One of my goals for 2019 was dedicating more time to my LinkedIn account. While I haven’t revisited LinkedIn like I wanted to, I did promise I’d discuss deleting my Facebook account in further detail. I left Facebook for good on the 5th of this month and I haven’t regretted my decision for a moment. One big factor in my leaving was the constant barrage of scandals facing the social media network. The problems ranged from data privacy issues to disrupting populations of entire countries. (A good summary can be read here and Frontline aired a two-part series.) Another factor was my relative lack of enjoyment on Facebook. I disliked the constant emails and mobile notifications that I received every single day, even if no one directly mentioned me or tagged me. (Not all of these can be turned off.) I also disliked the algorithms that favored personal status updates over news (which made my job as a writer sharing her work slightly more difficult).

Before the constant barrage of scandal revelations in 2018, I had contemplated deleting my Facebook account several times. I didn’t check into the network very often—at best once a week, at worse every few months. I questioned the value it brought me, as most posts left me dissatisfied or frustrated about occasionally meaningless drama. Worse, I learned you don’t always want to know what view points on life old friends or friends you’re loosely connected to hold. My fiancé convinced that all I needed to do was train my newsfeed algorithm until I was satisfied. So I unfollowed people with posts that frustrated me, joined more groups, and selected my “Top Friends.” For a while this helped greatly, but the notifications were still an annoyance, and the data breaches began to bother me.

In mid-December I made the decision to delete my account. I gave everyone a few weeks to read my goodbye post and to connect with me elsewhere. I made a few connections on Twitter and Telegram, and I exchanged phone numbers with one person.  After that I felt leaving would be uneventful, except I was contacted by a reporter for WHYY. I ended up being interviewed for a story about deleting my account and the value Facebook personally held. Sadly, the story was killed, but it was a notable twist to me declaring I was leaving the world’s largest social network.

I know that the data Facebook has on me can never be returned after leaving. I also know that it’s not an easy choice for others on the network, as they have much more of their lives invested than I did. That said, I’m happy with my decision.

Have you ever considered deleting your Facebook account?

A screenshot of the moment I deleted my account
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Happy New Year, dear readers! It has been a while since we’ve updated Unveil Your Brilliance. The last few weeks were something of a break, but it’s back to business. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that your 2019 is off to a good start.

A new year often brings new resolutions and goals. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t take the time to set any goals for myself. As we get further into January, I find myself regretting the decision. Even if New Year’s resolutions are often broken, I still believe there is a benefit to writing them such as taking goals and desires out of your head and putting them onto paper. Fortunately, there’s no rule stating your goals for a new year has to be done on the first day of the year. So consider this list a New Year’s resolution of sorts.

  • One of my biggest goals is to make more time to write in general. Ideally, I want to write at least once a week for Damage Control, and not miss my turn to update for this blog. I’d also like to reach a point of comfort where I can consider taking on articles beyond DC and UYB.
  • This has been a goal for over a decade, but I want to finish more video games per year. I’ve never given myself a minimum goal in the past, but I will start this year with finishing a minimum of five games. Considering I knocked four games off my backlog after completing a new game in 2018, this goal is definitely within reach.
  • I need to make the best use of my remaining social media platforms. I recently deleted my Facebook account (I’ll get into that in another article), and my Google+ account is going away in April. That leaves me with Twitter and LinkedIn as dedicated social media platforms. While my Twitter account is updated every day, I need to brush the dust off of LinkedIn.
  • Keep a stricter schedule to manage my time each day outside of work by time blocking. This includes hectic weekends.

My goals for the New Year are quite modest, but if I work hard and stay focused, I know I will achieve most, if not all of them. What goals do you have planned for 2019?

Dallas NYE Fireworks by David Swinney of Flickr

The holidays are fully upon us, and if I’m being honest, I’m not always fond of this time of year. Between the increased holiday hours at work, the flurry of year-end articles to write for Damage Control, increased traffic both on the streets and in stores, holiday parties, present buying and gift wrapping, and actual Christmas plans, everything can feel overwhelming. The sense of being overwhelmed and dropping my usual habits got to a point where I even stopped exercising. It wasn’t until I began to feel pain that I knew it was time to take a step back and pace myself.

When everything is said and done, aren’t the holidays something to be enjoyed rather than endured? Because I do enjoy Christmas and seeing my family. I do enjoy the time I spend at Christmas parties. And I do enjoy bringing home larger paychecks from work so I can buy family and friends gifts. After rethinking some of my priorities I came up with some helpful ways to maintain control of a schedule when time is tight.

  • Sleep: It’s always one aspect of modern day life that’s overlooked and undervalued. A goodnight’s rest can help you stave off sickness, maintain a healthy weight, and help with your mood.
  • Family: This is the time of year where most people spend time with their family. Whether they are blood relatives or a chosen family. Don’t forget to take some time to reach out and keep in touch with them.
  • Gratitude: When you’re on the grind, it can be easy to forget what you’re thankful for. However an attitude of gratitude can help keep you grounded and your eyes focused on the bigger picture.
  • The holidays are temporary: Eventually, the holiday season will end and your schedule will return to normal. A little patience and perspective can go a long way.

Even if you’re not a fan of the holidays or you don’t celebrate them, it’s still necessary to keep yourself well-paced during this time of the year because in many ways you are still impacted by the holiday season.

 

What are some of the ways you get through the holiday season?

 

The Mont Saint-Michel Candles by Samuel S of Flickr

Our warmest Thanksgiving wishes from Unveil Your Brilliance. We hope you are having a wonderful day. Life can be hectic during the holidays, so be sure to take care of yourself, take time for your family, and most of all, enjoy! I’m personally thankful for family, friends, and trying out new things this year.

What are you thankful for?

For everyone outside of the United States, have a great start to the holiday season and a great weekend!

Thanksgiving Cornucopia by Lawrence OP of Flickr

Thanksgiving Cornucopia by Lawrence OP of Flickr

 

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