Facebook Holiday: 10 things

I switched of Facebook for about 6 weeks: here's what I concluded when I went back yesterday:-

1) It had become a physical part of my routine, habitual checking was something that I did first thing in the morning, last thing at night etc, breaking that habit was the hardest and I was left feeling vulnerable - nice work FB!

2) Despite my presence in other realms of social web, most people didn't want to leave the "all in one place" FB community and find me out in other places. I turned to writing emails and longer text messages etc - it was surprisingly a more considered type of conversation - wellw orth it.

3) I reflected that exhibitionism has become part of the FB mentality: we say not what we want to say, but what we want to be seen saying. Other forms of social web I can be more like me.

4) Google Plus is miles better and virtually ad free. And FB gets you nowhere if you have photos or writing you want to be seen or read by an audience wider than your friends. Getting Twitter, Flickr, Storify, Google Plus and Blogger working for me took me further than FB in volume & quality of interaction. One choice bit of blogging got me 500 hits in a week: FB can't deliver that.

5) My social life was in turmoil because the "events" section of FB was my social diary. Without access I could scarcely plan from one weekend to the next.

6) I spent more time looking at other social media platforms and that was both fulfilling and useful. FB it turns out is pretty ungainly and doesn't really link people - its only really about friends....and....

7) as we all know and I've kinda had reinforced, some FB friends aren't real friends at all. Other forms of social web are less prone to "lurking".

8) Its surprising how many websites now use FB verification for entry - dropping off FB caused me real problems signing in - especially with Spotify

9) It was good to go back and keep in touch - after a fashion - but one has to wonder about the convenience aspect of FB - how many will drift away never to start new social web lives when FB kicks the bucket?

10) It was good for me to get away and I will do things differently online now as a result of seeing even more of the weaknesses of FB: I'm worth less than $50 to them so I need to find ways of making it worth more than $50 to me!

Conclusion: Take a holiday from FB - its worth it - but brace yourself.


David Miller said…
I didn't understand the $50 part, but maybe I was not supposed to. I tried to get more from Google+ and I am still on it, but it just seemed so complicated to get 'into'. Facebook is ungainly but it is easy. I am not sure that Facebook will kick the bucket, or at least not until millions (billions?) of people make the decision to move ono the Next Big Thing! Very much like IBM and Microsoft were, and Apple still is, we may not like it but since it is the 'benchmark' we have to put up with it, despite our own private prejudices.
Interesting stuff - I'm keen to explore more but find item 1 on your list to be the most challenging... And it all takes such a lot of time to set up and get connected elsewhere. But gradually spreading my wings...
Linda Springer said…
I still miss the Ceroc Scotland Forum days - that was where I really enjoyed my best debates. I hate the way fb dictates to us what we should see, but it is free so I can't ask for my money back. When I'm at home on my own it's company in its own way. I have missed you views on fb. It will be over one day yes but so will I.
Stephen North said…
The average US punter on Facebook is worth $50/year advertising revenue to Facebook, other territories are worth less. As a product we are worth less than $50... what I get is free but I'm in effect giving much more away than I'm getting in anything other than feel good factor. So - and this was my point about Pages and using them for advertising - how can I make Facebook work for me.

Billions of people may not move all at once - but the FB revenue generation imperitive may just push them over the edge.

"Private Prejudices" isn't that the banned Jane Austin novel?

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