Facebook and other anti-social networks II

In the previouanti_ms post, Facebook and other anti-social networks, I’ve proclaimed to not use social media for a month. The point is to see what I actually missed and draw some kind of conclusion.

My expectations where receiving summary mails and missing out on some stuff in real life since people already shared it on a social network. Far less for missing out on really important information, since I do think that good information can be read elsewhere as well (like blogs, informational sites, traditional forums).

While 1 week shy of a month, I do think I have seen enough to reach my personal verdict on this.

While I was gone..

Within the time I was gone, I’ve got the following amount of clawing from the dark side:

  • Facebook tried to reach out on a 1 message per day schedule
  • Twitter updates once a week on popular tweets from my network
  • Instagram tries once a week
  • Pinterest tried it for less than once per week
  • Google Plus didn’t bother me at all


On Facebook, I missed 75 notifications, 7 group updates and 3 close friend updates and 4 pokes.
Of all those notifications and updates, 1 was noteworthy since something happened in my family and 1 was a photo I was tagged in. The rest: mostly garbage and the odd notification of a blog I sometimes read. Changes needed.


Actually, this wasn’ t bad at all. And I didn’t miss much as well, since most people I follow don’t really have a post-per-day religion.
No changes needed.


Not bad at all as well. Nice mail with the short low-down updates, not much fuzz. No changes needed


Arguably the most useless social network I am on. Short of deleting my account, I will turn off all communication.

gplusGoogle Plus

Didn’t bother me at all, so no changes needed. Didn’ t miss much either, except maybe on my professional account. No changes needed.

Did you miss it?

To be fair: I didn’t miss it at all! Just like biting nails, reading postings from social networks can be as much as a habit as well. A time consuming one as well, depending on the amount of friends and networks you have. And I didn’t see as much of social network related talk in regular ” offline” conversations as well, so peer pressure is not a problem. But then again, I don’t have the illusion hordes of people are waiting for me to post something either 🙂

Delete accounts?

I found that the most annoyingly intrusive social network remains Facebook. And not just the mails, quite a few apps and services use a Facebook login to work. This can be a bit of a hassle when you mostly use a mobile phone. I will think about this one, maybe better to just create specific accounts or use OpenID, if possible.

So I could go on and delete the FB-account. But then again: It is the most popular social network and there might be some offline scenarios where I would be excluding myself from “the loop”.
I think it is better to make some adjustments, like unfriending, grouping more, gagging the usual chainpost spammers etc. Until the next best thing comes along or my disdain for Facebook grows further.

Other networks

I think Twitter is the most useful one, due to it’s open, direct and more simplistic approach.
I take it really works well for a lot of people, not just for complaining about services rendered from certain companies. Same could be said for G+, but it just isn’t that popular and open, despite all it’s features and laid-back attitude.

Instagram is just the same as Twitter basically, with a different focus towards the (audio-)visual. And Pinterest… ah well. I’ll see if I keep my name as a placeholder or delete my account there.

So, now what?

I will maintain presence in the online social arena, but partaking in it: not so much. That’s right, I won’t post cute cats, movie stuff or that kind of thing outside of my blog. And reading a lot less as well, rather read more books. I haven’t read nearly as much as I did on our holiday and I really should. In the meanwhile, I will be tracking interesting developments around new networks, the more ad-free and pro-privacy kinds, unlike any of the mentioned networks.

But let’s stay in touch on the above networks, or better yet: enjoy a life offline 😉

Facebook and other anti-social networks – update

social-notworkingJust a quick update on how it’ s going with the social notworking, I’ve been socially akward (virtual 😉 )now for almost two weeks.

Almost halftime scores

12 Facebook
2 Twitter
1 Instagram
1 Pinterest mail
0 Google Plus


Daily harrasment

Basically, Facebook chimes in every day on average, while other networks are far less aggressive.  The one being quiet by far is beyond my expectation: Google Plus didn’t send any mail so far.
At this point, Facebook tells me I have 1 poke, 2 group updates, 2 close friend updates and 38 new notifications but I haven’t been attended to any stuff going on in real life.
I think not really important happened, but I cannot look at the moment, can I? 🙂

Next post

I will be reviewing what I’ve actually missed and get to a verdict in the concluding post. So if you’re curious to what I’ve found and what I’m going to do with it, be sure to check out the upcoming post!

Facebook and other anti-social networks

FacebookI am pretty much wired to any social network available and try to keep as much as I can. I even share some stuff once in a while, especially on Facebook. But lately I get the feeling that a couple of social networks just don’t contribute to my expectations like they used to.
I’ve found that Facebook is the prime example of deterioration of interest over the years, even though I’ve been using it from it’s very early years.


4ae2fb2e3aa5eb92dc7d980bc49bee369af24cdbIt very much reminds me of Hyves (early Dutch-oriented social network), back in the old days. That particular network received a real surge of users which went over to Facebook.
For some time, mostly kids and the more senior discoverers remained. Ultimately, a buyout and a change of course by the new owner TMG led to killing off the services on 2 december 2013.
I think the change of course was good (more focus on content and quality) but it was already too late: Facebook was already having more active users from our country than Hyves had at it’s peak.

Social pitfall

Let’s fast-forward to present day: Facebook is the biggest global social network. But what content does it offer?
I first would like to sum up some downfalls of social media, grabbed from a nice article written by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD (columnist of Psychology Today and Rootsofaction):

  • Lack of emotional connection
  • License to be hurtful
  • Decreases face-to-face communication skills
  • Conveys inauthentic expression of feelings
  • Diminished understanding and thoughtfulness
  • Causes face-to-face interactions to feel disconnected
  • Facilitates laziness
  • Can create a skewed self-image
  • Reduces family closeness
  • Causes distractions

I’m not even listing the possible privacy concerns here because it should already be clear you are paying with your privacy to keep things free of charge.
The above tells us, basically: We suffer a deficit on emotional and communication skills in real life, get distracted and lazy and might even hurt our self or others in the process.
While not necessarily true when being mindful around these subjects, it does lurk. Especially when you multiply that chance by using a plethora of social networks.

What am I on?

No, I’m not using controlled substances bar the occasional nice whiskey and a beer 🙂
While it had been more, I nowadays use the following social networks and social-enabled services:

  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit (arguably)
  • Youtube

Of all the networks I use, I find Facebook to be the most annoying by far. It has grown into a place to share stuff nobody gives a shit about, resurrect the good ol’ chain letter (copy this and get no life rewards at all), find out if you’re a superhero and promote your own writing. I am guilty as charged to the former and latter, since cats are cute and else no one would read my blog otherwise. Well, I did write a technical blog about VCE and ome on Citrix, which literally got 10000’s of views through SEO, so social networking is not entirely necessary.

Anyway, I lost interest in probably close to 95% of what comes by on Facebook or I just stopped caring, which seems exactly the same type of content problem on Hyves, years ago. And I feel like Facebook isn’t giving people enough ease-of-use tools to better filter through the turds. Even Google does this better on it’s far less popular Google Plus.

Where does this lead to?

Basically, I am going to unplug, starting 1st of August. I am uninstalling all social media from my phone. I’m trading distraction for better battery life 🙂
Sure, I’ll still publish a blog now and then which automatically gets publicized to my social aliases, but I won’t read comments on social networks till come September 1st.

By then, I will review what I’ve missed and try to form a conclusion in a follow up on this blog. Got really important stuff to share with me? Mail me, call me, leave a direct message via the blog. See you next month social-networkers!