Okay, so ‘Farewell’ is perhaps a little stronger than reality, but further to my post a month ago, Monday saw a significant directional shift for my interaction with the aforementioned social network site. I have decided to stop actively using it and, to support this, the Facebook apps have been removed from my phone and tablet respectively.
This may sound like a trivial move, but as I mentioned in my previous post, these things are habit forming. I only removed the apps yesterday but nearly opened Instapaper (the app which got to fill the icon space!) several times, purely out of habit. I would accept the habit if it gave me any pleasure (semi-addiction to tea serves as a great example of that) but Facebook had stopped doing that. Why you ask? Well I shall explain.
Facebook itself is, I maintain, quite a clever concept. It has really revolutionised the way we interact and allows me to keep in touch with friends far-away without needing to email them every day. But, in my view at least, it has also seen the return of ‘school yard’ culture to adult life. Before Facebook, in grown-up world, if you saw something funny, you would email or text your specific friends and share. In that same grown-up world, if you had some exciting news you would similarly message those same friends directly.
Today, that seems not to be the case. Instead of putting up a simple message post, people will put a ‘cryptic’ post on, alluding to something exciting. They allow a mass on comments and queries to build then, if they feel gracious, they may reveal the meaning. More often than not, they don’t. I suspect most are actually about nothing so, 2 hours later, they have forgotten what they meant in the first place. Amusing articles are the same: a small niche group will be tagged and no explanation offered. The purpose is merely to say to everyone, look at this part of life we all shared which you don’t get.
So, you now ask, why not close your account? Well, as alluded to above, there are some friends who I like to keep in touch with that way. People use it for photos and for nice things, so if there are events now and again, I will log-in to see if there are pics. As grumpy as this may make me sound, Facebook does have it’s place, but I personally prefer mediums where no particular response is anticipated. If you get one, great, but if you don’t then you still shared what you wanted to, with everyone and anyone. That is why I have my blog; that is why I use Twitter.
Of course, this habit will take some breaking, so I may find myself accidentally going there a few more times until I kick the habit!