3.5.09

Reality Check

I've been doing the Facebook thing and the Twitter thing for a while (and blogged about my ambivalent feelings towards each) and, well, it's time to pull back.
Here's my thinking:

  • If I get irritated when someone twits their location, others will probably get irritated if I do the same.
  • If I get irritated when someone links their Twitter and Facebook status, others will probably get irritated if I do the same.
  • If I get irritated when someone updates their status on either many, many times a day, others will probably get irritated if I do the same.
  • If I get irritated when someone is posting links to NYTimes/Mashable/Slashdot/other relatively-mainstream content providers , others will probably get irritated if I do the same.
  • If I get irritated when someone is constantly playing games/finding Eggs/taking quizzes, others will probably get irritated if I do the same.
Doug posted about the idea of branding, to which I commented that "part of "branding" could be "how you present yourself on-line". What do your posts/pictures say about you? Is this the way you want to be seen?"

My reality check is based just on that: what are the things I'm doing on-line saying about me? One friend just left Facebook because of the time-suck ("I decided that FB wasn't really a place I wanted -- too tempting to get sucked into mindless games, too few actual connections with people. All the folks who actually matter to me can contact me otherwise. So, I dropped it before it completely ate my brain.") Does my presence there - or on Twitter - say that I'm losing my brain? Am I a Twit?

So I'm pulling back. Instead of responding that I "like" someone's post, or pictures, or link, if there's nothing I can really add that's moving the conversation along, I won't comment. I'm decoupling my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I'm deleting from Twitter those that post duplicates on Facebook. And, as my friend says, "All the folks who actually matter to me can contact me otherwise".

ETA: Seth Grodin talks about why e-mail and Twitter might disappear. He's got a point...

4 comments:

Alice in Infoland said...

I agree with most of your comments. I have many different 'connections' on FB vs Twitter, which is why I may post the same item to both.
OTOH, you might find this interesting: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/missconduct/2009/05/facebook_a_resp_1.html

Anonymous said...

Points well-made. Maybe the answer is that there need to be better, more obvious, ways to filter content coming from certain people. As the boston.com article says, and others have mentioned forever, hide status stuff from folks who abuse it. Or perhaps DM them and tell them your concerns.

I do not play any games on FB, and if I did, I would try to find some setting that would turn off notifications about those games.

As for the issue of timesuck, I avoid that by importing all my feeds (including FB) into FriendFeed and reading them from there. You can also comment back from there and there are no distractions of games etc.

camillofan said...

E-mail may disappear? Noooooooooooooooo! (Okay, except I wouldn't miss "Reply to All." I hate "Reply to All.")

As for the rest of it, I don't generally get annoyed by the things my friends choose to do on their blogs or on FB-- free country and all that. Conversely, I do get annoyed when someone tells me what to do on my own blog-- and you know, even members of the small band of nice folks who read my LJ aren't above asking me in comments to hide my text behind an LJ cut because they have found a particular post too long/ graphic/ spoilerish/ whatever. And I'm a wimp: I may seethe inside, but I always comply.

All that said, however, I'll confess that it bugs me when people have their Tweets automatically shipped to their blogs (as several people I read do). Out of context, a string of Tweets generally makes no sense to the non-Twitterer; it's like posting in code. I'd never leave a comment asking the person to hide (or ditch) those Tweets, though.

cafeshree said...

I've not succumbed to FB or Twitter yet, though I've been tempted, but the constant updating with mindless things would annoy me. Perhaps if there were better ways of filtering or controlling the tweets, I'd be more inclined to use it.