Today I was asked to talk about Facebook with a group of seniors who meet monthly at my church. They always have interesting topics. I was flattered to be asked to be sure. I am not necessary an expert at Facebook, but those of you who know me, know I am what some would call a Facebook "power user." That is what they used to call someone who knew a lot about and used a wide variety of the features of a computer application: power user. That I would cop to.
Anyway, that is not what my insight today is about. As I led the session, I found myself enjoying telling the folks about the various features of Facebook. We talked a little about Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, but mostly it was Facebook they were curious about. I felt good being able to clarify how you "friend" someone, how someone might find you on the site and ask you to be their friend. I cautioned them about accepting friend requests from people they don't know or recognize without vetting them. We talked about liking and following and poking and how to prioritize your timeline and how to unfollow and unfriend and even hide post, etc.
It was fun.
But there was one question that came up and persisted that I wasn't able to answer readily during the session: how to do deactivate or delete your account? That, was a stumper to be sure. When I went home I did some research and found out how you can do just that. Facebook doesn't make it easy to delete your account, but deactivating it works more easily. Below is a picture of where you can find these answers. But in this whole process, I wondered why it was so important to know how to get rid of or out of or away from Facebook...or anything. Then it hit me: we all need an "exit plan"!
Whenever we try something new, there is that little voice that says to us, "What if things go south? What if I want to get out of this situation? What will I do?" We need to have a plan B, a backup course, a safety net. It is only smart. I am thinking about that TV commercial where two people are meeting for a first date and the woman sits down as the phone rings. It's her girlfriend calling to give her an out. That's her backup plan. Those are very comforting when we are in unfamiliar territory. "How do I get back to safety?"
So I no longer found myself mystified by questions like those about Facebook I heard today. An exit plan is a good thing to have. Sometimes they can be as simple as the lady in the commercial. Others might be more complicated like deactivating Facebook. Some are even more traumatic or challenging as when you are faced with a serious life choice. Plan B. An exit plan might be all you can hang onto. That is why they invented roadmaps and how-to books and consultants and friends. Hold up a minute. Look before you leap. Is their a fire escape outside of that tall building?
Having an exit plan is all we need. It makes taking chances just a little bit easier.