Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve blown hot and cold on Facebook. Or rather tepid and cold. I’ve never much liked it, I find it fundamentally invasive and cynical. Basically it’s another advertising agency, like Google, and it’s users are it’s product, which it sells, with no holds barred, to advertisers. But a few years ago I had to engage on a professional level, when building applications (an awful experience), and so I kept up my public profile.
Most of my posting has been generated from this website, so most of it is essentially photography-orientated. But the majority of my Facebook Friends are probably not very interested in this. At the same time, I’m finding a lot of content pushed at me is various kinds of soft and not so soft selling. Certainly, there are people I want to remain in contact with who I only really “see” on Facebook, and I’ll be sorry to diminish that, but really, we all have each other’s email addresses, and, Heavens forbid, phone numbers, and I’m really starting to feel that Facebook has a corrosive influence on me. I’m spending too much time checking in, and getting far too distracted.
Of course, it’s about as easy to check out of Facebook as it is from Hotel California. You can deactivate any time you want, but you can never leave. And that’s another very disturbing trait.
So I’ve decided, I’m opting out. Back to the relative basics of email, and maintaining my “brand”, if that’s what I want, on my own website, with my own rules, and no advertising. I’m sorry if anyone feels slighted by this, but I’m not hiding. Even if you don’t know my email address, Google certainly does. And of course thanks to Facebook’s evil data retention policy, I could always change my mind.
But for now, I’m trying to find the passage back, to the place I was before.
Yes, I’m on Facebook.
No, I don’t usually accept friends requests. And I’ve actually turned off almost all visibilty settings now.
I’m on Facebook because I need to be purely from a professional point of view, as my job includes specifying how our application interfaces with sites and services like Facebook. However this doesn’t mean that I like Facebook. In fact I find it a trivial, trite and ultimately very depressing way of wasting time.
To be brutally frank (and with some exceptions), if I didn’t stay in touch with somebody, it is because I (or they) had no further interest in doing so. If I didn’t have much to do with you 27 million years ago at University, or if we we just casually connected, why would I want to catch up with you now ? I don’t, and probably you don’t, really, either. So let’s just get on with our real world lives and let the past be the past.
Facebook is in any case just a noise generating mess. I mean really, do I look like I care if you’ve just eaten a virtual cake or ploughed an imaginary field (from somebody else’s imagination, at that). Well i’m sorry, but I don’t.
If anybody wants to get in touch with me, then Google will find me here easily enough. If I’m not worth the effort a few lines of email, then don’t bother. But if I am, then I’ll be happy to answer.