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I’m Sorta Kinda Maybe Over Facebook

September 25, 2009

I was really into Facebook when I first logged on last fall.  I spent at least an hour a day looking at people’s photos and bios, referencing my high school yearbook as I tried to figure out who the hell these people were sending me friend requests.  My husband teased me about how much time I devoted to it since I was so anti-Facebook before he convinced me to create an account.  I reconnected with family members and former classmates and coworkers I haven’t spoken to in ages.  Oh, the fun I had throwing polar bears at my friends and getting poked!  I posted all sorts of funny and interesting (at least to me) stories, links, and photos.  I was always trying to come up with clever status updates (which I would post about 9 times per day).  It was a laugh riot, I tell you!  Facebook shown a bright light on my dim little life!

Then I met Twitter.  As I started spending more time on Twitter, Facebook began to feel to slow to me.  With Twitter, I was having real-time conversations with dozens of people at once.  With Facebook, it could take days before someone replied to a message or comment.  The updates on Facebook often tended to be so literal and pedantic:  “Getting ready for work.  Need coffee.”  “Heading out for dinner.  Sushi, yeah!”  “Have a headache.  Going to bed.”  Sure, Twitter tweets can be like that as well and I can’t claim that all of my updates are groundbreaking news, but paired with the slowness of Facebook, it was all becoming quite plodding.  Facebook just couldn’t compare to Twitter in the realms of immediacy and diversity of information.

There was also the issue of the more time I spent on Facebook, the less new and shiny all of my reconnections felt.  Once we had all caught up with one another and the excitement dwindled, there wasn’t as great a need to check in as often.  We weren’t having conversations as much as we did in the early days.  The blush was coming off the rose.

My circle of friends  was yet another factor.   My husband chose to use Facebook completely differently that I did.  He has over 800 friends, most of whom he does not know in real life.  I didn’t want Facebook to work like that for me (that’s what Twitter is for!).  I have 135 friends today and almost all of them I know in real life (to whatever degree) or know who they are through a real life connection.  Probably less than 20% of my Facebook friends actually post updates.  I don’t even mean daily or even weekly, but EVER.  I still appreciate the fact that I have the ability to check in with them one on one if I choose to, or just see what their favorite books and films are, but again, this isn’t something that pulls me in as many times per day as it used to.

Finally, there was the whole matter of the Facebook format change.  I remember getting really pissed when Facebook tried to get all Twitter-like and was holding a grudge for weeks.  That is the point when I felt Facebook truly jumped the shark.  It was like someone slammed on the breaks and no one was talking or posting anymore.

Many of the Facebook friends I have I barely knew back in the day.  Some I don’t really remember knowing.  Some I actively disliked.  A handful I truly adore.  I have made a some new friends whom I enjoy greatly and strengthened several existing relationships.  Most I just like being connected to in this way: having the possibility of conversation at any given point.  It isn’t as though I am going to shut down my Facebook account tomorrow (my mother would never hear from me if I did that); it  is simply that I am less and less drawn to it as time goes by.  I am really truly glad I listened to my husband and joined Facebook (a fact of which he enjoys reminding me often).  I still enjoy checking in daily and seeing what people are posting.  I still get a kick from time to time of the funny things that people post.  But Twitter is where I spend the vast majority of my social media time, where I learn the most and get the most feedback; where I engage  and am engaged the most.   I don’t see that changing any time soon.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2009 9:52 pm

    Wow – seriously it’s like you got inside my head and wrote down all of my thoughts. I also joined Facebook last year and was addicted to it. Then I found Twitter and now that’s where I spend my time. Facebook is stagnant – I’m bored with it. I prefer Twitter too.
    Once again, great post!

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 25, 2009 10:23 pm

      Thank you so very much! I love writing posts that people can relate to! I keep trying to get my Facebook friends on to Twitter. A few have signed on but don’t understand it or enjoy it so they never tweet either. To each their own, I guess. P.S. Keep thinking things so I know what to blog about! :-)

  2. September 25, 2009 9:56 pm

    I poke you all the time, and you poke back :) I hope I’m included in this circle of friends that actually post ;)

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 25, 2009 10:21 pm

      Yes you are! I love getting poked by you… wait, does that sound wrong? You are a new friend and one I adore! I love your pots and look forward to them!

  3. amy trottier permalink
    September 25, 2009 10:05 pm

    As usual you read my thoughts. I just said out loud (to myself,but still) “I’m kinda sick of Face book, it’s so boring.” And I was superseded with it not long ago. Twitter is so immediate and I’m talking and connecting with people I have so much in common with. The truth about a lot of my Face book connections is I don’t have much more to say now that we have caught up.

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 25, 2009 10:22 pm

      Right on, sister friend! Once again, glad to know we are not alone in our sentiments!

  4. September 26, 2009 1:53 am

    the only reason i joined Facebook was to try and track down a girl i knew in middle school/high school, never did, only use it now when others ask me to friend them on it.

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 26, 2009 2:10 am

      See, you are one of the people that never posts! Naughty Boy!

  5. September 26, 2009 1:56 am

    Hey – I too am right there with you – I check FB out of a sense of obligation now – whereas when I first signed up, I waited with baited breath to find long lost friends, family, blah blah blah, do the quizzes, check out pictures etc – but omigawd, Twitter, I’m an utter addict now… I won’t dump my FB either, but… yeah… lost it’s luster…

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 26, 2009 2:09 am

      Spot on, Amy! Perhaps this is the natural progression for all of us. Yay, Twitter!

  6. September 26, 2009 2:57 am

    LOL – I was on Twitter before Facebook, and when I did finally join the FB party, I was like an addict: hours and hours each day…but only for a long weekend. Or so.

    FB is great for the pics — and maybe it is a better place than high school to be friends with some people, no? Facebook is handy and often fun, but Twitter is the place to be.

    I’m glad you found me on Twitter because I really like this blog — well done. And as for Twitter: I got a fever and the only prescription is more Twitter! Read it:
    http://www.ericmatas.com/2009/09/the-only-prescription-is-more-twitter.html

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 27, 2009 12:05 am

      I agree with you 100% Eric! Thanks so much for your comment and the link!

  7. September 26, 2009 3:29 am

    Too bad you were a little late to the party because I would have recommended you try out friendfeed. I suppose you still can, but it would kind loose a little of its impact since FB just bought it!

    Anyway, you might want to try out lite.facebook.com for slimmed down version of FB.

    I use FB the same way you do (only friends with people I actually know), and its what keeps me on there. The thing that annoys me is that most of the web 2.0 stuff is basically useless unless people you know & want to actually interact with are actually participating. For me, ~80%-90% of the people I actually know aren’t on anything other than FB! >:(

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      September 27, 2009 12:09 am

      I’ve checked out facebook lite which to me seems like Facebook trying to be Twitter, once again. I enjoy the fact that I don’t know most of my Twitter friends IRL: the diversity of opinions and information is quite refreshing. Plus I can talk about my real life friends behind their backs and they won’t know about it because they aren’t on Twitter! ;-)

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