I noted a couple of days ago that I was eyeballing my final days on Facebook and 48 hours later, I went ahead and pulled the plug. I now have only seven friends there (all of them family members), down from 600 or so at my peak, and I like and administer only two groups: Indie Albany and USNA ’86. Since I’m The Destroyer, obliterating this chapter of my life feels solidly satisfying, since nothing is worse than clinging to a community for longer than is seemly or healthy, especially when the proprietors of said community seem hell-bent on making it annoying and intolerable.
Facebook had a good run. But now, for me, it’s done. Like the Times Union Blog Portal, Upstate Ether, Upstate Wasted, Xnet2 Liste, Collider Message Board, Beef Log, Metroland, CompuServe RockNet, Cyber-Yugoslavia, Sounding Board, Orkut, Friendster, Classmates, The Flexible Tetragrammaton and many other online and media communities in which I’ve participated over the years. I will give Facebook credit for holding my attention longer than most interactive websites have done, so props to them for that.
Now, lest I sound like more of a heartless, sociopathic tool than I actually mean to be, I do want to note that it was great to re-establish connections with a lot of folks from years gone by via Facebook, and it’s great to still be in touch with so many people from most of those other, earlier groups as well. Here’s hoping that I’m able to keep in touch with many of them in the years ahead . . . but I’d just like to do it in a place where I’m not constantly on high alert to dodge rule changes, security breaches, hackers, crackers, stackers, attackers, spambots, spiders, crawlers and FarmVille players. Not to mention those creepily relevant advertisements on the right side of my page that made it very clear that, no matter what their printed policies said, Facebook’s marketeers were clearly data-mining my words and links to use against us, for their own profit.
So what’s the next step for me? I’m knocking around Google+ at the moment, with low expectations, though the platform looks clean and efficient, so maybe I will be pleasantly surprised there. I’ve got a sizable network on LinkedIn, and can always be reached there. And, as also mentioned earlier, I’m relaunching jericsmith.com, and Indie Albany continues to grow more robust and durable with each passing month. This platform has legs at this point, with a solid readership. Score one for the little guys and girls.
“But Eric,” I hear some hardcore, longtime Facebook devotees saying, “it’s just not the saaaaaaaaaaame here! Waaaaaaaahhhhhhh!”
Well, true, except that the only fundamental differences are the facts that Indie Albany won’t steal your photos and personal data, force you to look at advertisements, and change the rules of membership on you while you hang out here.
Don’t buy that? Okay, let me show you what I mean: here’s a rough estimation of what you would have seen from me tonight had I hung out of Facebook instead of being here . . .
9:06 PM: I can’t decide which is scarier: clowns or mommy-bloggers.
9:23 PM: Dear House of Representatives: Isn’t it time that we let the grown-ups drive the car for a spell, since we’re getting perilously close to the cliff? Signed, Your Employer.
9:45 PM: I think I just saw a mommy-blogger with a balloon in the sewer grate in front of my house.
9:56 PM: Tragic Mulatto were easily the greatest ’80s band that nobody but me seems to remember and love. The final song from their final album. Requiescat In Pace.
10:26 PM: A mommy-blogger just offered me candy to get in her white panel van with no license plates. I asked her if the candy had caramel in it. It did, so I said “no thank you.”
10:40 PM: Wait! Maybe Human Sexual Response were the greatest ’80s band that nobody but me seems to remember and love. It’s tough to top “Land Of The Glass Pinecones.”
10:58 PM: Q: How many mommy-bloggers does it take to change a light-bulb? A: Two, one to change the bulb, and one to post a photo of the big boy doo-doo that L’il Sproutman Bunkum Doodle proudly left in the poo-poo pail this afternoon. Yay!
11:28 PM: Dear House of Representatives: Isn’t it time you set aside partisan differences and did something worthwhile, like putting a cap on the number of mommy-bloggers allowed in the country? Signed, Your (Terrified) Employer.
Okay . . . that’s pretty much what I likely would have posted on a typical Facebook evening. Underwhelming when the Emperor’s clothes are stripped from the words, right? But why does it feel that way, really, since now you can respond to those words and links just like you can on Facebook? There’s a place here where you can comment on my little bon mots of inane wisdom, and there’s a “like” button on the comment page that you can push if you’re so disposed, and there’s an RSS feed subscription, so my piffle and tripe can be delivered in real time, and there’s eight other bloggers here at Indie Albany, so our “wall” will always have variety on it, with multiple voices offering multiple posts and perspectives.
We might not help you hook up with your third-grade crush, and I’m not going to become a billionaire here, but beyond that, we’re as fully functional as we need to be. So I think that my group blog and personal blog will do just fine for me from a social networking standpoint for the foreseeable future . . . and here’s hoping that others agree.