours online, looking at messages, checking our Facebook feeds for new posts, in our attempt to be social and stay connected. We get frustrated and annoyed by its dominance in our lives – the invasiveness, the spying, the addiction to other people’s personal and mostly mundane lives. But we keep going back for more.

I’ve had enough of Facebook, it’s a waste of time. I’m going to deactivate my account. Wait, I need to wait until after that event I was invited to; if I leave then people won’t be able to find me; I’ll put this post up, then I’ll stop.

There’s always some excuse.

Truth? We fear missing out.

Breaking the habit.

A few years ago I was working at an agency as a social media account manager. Day in, day out I would be on Facebook; posting, checking the engagement, interacting with other users, commenting on posts and getting notification after notification from the variety of social platforms that I managed, not just Facebook. It got tiring.

When I left the job I was saturated, worn out and somewhat jaded by the social media ‘revolution’. I was in need of a social media detox. I needed to detach from social media and physically sever my ties so I deactivated my personal Facebook account.

And guess what, the world didn’t come crashing down. It continued on and so did I.

Facebook alternatives.

The thing is when you loosen your grip on Facebook you realise how many other cool social media platforms are available.

In my Facebook timeout, I rediscovered some of the social profiles I’d forgotten about and the connections I’d made through them. Every platform is different and if you’re anything like me your networks on them will be completely different too.

The same thing applies to brands that are on social. Who are you targeting? Do you know where they hang out? Your audience might not even be on Facebook (shock horror!) they might be over on Pinterest or Snapchat.

Social media is more than just being present on the channels, it needs to be a part of your overall marketing strategy. There will be times when Facebook is not the right fit.

See what other things you can discover and connections you can make when you’re away from Facebook.

Social balance.

I’m not saying you should chuck it all in. If Facebook is working for you and your brand then that is awesome, kudos to you. But if you’re not getting traction on Facebook then maybe you should step outside the Zuckerberg bubble and see if another social platform is better suited to you.

In life, we wear different hats for different situations, so it is only fitting that we choose that social platform to match the hat. Your ‘career networking hat’ might not be taken so well in the informal conversations on Snapchat, and you might want to avoid donning your ‘chillaxing at home hat’ and sharing photos of your puppy with your LinkedIn network.

The beauty of variety is that we can choose the social platform that has the features which best suit our needs. It’s not a crime to not be on Facebook.

 

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