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.

Hyves

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!

Michel Written by:

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