Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Facebook-free: Elizabeth Bechard

Our next interviewee for my Facebook-free Project is Elizabeth Bechard, who helps women follow their calls to be helpers and healers. I found Elizabeth through her blog post titled "Why I Left Facebook," and am especially glad our paths have crossed, as she adds a perspective to this conversation which we haven't yet seen.

The basics:

Age: 32
Location: Durham, NC
Passion: Health coaching, aromatherapy, integrative medicine
Length of time with FB account: Since 2009... about 9 years
Amount of time since leaving FB: Just over half a year (left 7/27/15)

Walk us through your decision to leave. Was it planned? Spur of the moment?

I'd say it was both planned and spur of the moment—something I'd debated doing for a while, and then finally, it just felt right

Main reason for leaving (in one sentence):

Truthfully, I left because I got pregnant and didn't want to have a "public" pregnancy or be bombarded by the Facebook mommy wars—it was a decision to protect myself from unwanted influences & feedback at a specific time in my life (and an excuse to do something I'd been wanting to do for a long time!).

Tell us what it's been like since leaving. 

It has been awesome! I haven't missed it at all, honestly, and haven't had any desire to go back.

What other social media do you still use, and what have you left? 

I'm on Instagram a couple of times a week, and Pinterest very occasionally. I've never been able to handle Twitter or Tumblr or anything else.

How do you socialize now?

The people I've most wanted to stay in touch with I've easily been able to stay in touch with via phone, email, and hanging out in person. I feel like the connections I've maintained have gotten deeper since I have more time (less time wasted mindlessly scrolling around on the internet), and I've been able to let go of the pressure I'd been putting on myself to stay in touch with everyone (since really, that's a lot of pressure!).

What would you say to someone who's considering leaving Facebook? 

I'd encourage them to give it a try for a month or two and see what they notice. If they don't miss it at all, then they can join the Facebook-free club! And if they do miss it, then that's good information to have as well. It's definitely a very personal choice.

Facebook has changed a lot since it was first released. Do you have any predictions about what it'll become in the future? 

What a great question! I could see Facebook reaching a peak within the next 5-10 years, and then slowly fading away... I predict people will eventually become exhausted with the pressure to stay in touch with hundreds of others at all times. Maybe the pendulum will swing back towards smaller, simpler social circles...

Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

Have you (or has someone you know) left Facebook? I'd love to feature you (or them) here! Please get in touch with me: @rebewithaclause or rebewithaclause [at] gmail [dot] com.
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