Flashback to the summer of 2007:
This week I got my first two invitations to join Facebook (Wikipedia). I don’t know how I’d avoided them for so long, but now it was time to put my reluctance into words. Here’s what I came up with:
Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not doing the Facebook thing.
I’ve decided to stick to LinkedIn (see my profile) for professional networking and Twitter (see my tweets) for casual/fun networking. You’re more than welcome to contact me on these networks.
And then of course I also use my blog to write for Google an open audience.
[“Facebook? Thanks, but no thanks“, me, June 17 2007]
I made some pretty good points in that post, too, if I do say so myself:
- At the time, Facebook was pissing off its core users (youth) by expanding aggressively to cater to everybody
- That wasn’t the first time it had done so
- Facebook eats your time.
But curiosity and peer pressure are powerful motivators, so only five weeks later I signed on to Facebook anyway. And I’ve been using it just about daily in the three years since then.
I like Facebook’s quick and easy way to stay up-to-date on what everybody’s doing. It’s ideal for an introvert like me who will never (ever!) pick up the phone and call five old school buddies or colleagues to hear how things are going… or write them a letter. That’s way too pushy and aggressive.
On Facebook it’s up to the recipient, not the sender, how much information they want. If you happen to be connected to a fire hose who won’t shut up about their car or new baby, just click the little x and their chatter is gone from your Facebook and you haven’t had to tell them to zip it. Passive-aggressive? No, it’s passive-defensive: You turn down the volume of information without bothering the fire hose.
Everything I wrote in the 2007 blog post is still true. For example that Facebook eats your time if you let it. All this darn contact and interaction with people tends to sap a person’s time and energy that I could’ve otherwise spent on, say, blogging.
Tomorrow (or, like, you know, whenever) I’ll write some tips on eliminating the more annoying aspects of Facebook, such as inane game requests, quiz results, etc.