I’m getting ready to quit Facebook and generally pull back from social media.
. . . .
My reasons for this are complicated and are expanded on below, but I know that most people (and this is part of the problem) only like to read a tiny bit of text before forming strong opinions. It’s almost as if they already had their opinions are just using the posts on social media to rage-surf.
So, for those who love brevity, here are the TLDR reasons I’m leaving Facebook (and most of Social Media):
- It is addictive without substantive reward
- The application interfaces are terrible and only serve the platform, not the user
- The concentrated engagement of attention and time on social media are destructive to cooperation and unity
- The platforms are rife with bots and agents that seek to divide us
- The platforms create the illusion of accomplishment
[PG comment – The list continues]
. . . .
The main reason I joined Facebook was to chat and “play” with my friends. Facebook has an algorithm, an invisible agent that works to decide what you see and who sees you. I have more than a hundred real-life friends on Facebook. Because of this stupid algorithm, I only see 10 to 15 people’s posts.
There is a button that lets you change from “Top Stories” (the Facebook bot-controlled fascist view) to the “Most Recent” (theoretically, the “real-time” look at your friend’s feed). Nearly all of my friends want the Most Recent, but we all get reset to Top Stories. Why? It doesn’t really matter why. I assume it’s because it’s easier to control the ad flow if the algorithm dictates your view, but from a user-experience perspective, this is the same as having a Word Processor that intermittently changes your fonts to COMIC SANS throughout the day no matter what setting you pick.
Facebook encourages creative people to build Facebook Groups. Recently I started one for my podcast In reSearch Of… and immediately began to get spammed with notices that “more people could see your post if you ran an ad.”
Link to the rest at Patreon and thanks to R. for the tip.
PG closed his personal FB account a few years ago because of concerns about Facebook’s attitude towards user content and significant privacy concerns.
He’s set up one or two dummy accounts with phony names, minimal phony demographics, etc., that he uses solely for looking at posted information that is supposedly ”really great” or of otherwise of potential interest to him. If/when he goes, he is most likely to be somewhat disappointed.
He also uses FB on occasion solely as an anonymous outbound channel for spreading little creations (no, they’re not good, have nothing to do with the law and/or indie/traditional publishing, are not in the least racy or pornographic, tap into the back side or underside of PG’s brain, the right and left sides of which are otherwise occupied) and PG would be embarrassed to be associated with them except by a very small group of years-long friends who are highly understanding of PG’s numerous shortcomings and inadequacies.
If someone wants to be PG’s Facebook friend, he/she/it must have known PG extremely well for at least twenty years. Longer is preferable.