Actually it’s been over two years since I left these social networks. I’ve had this post in draft form for a long time not wanting it to appear as negative or click bait. In summary, I don’t miss Facebook or Twitter. Moving away from Google some things in business are more difficult and cost more.
As I wrote nearly two years ago here:
“I only ever used them for business so what follows may not apply for personal use. I did however decide to keep Linkedin.”
Some professional groups I was a member of are hosted on Facebook Groups. I miss the expertise and experiences shared exclusively on these groups. Having tied themselves to Facebook it will be difficult, if not impossible, to move their membership to another platform. One professional association began hosting their own forums again but it didn’t seem to have much traction. Perhaps the new wave of professionals are used to Facebook and forums are dinosaurs like IRC?
Search engine results and links to Facebook and Instagram pages are now behind a login screen. There may be a clever way around it, nevertheless the content creator has lost at least one audience member. I wonder how many others?
Some of my kids school and sporting activities are tied to WhatsApp. While I miss out out on some notifications I catch up later face-to-face.
For privacy I feel strongly about not using Facebook. I’ve not had anyone ask for my IG or Facebook page for years. Again, that’s simply for my business and your milage may vary.
My website now uses Plausible Analytics instead of Google. This costs more both in dollar terms as well data analysed (or lack of). Plausible is a privacy-first analytics company and your privacy is the reason I moved away from Google.
Moving my business email hosting from Gmail means I now get a lot more spam. That and having an email address exposed to the internet for over 20 years gets me a lot of unwanted email! My email was on Microsoft 365 for the last two years, I’m now trying iCloud being an Apple-centric small business.
Duck Duck Go is the default search engine I use for research. Admittedly I have to go to Google sometimes as they have the best search engine and maps. I’ve mastered Duck Duck Go !bangs that makes searching with Google easier via Duck Duck Go even on mobile.
I’ve long been a member of Vimeo for hosting video. For consuming video everything seems to be on YouTube so there’s no escaping Google.
1 year on what’s changed?
Well I seem to have more free time. Time I can spend with family or other parts of my business.
Traditional media such as radio, TV and print keep me informed on news. With COVID19 that’s been even more important. Having worked in, or for, the mainstream media for over 35 years I know to critically analyse all media and try to get a balance of viewpoints.
RSS feeds have returned as a big part of my industry news consumption and I’m really enjoying Reeder.
Two years on
I don’t miss Facebook or Twitter nor am I likely to return. I’m not tempted to put my business on TikTok or Clubhouse either but can appreciate that many of my clients are. While Google may have abandoned their social networks, for search they are clearly the industry leader.
I’ve invested in new ways to communicate with the focus on privacy: for me and my audience.