I think I want to leave Facebook. It’s been brewing for a while, but I have been using it less and less for the past year and now I don’t think I really need it anymore. Why on earth, I hear you ask, would you want to leave Facebook – it’s so much fun! It’s so convenient! Well, it’s not really all that fun anymore, and for convenience … let’s just say the no-Facebook experiment has gone on for about a month now and I’m no worse off for it.
Facebook used to be fun and fresh, but now … I think the problem is that it’s become an “everyone” platform. My wall is dominated by updates about TV, fishing and babies from people I went to school with – people I haven’t seen since school and have no particular need to catch up with. I log in, scroll down the screen, and log out – these are not my people anymore and Facebook is starting to represent nostalgia.
Then I move on to Twitter and all of a sudden the conversation is interesting again – it lets you fill the stream with people you want to listen to. If I want to say something private there’s email – still the best way of communicating anything over 140 characters, I think. I have some friends who like using Facebook’s private messaging system, and I don’t understand why – email is so much easier to search through later when you are looking for something.
What originally drew me to Facebook was the concept of sharing photos with people – you upload an album and everyone can see it. Then I discovered Flickr, which is probably the most amazing picture-sharing tool out there, and I have never looked back. So then, I’ve gone through the things I liked about Facebook and realised I can replace all the functions with something else that I like better. Does that mean I’m leaving? … I don’t think so.
There is one function Facebook still has that nothing else can replace, and this stems from the fact that pretty much everyone uses it. Parties are organised on Facebook all the time, and I’ve heard of several instances where the friends who aren’t on Facebook are not invited because the host forgot. Not to mention if you want to find someone, anyone – you run a Facebook search. You can send them a message even if they aren’t a contact, and you don’t need to know their email address. Maybe I shouldn’t care about staying on the map like this, but that’s a separate discussion. The truth is that Facebook is becoming the new phonebook, and you leave at your peril.