Posted on 10 September 2017
Just over four months ago I decided to make a second Facebook profile to use on a professional level. You can read more about why here, but a quick summary is:
I also promised that I would follow-up with some thoughts and my first one is I cannot believe it took me this long to do it.
It is really nice to have work separated from home
The first thing I did after creating the professional profile was go to my personal profile and leave every group, unfollow every page and unfriend everyone that I was only connected with for work-related reasons.
And, oh man, is it great. There are a lot of ways you could solve the issues I was having like uninstalling Facebook from your phone or adjusting notifications or whatever but this worked for me. Also I feel WAAAAAAY better when I join a community group and start asking questions with the intention of using that information for reporting purposes — I still clarify it, but it just feels way more explicit now that my name is “Andrew Kurjata – Journalist” everywhere I post.
Also, the weekend comes and it is just like my work email — out of sight, out of mind. No more work related messages popping up while I’m supposed to be not working (for the most part, I am still working on work/life balance but this has definitely helped).
It also made it clear to me how awful some aspects of Facebook really are
The other thing that doing this has clarified for me is seeing just how bad Facebook is in some ways. For literally years I thought the reason I was constantly getting brand-related posts and missing updates from my sister was because the way I was using Facebook was wrong– all the pages and groups and stuff I liked was the reason my notifications and newsfeed felt so… stressful.
Turns out this isn’t true– Facebook is actually just kind of terrible.
After carefully culling my friends list and then making an even smaller group of family and close friends who I wanted to see turn up in my newsfeed, I *still* get a bunch of advertising and posts far disconnected from what I want, which is updates from friends and family.
Instead of notifications about random groups I now get them about so-and-so liking such-and-such a page and constant pestering to add new people to my friends list– people I’ve never met but they are a friend of a friend or whatever.
I had a vision that once I made my personal Facebook more ~personal~ that it would also feel more personal because it would just be nice notes and not a bunch of ads. If anything, the advertising is even *more* apparent now.
The result is I’m using Facebook on a personal level much less, because it has become very clear that the problems I have with it are not because I’m doing something wrong, but because Facebook is designed in a way that does not appeal to me.1
I should mention a couple of things that aren’t great. One is you can’t really be logged into messenger from two accounts at once except on separate devices. I often will get messages to my personal account during the day that are somewhat pertinent while I’m logged into my professional one. The solution, I guess, is to try and get people to chat with me elsewhere, but I’d also like it if less people were on Facebook, so.
Also some things I’m not super sure about where to post– like this write-up, for example. I’ll probably wind up putting it on both my accounts which sucks for people who are friends with both but idk whatcha gonna do ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also I fear that one day Facebook will find my account and tell me it is a *brand* and I will have to convert it to a page and I will feel stupid about it, but until then here we are.
I mean I dunno it’s just me but I love it and I suspect if you’ve *considered* making a separate Facebook account for reasons at all similar to why I have you will probably love it, too.
The thing that’s especially frustrating about this is some things Facebook does are actually really great. Events, for one. Messaging is pretty good, although I would like a better way to search. And their ‘memories’ feature is beautiful and surfaces stuff I do like to see- human connections. Unfortunately the day-to-day just feels broken. ↩
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