Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life beyond Facebook

I'm not sure how long it's been. Perhaps a month? Perhaps less, perhaps more. No, at least I month I think, since I deleted my facebook account.

At the time it was a combination of two factors. Firstly I was pretty fed-up with fb's changing terms of service and privacy policy. It was about the time of that last, latest kerfuffle over that issue. I'm not interested in fb linking and co-ordinating more and more data and making it more and more available to more people.

Secondly, it was about time. At my desk the need is for focus, sustained attention to my work. And fb, regardless of whether at work or home or anywhere, is a terrible, addictive substance. The desire to be connected, and to know what is going on, and to refresh endlessly to obtain either the latest trivia from people I half-know, or validation on the social propriety and wit of my own latest status update.

I am not much inclined to moderation. on/off is how my brain likes to work. so i just deleted the whole thing.

One of the things I feel is a sense of liberation. i'm *free* from fb. life carries on and i'm none the worse for it. it certainly has helped focus my work day. and oddly, ditching fb is it's own kind of cutting edge of valueless cool.

The other side of it though, is that I'm still quite aware that fb is a rapidly but well-entrenched part of many people's social life. There are conversations and connections that happen in a web of connectivity that i'm no longer part of. Things occur that I don't know about, or am not invited to, simply because of technological hermiting. Occasionally someone gets personally frustrated with me for not being on fb, like it's some kind of violation of a new social contract.

Which it's not. Social networking is just another tool. A tool like no other tool before it, but a tool nonetheless. And one you can live without.


lhynard said...

Hey, good post.

I have slowly started coming back to blogging after a very long hiatus. Do you solely post over here now?

Seumas Macdonald said...

Predominantly. I still read LJ, but I rarely post on it.

Jan Patrick said...

I particarly liked "ditching fb is its own kind of cutting edge valueless cool".

I've come to realise that being poor makes fb and other forms of social networking (Twitter if I was on it) a cheap way of communicating with people when you can't be bothered recharging my phone credit.

Also, you have a wife on fb that can update you on event invites and my sometimes witty statuses.