I Wanted to Share That I’m Not Sharing

I deactivated Facebook.

I haven’t posted a tweet in ten days.

I wanted to share that I deactivated Facebook, that I hadn’t posted a tweet in ten days.

But I don’t have anywhere left to do that.

So here I am.

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including WordPress.com.

48 thoughts on “I Wanted to Share That I’m Not Sharing

  1. Hi Cheri
    I have to devote few hours daily on facebook and twitter posting stuff related to my startup. It really sucks when my girlfriend thinks that I am chatting with another women. I think its spoinling my relationship.

  2. Hi Cheri,

    I started recently to use FB and I am thinking about doing the same, I have the impression that it is transforming me in a addicted voyeur!
    I still think that it can be an useful instrument, but it is a very dangerous one. This morning I stopped following friends and acquaintances.
    Did you manage to maintain your resolution?


    1. Hi Alessandro — I had deactivated and stayed off of Facebook for well over a year, and it was great. A few months ago, I created a new account and am connected to a dozen close friends and a few family members only, which is a good compromise for now. I agree it’s useful, especially since people nowadays tell others about major things in their lives mostly through broadcasting — I’ve missed out on a lot of things (for example, I didn’t know that a friend had died, or that my cousin was pregnant, or that there was a big family party that I missed — all because I wasn’t on Facebook). So, I check it a few times a week to get a glimpse of what’s going on, but don’t actively post or comment otherwise.

  3. I’m with you whole-heartedly, having given up on Facebook a couple years ago, and very recently, on most other Social Media (though not in the technical way that I did with Facebook), with the solitary exception of my Blog. It has worked out fine for me, and I hope it does the same for you. I didn’t actually retain the Blog, it was my plan all along to start the page in replacement of the other avenues that just weren’t working for me at all. With a Blog, and especially one in which I write a fair number of longreads, I feel more connected to actual writing, and less like an ad exec trying to sell a product in less than 100 words. I can do what matters most to me which is communicate a message to others, a message that I feel is important enough to be worth communicating in the first place, and in a form that is excellent practice at honing an art that I have long desired to pursue full-time. I could say I wish I had done it at your age, but lacking computers back then, well you get my point. Anyway, enjoy your new life, and as one of your many, many fans, let me just say, I’m still hoping to see some great writing at some future date that will brighten my heart when I notice your name at the bottom of the page. God bless, and I’ll read you later.

  4. This sums it all up for me:

    A new app is launching which wants to focus on “The world offline rather than online.”
    Um sorry, you mean just the world? WTF is the ‘offline world’ ? Yip, ‘online’ has become the world for most people. it may have benefits, but for the most part, i feel that it has made us shallow, obsessive and disconnected.

    I just read ‘A Moveable Feast’ by Hemingway on his early days as a writer (Yes, a real book, read in the offline world) THAT is what writing is, THAT is where it comes from. Not from incessantly checking our stats and social media like addicted hamsters on the wheel.

  5. it’s easy to drift away and reacquaint oneself to other gratifying activities that don’t involve a keyboard and monitor. It’s all about keeping balance with change.

  6. Oh wow, can you share another update on what happens next? I feel like doing what you’re doing, too, but I haven’t been blogging either. Having no outlet will drive me crazy!!!

    1. Thanks for your comment — so, funny that you mention this, because it has felt a bit weird not having an outlet for those short updates/quick bursts on FB and Twitter.

      But I’ve realized that life goes on without the ever-present lens into the lives of everyone, day after day, and while it’s taken some time getting used to, I like *not* knowing what other people are doing, and where they are, at every moment of the day.

      In terms of not having an outlet…that’s something I still need to work on. I’ve been traveling/on a work trip the past week, though want to find some time to share some pics/write about some things.

  7. Good for you for trying to step back and impose helpful and healthful limits on your social media activity. People ought to choose when and where to wade into the data stream.

    Especially with you as a writer needing time for reflection, you might be interested in a brand new book about the Internet and solitude [uncompensated promotion for a book I haven’t read]: The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection (http://www.endofabsence.com/) by Michael Harris. He’s a writer in his mid-30s and took a month off of all Internet stuff while writing the book.

    Good luck with your experiment.

  8. I just signed up for Facebook. Yeah, after having zero interest in doing so ever, I just signed up. Honestly, the only reason I did was because my Dear Husband pointed out that since I’ve started my own business, I should set up a corporate page for it — just to head off the possibility of Someone Else doing so for me.

    Apparently you can’t set up a corporate page without having a personal account. Crap. So, yeah, I’m now on Facebook. Maybe I should write a blog post about that, once I’ve finished banging my head against my desk.

  9. I’m always tempted to delete the consuming source of procrastination that is FaceBook. But then it has won. It most definitely has its benefits. I’m locked on a perpetual battle to take advantage of these without being completely dominated by its dire distraction.

    So far I’m losing. But I haven’t lost.

  10. So interesting seeing people removing themselves from fb. I’m actively going the other way and this week linked my blog to fb. Eek! When I started the blog 3 years ago I wanted to be anonymous. Now I want people to read it I had to do a list cleanup first and was interesting to see who I excluded. Rewarding to see my real lie friends read the blog for the first time and enjoy it! Thanks fb, I guess.

    1. Leaving Facebook is certainly the right step for me at the moment — I’m in no way saying it’s the “right” thing to do, as it won’t make sense for everyone, and we all have different relationships to our online tools and technology. I’ve gone through numerous deletion cycles over the past decade when it comes to social networks — I don’t remember how many times I deleted (and reactivated) my Friendster and MySpace accounts…and how many times I’ve already deleted/deactivated my Facebook profile over the years.

      We’ll see how this lapse goes 🙂

      1. Hello everyone.
        I’m new in this platform and I am really glad I found this post. I’ve been trying to delete my FB account (to focus on my REAL life; my writing/reading) but since I just moved from my hometown I have this idea of keeping my account only to be in touch with my folks, although I am conscious that I keep wasting my time scrolling up and down. So I always get to the same conclusion: if someone wants to know your life status, they will do it like in the old days (mail, e-mail, or text).
        So I think I’ve found the “guts” now that I read all of your responses to Cheri’s post. Tomorrow morning Mr. Zuckerberg will lose one of his millions of users.
        (I apologize for my grammar mistakes… I’m still learning the language!)


    1. Hi there! It’s not that Facebook and Twitter are time suckers; it’s — and I hesitate to use this phrase — general digital fatigue, especially with Facebook. Permanent connectedness is an amazing thing, but there’s something sad about always knowing what others are doing. I’ve isolated myself from very close friends, simply because I’d believed they were always there. That bothers me, and I’d like to put some effort in reaching out, picking up the phone, and having real conversations with friends again.

      1. I see 🙂 I have experienced that fatique too. I guess that’s what people call “information overload”? In fact there was a time when I was completely off Facebook just because of that.

        Now I’m back there with a new profile, but I try not to spend too much time there. It’s much more rewarding to meet friends in the real world 😀

  11. It’s crazy how we’re obsessed with sharing what we’ve done online, even when ‘that thing’ is stopping sharing about your personal life in another place online…!

  12. Ohh good for you… I’m also thinking about getting rid of Facebook… it’s no longer a useful networking tool, just a bunch of crap that I don’t really need! Well done!

  13. Good for you. I’m taking the whole internet thing lightly now. I became addicted and Facebook and the internet blogs have become more like work to me instead of fun.

  14. Well, just be glad it’s still this way around: pretty sure in some near future it will be Facebook deactivating people.. 😉

    .. One could even argue this is already the case, as logging in to Facebook actually could be seen like a transition from being a real life person to a digital (=deactivated) entity…

    … but hey, let’s not get too serious, shall we…

  15. Good for you Cheri….I deactivated my Facebook over a year ago and I really do not miss it at all. I hate the drama and the political bs and people telling me what they had for lunch…as if I give a rat’s patooty! I don’t tweet much, but I have a Twitter account so I can post my blog to it. But that’s it! We love to hear your thoughts on here where we are ALL (ahem…well most…uhm…ok some of us are adults!) LOL! Hope you are having a good day! 😉

  16. One of the most interesting response to our changing world is the amount of sharing among people. As we trudge our way through new territories, it makes sense to feel uncertain about our navigation tools. I became a Facebook member many, many years after its beginning, and with mixed feelings. Keeping it fairly private with ‘friends’ sharing the same interest for children’s literature, I’ve managed to remain comfortable. It doesn’t mean that I am at ease with the ethics of Facebook. I think Tweeter would have been a good tool for me since I like to find titles and captions, but I realize that this is my blog that I favor above any other communication tools. Once, you wrote a great post about what your blog is for you. I still think that blogging is the most amazing communication change that has happened over the last decade. Some people have blogged since the very beginning. I admire them for the courage they showed when they jumped in the new waters. It took me longer, but since early 2010 I’ve been blogging, mostly for discipline. Without knowing (only virtually) my readers, I’ve felt the desire to improve the quality of my posts and have met people who share more with me than ‘real’ people. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have and don’t like my ‘real’ friends. But a blog, in my opinion, is the safest platform to express our interests, meet people who share them, and in my case a terrific way to improve my English. For all these reasons, I’m glad that you’ve decided to be here instead of there.

    1. I’m glad that you’ve decided to be here instead of there.

      Yes. I’m going to experiment with this — instead of sharing in bits across social platforms, I’ll try focusing here. Instead of sharing links on Twitter, and instead of short upgrades on Facebook, why not post all of that here, on my blog? Isn’t that what it’s for? (Still trying to move away from the “longer/thoughtful posts on the blog only” approach.)

      That said, it’s interesting reading recent “back to blogging movement” posts:



      Thanks, always, for your thoughtful comments.

      1. There’s an interesting comment by a reader named Kari on the Elizabeth Spiers post that might resonate with you (it did with me): “Yes to blogs staying personal and weird and creative works in progress — whatever you want it to be. Medium is just another mall.”

        Just wanted to share.

    1. I responded to a few comments in this thread re: why I deactivated Facebook — partly “deconnecting to reconnect” in a different way, and just realizing that that stream of updates had no value to me at all…

  17. I’m glad here you are. For a moment I panicked that like many a good blogger and sharer here on the interweb, you were going to disappear without a trace/tweet. Today is Roald Dahl’s birthday, so I just wanted to share a quote from him for no reason: “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”

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