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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why Am I Using Facebook?

The new changes to FB (and the ones to come) have once again made me wonder whether I want to or need to have a presence there. I put up a page in order to promote my business and connect with other photographers. At first I friended nearly everyone. But as time has passed I find myself unwilling to friend people I do not know—even if they are supposed “friends of friends.”

I also tried to keep my postings and my attention to my Friends postings to be solely about photography. I am not interested in sharing everything in my life, and my closest friends are not even on FB. But as time wore on I couldn’t resist posting about and commenting on politics—something I feel very strongly about.

Then came the cute photos of animals—always hard to resist. Then the personal news from people I really like—how could I not “Like” them? And now I find myself wondering what the point to all of it is.

When I posted to the Flak Photo Network: “Is anyone else thinking of leaving FB? I'm wondering what the point is with all the things I dislike and the feeling I'm getting further away from people instead of closer. What's the alternative? Thoughts?” I was interested in and appreciated the responses and reasoning from people I knew. That is one of the few things I really like about FB—talking with people not in New York in real time.

But I am so tired of the changes with no options, and the fact that I worry about the privacy issue (yes, I am old fashioned). I don’t want to be told I have no choice over how I participate, and how my information is used. And now that FB has formed a PAC to fight privacy rulings, I am even more concerned.

Now I’m not saying my privacy hasn’t already been curtailed in this day and age. But I like choosing where I participate online, whether it’s what I’ll buy or do or visit. I don’t want this one company making the decisions for me. And now to hear that they track me even AFTER I’ve left the site is just chilling. I know each person needs to make the best decision according to their own needs. And I know I need to do that myself. But I am overwhelmed by it all, and confess I don’t understand both how to use it in the best way, and how to make the changes I want to make. I need a tutorial on FB and everything else (Twitter, blog, etc.)

I would love to know what you think. I can use all the practical information I can get. What do I need to do (or not do) to navigate FB to my best advantage, and in a way that doesn’t drive me crazy?

How do you feel about being a part of something that you created (well the 750 million who joined), but have no say in shaping? How do you feel about the FB PAC committee and its political lobbying? Does anyone else look back nostalgically at a time when you actually had to meet up with and talk to people to find out who they were and what they were doing?

Let me know.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of ditching FB myself lately. I realized that all the interactions I have with people I actually care about really comes to me through other services. I don't want to totally abandoned FB but at this moment it just annoys me. I think it is best used a portal to you where people that may not use other social media services can see what you're up to since many can be integrated with FB.

The privacy concerns aside, I find that I prefer to just call or even text my family or friends when I need to discuss something with them. FB just seems to add an unnecessary layer between interaction.

September 29, 2011  
Blogger It isn't always what it seems said...

It is a issue I have been weighing out since the beginning of the changes earlier this year. I don't think I am too concerned with the privacy issue other than the potential invasion of my family life that is not public.

I think the issue for me is like you stated, our choice is being removed. It is the reduction of our rights as individual to the pursuit of our own happiness. The changes being made almost seem like they violate constitutional law, yet I do have the option to not use the free service.

I am not sure how I am going to use Facebook in the future, I think it will evolve strictly into an outlet with minimal interaction. I will have family an intimate friends migrate to Google+, since I have choices there.

I'm not advocating Google+ other than how it is arranged/designed. I find it effective, simplistic in it's approach to facilitate mass communication. It could be the funnel to mass produced content by the public, and the more I really think about it, a better designed social media site. It fits the original intent of Google, to be the sole source for everything on the Internet.

Ultimately I will wait to see what changes Facebook has made. The new changes will be released the first part of next week.

September 29, 2011  
Anonymous Becky Green Aaronson said...

I'm struggling with the whole FB issue too, especially as they continually change it.I originally signed up to help promote myself as a writer, but soon realized that most of my time was spent reading about other people's kids and quirks (which, of course is fun, but a huge time vacuum). And the privacy issue...it truly makes my skin crawl. I continually double-check my privacy settings to make sure FB hasn't pulled yet another fast one. Having said all that, I haven't taken the great leap to dumping it just yet. For now, my mantra is, "More face time and less Facebook time."

September 29, 2011  
Anonymous Deran said...

I joined Facebook at the urging of friends and family who live far from me. At first it was a great wide open playground. Later I started using FB to market my writing. I'm not sure that that has really paid off?

But FB has steadily increased the focus on collecting data and marketing to me. And with this last change the data mining noose is even tighter.

Google +, for the time being, appears fairly benign, but I can't help but assume that Google has intenions on making money off G+, which I assume includes data mining (for instance, Google is cracking down on people who use monikers). I assume Google also wants to get us to allow them to track us as well.

And as far as I can see, I am on G+, Google+ is pretty much a large vacant space for now.

I imagine I will remain on Facebook because there are so many people I will never interact with in the real world, that I can be in touch with via FB.

I was active on MySpace back 8 or so years ago, and finally stopped when everyone else had abandoned MySpace, and after Murdoch bought it and switched to a predominantly music promoting site.

As much as I dislike a great deal abt FB, I'm unlikely to abandon it yet.

September 29, 2011  
Anonymous Ellie Ivanova said...

This facebook-tracking blocking service was recommended in the NYT - I am planning to install it myself.

http://webgraph.com/resources/facebookblocker/

Other than that, I agree that facebook makes people more distant - or, if closer, they are closer in a different way. There are more chances to be irritated by someone through constant contact via facebook than through personal, face-to-face contact.

My approach is to never share information that's not already available elsewhere. For the sleek tracking facebook employs, I'll resort to the blocking software above :) But I wouldn't abandon it completely for the connections to other people it affords, the ease of discussion, etc. Contacts through facebook have inspired me on many occasions...

September 29, 2011  
Blogger terrigold said...

I also am overwhelmed as well as intrigued by facebook , blogs and websites and the continual level of learning involved to keep up with the changes and what is possible...and what we want and is working for us without revealing too much about us.
The ability to keep in touch with people all over the world is what I find invaluable.
I am often traveling all over the world and can now keep in touch with the people I have met and continue the connection in ways I would not have been able to before.
I have just joined google + but haven't put up much there yet.I am afraid to add another place to keep track of. I have my blog automatically link to my 2 FB sites my terrigoldworldimagery fan page and my terri gold page. I am redoing my website now too...
Keeping it all running is the challenge these days and shooting and making the work and then producing and presenting it.

I just wish there were more hours in the day !

September 29, 2011  
Blogger terrigold said...

I also am overwhelmed and intrigued by technology-Fb,blogs,websites,twitter and what it takes to keep up with the changes and learn what is possible and how to control it and not be overly controlled or exposed by it.
Traveling all over the world, I find the ability to stay in contact and continue a meaningful connection with the people I meet is worth keeping it all going.
I can't fathom twitter-just one more level I am unwilling to keep up with but have my blog posts automatically link to facebook and twitter.
I now feel I have to redo my website so it seems there is always the next step looming.
Then there has to be time to create the work and then produce and present it.
I am happy to share people experiences and hear their solutions too.
I continually wish there were more hours in the day.

September 29, 2011  
Anonymous Kristina said...

I have a personal page and one for business contacts. My personal page is for close friends, family members, some old school friends, mostly to keep in touch with my native country. FB for me is like a square where we meet every day, we post silly things on each others walls, we laugh it up and it is mostly about having fun, or exchanging information, or expressing feelings about random things, music we like and so on. I really like my personal page, and visit every day, and I get a lot out of it actually, I keep in touch in a way that is very meaningful to me. My professional page gets a visit every week or so, I seldom or never post personal info. It is helpful to friend people I work with to make inroads with them in a business way. But the things I post there are edited and not personal.
I am staying on FB with my personal page, maybe LinkedIn will be more important for business in the future.

September 30, 2011  

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