Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

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TopHatFox
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Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:17 pm

Facebook seems to be a place where people post themselves in the best light: posts on exotic locations, interesting activities, high moods, achievements, political opinion, feel-good media, hopeful asks for charity, etc. Anything semi-negative or sad for the most part is shunned, not-liked, or generally omitted. I think this can create an atmosphere of comparison and competition between the people and friends posting on Facebook, which in turn can lead to depression or even addiction if results for competition and comparison are met or unmet. I often find myself taking pictures of natural spaces or bike touring simply to show others that it's possible, but then checking Facebook consistently to see if new likes present themselves.

I don't like this impulse at all. Like I wrote, it can be addicting to seek more and more likes--a sort of dopamine rush of approval.

Similarly, the type of connections that can be cultivated through Facebook are shallow at best. The little messenger box is inadequate for having long, thorough conversations, similar to the limitations of texting. The video streaming can also be slow and surrounded with the many distractions Facebook has to offer. Posts by friends can additionally only be commented on briefly and superficially without taking up too much space. Even groups for common selling or freecycling are inadequate; they are often inundated with posts to the point that older posts must be digged through.

Oh, and meanwhile, Facebook is tracking all of users' likes and bombarding them with relevant ads.

Perhaps the only major utility of Facebook in my opinion is to organize events and invite friends to them online.

----------------------------------------

For all of the reasons above and more, I've been considering canceling and deleting my Facebook account. Instead, I can organize meet ups with people through phone texting, talk to them through video via Google Hangouts, have deeper conversations in person or through forums, find groups for selling or Freecycling through Craigslist, write about ideas on my blog whenever I want to, and post pictures I like on Flickr. I have yet to find a way to cohesively organize a event, however (still looking, if you have ideas). These tactics avoid the time sink and ego addiction that Facebook can be for me and likely millions of others across the world.

What are you thoughts on Facebook? Do you use it? If so, why and in what way?

henrik
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by henrik » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:08 pm

I was an "early adopter" (2005 or so?) and used it almost daily until recently. I agree with your assessment above + a simple personal cost-benefit analysis told me it's just not worth the time it takes to shift through everything people produce. I deleted my account in January and honestly haven't missed it at all.

vexed87
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by vexed87 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:16 pm

I rarely use FB anymore, it was great in 2007-2011 while I was in uni for organising getting together for a few beers with new friends. It still has its uses for keeping in touch with those same friends now we have spread our wings so to speak. Now it mainly serves for sharing images with distant relatives etc.

I grew tired of FB when every man and his dog started posting about their latest problems or how amazing their life was. I'm just a bitter old man in a 20 something's body ;). Seriously though, rather than cut the cord completely, I just stopped receiving notifications by e-mail and on my phone and occasionally (2-3 times a month) log in to see if any one who matters to me has been up to anything good. You can star or filter your home feed to only show people you care about, and that's a good way to use it. I think FB changes when you stop caring about the people you follow.

If you are using it regularly for passive entertainment, there's a good chance your using it wrong. Of course, FB wants you to check it daily, but I don't think thats particularly healthy.

enigmaT120
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:28 pm

I've never used it.

GandK
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by GandK » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:07 pm

I guess I've sort of opted out of the status nonsense. I check those only when I know there's a reason to, like when my parents were in Greece during the recent bailout revolt and my mom was updating us all via her Facebook status. But ordinarily, I use it for private messages rather than public announcements. I don't live the sort of life that warrants press releases.

Facebook is now useful to me the way the phone book was once useful... it's a way to get in touch with people whose number I don't know off the top of my head. I make sure my contact info is up to date there, and I friend pretty much anyone I think I'll want to speak to again so we have the option of staying in touch. But I feel about Facebook the same way I feel about my cell phone: I have it for my own convenience, not for the convenience of others. I only answer my phone and my FB messages when/if I feel like it. And I do not use a FB app. My phone goes off enough as it is.

henrik
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by henrik » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:12 pm

GandK wrote:I don't live the sort of life that warrants press releases.
Haha, exactly what I used to say to people who asked why I never updated my status or posted much of anything:)

jacob
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:42 pm

Moving (traveling, ha!) around a lot over the past 10 years, I used to be really into fb [and myspace before that] as a way to keep in touch with the geographical groups of friends I tended to leave 1000+ miles behind every move.

However, a combination of privacy concerns which just seem to get worse and worse, fb changing their ToS all the time, their nefarious use of cookies, and more annoyingly a proliferation of memes and other "falling cat"-spam with practically no way to get rid of it anymore (now I see irrelevant link-shares from people I have no idea who are?!) has pretty much reduced my fb activity by a factor 20. I try to stay logged out with fb-related cookies deleted to avoid tracking. I even started deleting old status updates manually whenever I have spare time because fb strognly discourages automatic ways to wipe the history. At least I managed to switch all email notifications off.

Like some above, I mainly use it as a phone book for old school friends, etc.

Actually, I'm kinda sad that myspace disintegrated because I made several friends I've stayed in touch with on that platform. That never happened with facebook, probably because it encourages that you only connect with people you already know unlike myspace that had a bigger focus on groups and meeting new people. However, maybe it's not the platform. Maybe it's me.

Of course it's my understanding that now that everybody's parents are on facebook too, the cool kids are already looking towards other platforms.

FWIW, I deleted my myspace account. I've yet to delete my fb account, because phone book.

bradley
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by bradley » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:51 pm

I still use it, but mostly for the reasons other people posted above: to be able to contact people that are far away and maybe hit them up from time to time. If it weren't for that, I'd probably delete my account.

I've become disillusioned with social networking because in my experience it only facilitates rapid and shallow interactions, rather than the slow and deep engagement that I personally find fulfilling.

jacob
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by jacob » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:02 pm

bradley wrote: I've become disillusioned with social networking because in my experience it only facilitates rapid and shallow interactions, rather than the slow and deep engagement that I personally find fulfilling.
That's an objection I hear frequently. It depends though. A few (Alyssa, Chris, and Jared in case you're reading this ;-P ) manage to create rather deep discussions in their status updates, etc. It's all the foodies, cat-lovers, and Hallmark greeting card quote aficionados that need to be blocked :evil: Then again, once upon I was dumb enough to complain and ask my friends if they could keep it down a bit already and was subsequently chastised and learned that apparently most people are REALLY into that :roll:

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jennypenny
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by jennypenny » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:44 pm

I don't really get the complaints about memes and ecards and such. It's 'social' media. Isn't that the point? I can't imagine having a serious discussion about anything on FB. Maybe it's just me.

Not that it matters. We had to get off all social media when DH switched jobs a few years ago, and I don't miss it.

walker
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by walker » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:15 pm

Never used FB, never will. I'm intrigued by the "privacy-friendly" social media networks that pop up every once in a while, but never seem to achieve critical mass. Has anyone tried Ello, Vivaldi, Minds, or any of that ilk?

luxagraf
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by luxagraf » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:33 pm

Interestingly I have had sort of the opposite experience from what Jacob mentions: I've met tons of people through Facebook groups. But then again I only joined Facebook like 3 months ago pretty much of the express purpose of joining a group. I have no interest at all in what my friends are up to on a minute to minute basis, but I've found FB groups a valuable resource in learning about solar power, restoring RVs and some other things I've been researching. Sadly, it seems like stuff that would once have been in a forum like this are now in a Facebook group (which means none of the content will be around in 2 years, but oh well, what are you going to do).

vexed87
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by vexed87 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:00 am

In a bid to make FB a more interesting place, would anyone be interested in joining an ERE (closed) group? One of my favorite uses for facebook which I forgot to mention was finding new cycling clubs and therefore more like minded people locally. Plus it would be interesting to put some names to some faces in the ERE crowd. :)

Chad
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by Chad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:42 am

I have an account, but only log on 4-5 times a year. My initial reaction to social media was rather muted and kind of slotted them into specific categories. FB seemed to become the place where you had to accept everyone's friend request, while Twitter for me is pure information (only follow high quality people who provide high quality links to interesting articles). Because of this, I only use FB 4-5 times a year. It's inane surface skimming boredom and privacy issues pushed me a way. Every now and then I contemplate pruning my FB account to make it more like my Twitter feed, since it appears some people have managed to use it this way.

TopHatFox
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:45 am

vexed87 wrote:In a bid to make FB a more interesting place, would anyone be interested in joining an ERE (closed) group? One of my favorite uses for facebook which I forgot to mention was finding new cycling clubs and therefore more like minded people locally. Plus it would be interesting to put some names to some faces in the ERE crowd. :)
Names to faces sounds cool! If you'd like to find common interests and activities, a faster and more direct way to do so might be Meetup.com. It offers a bazillion interests and events that happen every week, all created, marketed, and attended by the people in the groups.

RealPerson
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by RealPerson » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:12 am

Chad wrote:Twitter for me is pure information (only follow high quality people who provide high quality links to interesting articles).
Interesting. I never found a use for Twitter, but maybe I should reconsider. Who are some of the people you find interesting to follow on Twitter? I would like to take a look and see how Twitter may have more benefit than I thought. FB is a pure timewaster in my mind.

vexed87
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by vexed87 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:22 am

@zalo, meetup.com looks cool, I think one of MMM's blog posts directed me over there a few months back. As a budding amateur python programmer, I have seen some coding groups on there previously that peaked my interest but the introvert in me keeps finding excuses not to go along ;)

The open nature of information sharing on FB would be its major benefit, as apposed to finding like minded people with a single focus on places like meetup.com. ERE principles are hard to find, even among the frugal groups, talk investing to the bohemian types in the frugal groups at meetup.com and they look at you like your a impostor London banker...

That said, there's no point re-inventing the wheel as the forum is a ready made community, just without the faces. :) I'm just curious what the guys here are up to day to day. I'm sure it's more interesting than some of the drivel my associates post on FB. :lol:

Chad
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by Chad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:33 am

@RealPerson

Here are some of the people/organizations I follow and why:

- @Stratfor - They produce a fair amount of free foreign policy analysis.

- @KurzweilAINews - Link to a lot of articles on the edge of science.

- @NateSilver538 and @fivethirtyeight - Commentary and links based on hard stats in multiple subject areas (politics, sports, etc.)

- @Nouriel - Roubini's commentary on economics/markets.

- @MebFaber - Commentary and links to articles about the markets. Lots of CAPE stuff and value investing.

- @CarnegieEndow - links to foreign policy analysis

- @dccommonsense - Dan Carlin's political thoughts

- @elerianm - Mohamed El-Erian's economic and market thoughts

- @foundmyfitness - Dr. Rhonda Patrick's commentary and links on health and fitness topics. Lots of stuff on Vitamin D, fish oil, and lengthening telomeres.

- @mtaibbi - Current events commentary

- @DylanRatigan - Current events commentary and sustainability

- @tferriss - Human improvement

- @ritholtz - Ritholtz's commentary on the market and economics

- @ReformedBroker - Josh Browns market/economic commentary and surprisingly funny too.

- @SamHarrisOrg - Harris' thoughts

- @FareedZakaria - Zakaria's (from CNN) thoughts on foreign policy and some internal US policy.

- @ViceNews - Reporting outside of the normal news agencies.

- @BillGates - Interesting stuff about his philanthropic efforts.

There are a lot more. You just have to pick the right people. Try out a lot of people and then delete them if there is no value. That's what I do.

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jennypenny
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by jennypenny » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:49 am

Zakaria? Didn't he graduate from the Brian Williams School of Journalism? ;)

Twitter is the one social media outlet I like, and I can follow it without being subscribed. It's been fun to discover who's tweets are unexpectedly interesting. For example, I'm not really a fan of Ryan Reynolds as an actor, but his twitter feed is funny. And you'd think Rogan's would be funny, but it's kinda boring.

Chad
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Re: Eliminating Facebook from our lives?

Post by Chad » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:13 am

I'm missing the Brian Williams connection with Zakaria. Is there a story I don't know?

Yeah, some people are rather entertaining. I didn't put the ones I follow just for entertainment value. It is surprising that Rogan doesn't seem to try to be entertaining on Twitter. Though, based on his comments on the podcast I think he uses Twitter more as an information source. I will have to tryout Ryan Reynolds' Twitter. I like him as an actor for certain things (he will be a spectacular Deadpool).

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