Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Antisocial Network: Facebook Takes a Holiday

Location: Not Facebook

Well, for me, Facebook is an experiment that has...failed.

I had to create an account to moderate our Writing Center's FB presence, but inexorably my little site drew family members, friends, and status-updates from me.

And I don't like it one bit. So while I can't leave Facebook, I'm not going to update my status for a while, at least until after the November election. I find that at log-in, I'm assaulted with political spam from said "friends" and family, and often it's of the Right-Wing variety that makes my eyes cross.

Or perhaps it's the revelation--hold the friggin' presses--that some dunce who friended me "likes" Wal-Mart, a place I'd as soon crush with Cat D-9 bulldozers as enter for shopping.

Facebook can be useful to maintain distance contacts with old friends, but this year I've made the vow to see friends in person more and even mend a few old fences. In person. Not with pixels or cat videos or posts about some ill-conceived article that I simply must read.

Luckily, I can log in through our Writing Center portal to FB and not even see the wall of status updates. With a click, if I so choose, I can visit my own wall. I can post updates to the Virtual Worlds Roundtable Group. I can certainly access content such as Cloud Party without directly logging in to FB .

And that way I can bloody well avoid all the spam normally seen at login.  What did Bilbo Baggins say at his final birthday party in the Shire? "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

Meanwhile, I'm going to be doing more of what I've increasingly done all this curmudgeonly year: reading (and learning about e-book technology for my upcoming first-year seminar that will only use e-texts), smoking my pipe, sipping a cold beer in the cool of the evening, and, as has been the case with my explorations of Second Life, not going online as often as I once did.

I never spent a great deal of time at Facebook, no more than an hour each week. But somehow that hour felt like it had been through time dilation.  Having an hour back seems sweet, indeed.


Anonymous said...

You can block/hide whatever you want in FB...

I block all the game invitations and proclamations, for example.

Sometimes a friend will go wild and start posting every time they brush their teeth, so I use the dropdown menus to hide most or all of that person's posts. Same thing with friends who post rude political or religious things, whatever camp they're in.

That's my approach, and I share it bcs I would miss your posts. YMMV.

Iggy O said...

How do you block posts from folks you like but who post crap? I'd love family updates but would love to do without the "This is why Obama is the Antichrist; click to like" bullshit.

Anonymous said...

That's a little trickier; it depends on how often they post and what proportion of their posts are unwanted.

The options seem to be - All Updates - Most Updates - Only Important - Unsubscribe from ___ - Unsubscribe from status updates by ___.

So... if the person never seems to post anything I'm interested in and posts a lot, I'll unsubscribe for awhile; every couple of months I'll go back and check on those folks. If it's only occasional, I'll set for Most or Important.

Personally, I don't like to block ALL the annoying ones, only because it keeps me aware of what the adamant people are currently thinking.