After some thought, I’ve deleted my personal Facebook account. I’ve barely used it since around 2014. Maybe earlier.
(One of my publishers runs the Fiona Broome Facebook fan page. That will remain, and I will post there, occasionally.)
Here’s the short version…
The world has changed. The pace of daily life has changed, and so has the nature of the Internet.
As of 2017 (and perhaps earlier), social media and websites might not be my best way to share theories and research.
So, I’m reducing the time I spend, online. That means deleting some accounts, consolidating websites, and so on.
Leaving Facebook was just one of several changes ahead.
Here’s the full story…
Things changed over a year ago, when my Mandela Effect theories (and website) went viral. Suddenly, I was in the spotlight.
That made me uncomfortable.
For me, the work has always been about the research. I’ve never wanted to be famous.
Oh, I want my work to be well-known. (I think every researcher feels that way.) And, I want people to know my part in developing useful theories.
But fame…? No, thanks. I like my privacy. It’s why I’ve turned down offers from one TV producer after another, for over a decade.
I’m not sure when I finally said, “This isn’t as much fun as I had in mind.”
Facebook was involved. As the ghost hunting audience shrunk in size, bickering started among friends for whom fame was important.
(I’m sympathetic. Those who depended on TV success needed to maintain their popularity. It was about supporting their families, as much as anything. Some were successful. Some weren’t.)
Add the online political frenzy of 2016 & 2017, and I found all kinds of excuses not to visit Facebook.
But it wasn’t just Facebook. My Mandela Effect site was part of the problem.
The decline of fun
First, there were odd messages, suggesting that I should close comments, at least for a while. (I didn’t need much urging. The comments had reached deluge level, and I needed a break, anyway.)
A bigger turning point was when the Mandela Effect concept came under attack. (I don’t mean the DDoS attacks. They were merely annoying.)
After that, I’m not sure if people misinterpreted what I said, or if that was deliberate. (Meaning: trolls.) Either way, it was frustrating for my readers — and for me — to bear the brunt of scathing criticism and ridicule.
It’s why I never joined the Mandela Effect discussions at Reddit.
Early in 2017, those attacks became personal. I’ve been accused of all kinds of bizarre things, across a variety of media.
(They’d be laughable to people who know me in real life. Especially the idea that I’m racist. Or that I’m creating “fake news” for political reasons. Or… well, the list goes on & on. None of it makes much sense, so I shrug it off. But then I ask myself, “Why subject yourself to this nonsense?”)
So, I’m bowing out of Facebook. That’s not because of the insults.
It’s about the spotlight.
(Really, if I was interested in fame, I’d have taken it — with a nice paycheck — when I was offered my own TV series in 2004, and again in 2005, and in 2006, and so on.)
I’m also merging some of my websites. I’d created them — and then spun-off several others — between 1999 and 2014.
Back then, navigating a single, 600+ article website seemed too daunting. I had to split up sites like Hollow Hill.
Today, WordPress comes with shiny new navigational tools. So, running a bazillion little websites isn’t necessary. I can merge several of them.
(I’ll keep the domain names, and redirect them to the respective sections of larger websites.)
Meanwhile, I was going to expand my Mandela Effect theories into a new site, bordering on sci-fi, for fun. Right now, that’s “on hold,” for obvious reasons.
I am planning to write more books. At least one will describe what I’ve observed from behind the scenes at MandelaEffect.com. It’s been fascinating.
(Note: I’ll write more books after major overhauls of my existing ones. Trying to juggle books + the Mandela Effect site + lots & lots of emails… I haven’t been happy with the quality of my recent books. They’re due for some serious editing. That’s one of my big projects for the rest of 2017.)
Now, for someone like me, books make more sense than websites.
Where websites fail
In 1999, when I left GeoCities and launched HollowHill.com (my first paranormal website), people would spend hours reading one article after another. Usually, they seemed to read them in sequence, or at least figure out where the conversations started.
Their comments and questions made sense. Often, they prompted me to write new articles on those topics. It was fun.
Today, people are more likely to land on an article that’s in the middle of a series. They’re looking for specific information.
Most visitors read the article they landed on, and maybe half of another one.
Then they ask me questions — in comments or email — that were answered in other articles at the same website.
It’s not that my visitors are stupid. They’re not.
Mostly, they’re busy.
Today, sequential website articles aren’t the best way to share my research, adventures, and discoveries. They’re too easily taken out-of-context.
Note: This isn’t my own realization. It’s eloquently explained in a Kindle book called, Kill Your Blog. (Yes, that’s a harsh title, and the author’s pen name is regrettable. But, his logic and advice are sound.)
So, I’m changing how I manage my time, and how much I’m online.
Leaving Facebook is the first of several steps in this process. It wasn’t as easy choice, because I love my friends, fans, and fellow researchers.
But, it’s like knowing when to leave Disney World for the day, when my kids were little. I’d try to leave while everyone was still happy, and would look back on the day with happy memories.
This is the right time for me to leave Facebook. And, it’s the right time to make other changes.
Stay tuned for updates. I’ll share them here.