Friday, April 5, 2013

The "Unlike" Project - First Month

Just over a month ago, I wrote this post explaining that I was beginning a campaign to "Unlike" things on Facebook. The idea was to start reversing one of my "Likes" on Facebook ever day, and then tweeting about it using the hashtag #UnlikeProject. The experience has been interesting in a lot of ways - I thought I'd give my "first 30 days" report (although it's actually been more than 30 days) and let you know what's been going on.

The first thing I noticed is that it is incredibly difficult to decide what to Unlike. Fact is, the things I've "Liked" are things that, in real life, I in fact do actually like! It feels a little bit like a betrayal, especially when you are Unliking things like The Bible or your favorite sports teams. It's also difficult to find the things that are less important to me so I can Unlike them first - I wound up making myself a list to make prioritizing easier. I don't intent to Unlike everything, so I need to make sure I find the things I want to free myself from first. (Pages set up by friends of mine, for example, or organizations that I genuinely do want to stay in touch with will probably stay in my "Likes".)

Some of the earliest casualties were Pages that post a lot. The reasons those got the axe first was that I was more likely to see their posts in my News Feed and remember "Oh yeah, it annoys me when I see them there!" or "Their posts are never interesting," and then I could wipe them out and be done with it. But even with the easy pickings of those frequent posters and with my "Unlike first" list, I still didn't Unlike something every day - once I Unliked two things in one day, and four or five days I forgot altogether.

Two different organizations actually saw my "Today I Unliked..." tweets and responded to them, apologizing for whatever they did that put me off. Fact is, they didn't do anything, and I told them so! This is all about cleaning things out and simplifying... and insulating myself and my friends from invasive advertising as much as possible. I do have a positive opinion of those organizations, thought... kudos for keeping an eye on your Twitter mentions (I didn't actually even mention them by @ handle, so they're watching keywords) and reaching out to people based on that! That's the way to DO social media!

During the month, I also discovered a few facts that back up my reasons for doing this:
I'm actually enjoying the project - there's a sense of freedom in it, like when you've cleaned out the junk from the garage or gotten all the bills paid for the month. Maybe you'll give it a try? If you do, make sure you remember to tweet your Unlikes with hashtag #UnlikeProject so I'll know you're in!

Is it nuts to just start Unliking things that you actually do like? Why will you be joining the project, or why not? Sound off below by clicking the "Comment" link!

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