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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Almost Over Facebook

Truly, I really am just about over Facebook. There's really only two reasons that I can blame of Facebook itself:

1- Too many changes, no stability.
2 - The whole privacy issue thing

Everything else that bothers me about Facebook is my own fault. For one thing, I have let my "friend" list get way out of control. One of the reasons I participate in social networks is to, well, network. I'm not talking anything fancy, but I like the exchange of ideas and information. I get that from Twitter, but there's that whole 140-character limit thing...

The best thing about Twitter is the constant interaction. You can always find someone who shares your interests. There's very little dead weight and if there is, you can easily pare down your list. I currently "follow" 1431 people (or groups) on Twitter and I have 1737 following me. Here's how that breaks down:

Tweeters I interact with on regular basis (such as group meets, Bible study, She Speaks,  Vocal Point, etc) 100-200 (sometimes more, depending on attendance or a Twitter "party").

Interact with 1-on-1 on regular basis (Twitter stream and  DMs) 100 - 150
Interact with via DM and email on constant basis 20-25
Interact with on semi-regular basis (outside Twitter stream) 10-15
No interaction or rarely on Twitter stream 30-45

Another big Twitter plus: I can put out a prayer request and immediately have at least 20 to 30 folks respond.

I know I'm not the only one having fits over all the changes on Facebook. The privacy and issues of instability is Facebook's fault. It's my own fault that I don't enjoy the interaction (or lack of). For one thing, I let my "friends" list get out of control. On Twitter, I pick people based on interests and ideas and common intellect. On Facebook, I picked family, friends, acquaintances, fellow gamers... I pretty much approved anyone who sent a request. As of today, I have 202 "friends" and here's how that list breaks down:

People I know personally, am related to 81
People I know, but haven't seen for years (but we interact) 7
Ditto (but we don't interact) 41
People who are rarely or never even ON facebook 72
People I only know online, but communicate with regularly 5
People who actually talk about something other than what they ate or where they checked in at 9
People I have no idea who they are at all 11
People I only have on my list because of the games 12

There's a lot of dead weight. Out of 202 "friends," I get very little or no interaction. Unlike Twitter, I'm networking with people who are not in my life area: I don't party, curse or talk about a lot of the things I dis before I committed to Christ. Most of my posts or "shares" are news stories (because that's a big interest) or of Christian and social interests. Don't get me wrong - I love my friends and family, but most of them are not the most conservative of folks...

The Switchover
 I have been looking around for something more expansive than Twitter and more substantial than Facebook. I've signed up for an invite to Diaspora (which might be a little over my head) and I very recently set up my Google+ profile.  My dream is to somehow have the best of Twitter, Facebook and my blog communities. It's going to be hard to leave Facebook, though. Problems and all, it's still the first place where I was able to have all the family "together."

The thing I like about Google+ (so far) is that I can set up "circles" of  friends. It seems much easier than the lists on Facebook. One of the first things I've done is designate circles to keep everyone in their own little realm. Now I have to figure out how to add the FB, Twitter and Blog folk I want to keep. Other than family, there are only about 7 people I'm taking from Facebook. Twitter is going to be more complicated.

The one downside I can think of is that I'm not sure how many people use Google services. I've used Google for around 5 or 6 years - for my blogs, mail and the many other services they've had - but I don't know a whole lot of people with even Gmail. Hmm... Gonna have to think on that.

So... I will hopefully be able to shut down my FB account sometime in the very near future. Pretty sure I will go through withdrawals. In that case, I'll just open another FB account and keep the friends' list on the quality-not-quantity side.