I love social media. I loved social media before it was called social media. I loved the concept that I could communicate electronically with other people via the digital transfer of information. Younger me would dial into BBS systems in the late eighties, and young me would get online with a 14.4 modem in the nineties. Back before Xbox Live and high speed networks, I was playing Warcraft 2 by calling a friend’s house via a landline in the middle of the night and our computers would direct connect with our modems.
NOTE: A sign of age and the evolution of tech… that last sentence didn’t originally include “via a landline”. I added it after realizing that the clarification would be needed for at least on of my three readers.
To the point: Tom Croom has always been a fan of connecting to people using computer technology and the Internet.
Recently, however, I’ve found myself re-thinking the value of interaction vs. the value of time. The problem with saturation in variety is that you eventually have to make decisions between selections. There are now, like, McMillions of choices in social media platforms with people trying to start new ones each week for every conceivable sub-niche out there. Out of all of them, though, the one that’s hit the most obvious “critical mass” is Facebook. Everyone’s on Facebook. Your mom is on Facebook. In some cases, your grandma is on Facebook.
The problem with going on Facebook now vs. the Mark-Zuckerberg-just-dropped-out-of-Harvard era is that the platform is no longer about passive entertainment or interaction. It’s about delivering you, the consumable, to every potential advertiser out there. While this level of expectation exists on all social media to some degree, the amount of effort it takes to find elements that want to be found on Facebook has apparently now exceeded my available time. Check out this chart:
Based on this (and it’s pretty accurate) for every one hour I am spending on Facebook, I am wasting 35 minutes on ads cultivated “just for me” via web searches, my conversations online, my conversations via Messenger, and quite possibly me speaking and my phone listening PLUS other inane posts of zero interest. Assuming I spend two hours on Facebook each day (remember: I have to for work) then I’m wasting at least one of those hours on things like:
- “Can I get an amen for…”
- “I bet this won’t get one share or like…”
- “Re-post if…”
- (We hate you) “Signed, Everyone who SHARES this post.” – and all similar public shaming sort of posts.
- “Doing a school project and would like to see how far this picture gets shared…”
- “Read this absolutely true news story that aligns with my personal view!” (Link is to an obscure news site.)
- “I got [INSERT POP CULTURE THING HERE] on this online survey! What will you get?”
- “Only geniuses can” find/see/do this problem. No – you’re not a genius.
- Screen shots from Tumblr… that I could just read on Tumblr.
- Screen shots of clever/insightful/inflammatory/funny comments made on Twitter… that I could just read on Twitter.
- Cross posted photos from Instagram… that I could just see on Instagram.
- Passively xenophobic and almost racist posts from people who don’t think they are racist.
- Vague passive aggressive post about something so important that it got posted, but you’ll never know what it is.
- Donald Trump.
ANOTHER NOTE: That bullet point list was put together by me opening Facebook on my other computer screen – I have two – and scrolling while typing this in real time. Seriously.
You see, all I really want from Facebook is:
- Access to update work related pages and groups.
- Updates that my family are alive, doing well, and not dead.
- The latest Bloom Country comic strip.
Which leads me now to that phrase said so many times by so many people as they’ve yelled into the void of cyberspace.
I am going to delete my Facebook.
Now, if it were only that simple.
Step one: download all of my Facebook data. Done. My photos, posts, and everything else FB had on me made for 2.01 gigs of data.
Step two: delete my… shit. I can’t do that. I have the business pages and ads connected to my account.
Step two: build a second Facebook page and migrate the business pages to that account.
Step two – part two: spend a couple of weeks arguing with Facebook that the other account is NOT a fake account and it is, in fact, me. I’ve had to send confirmation multiple times in form of copies of my ID to prove that I’m really me. This process took weeks since there is no “customer service” number for Facebook.
Step three: create an advertising account on the new Facebook account for the business pages. Test an ad.
Step three – part two: nope. Of course that wasn’t easy, either. Facebook locked that advertising account for “suspicious activity” and I have had to send info in again (some of it the same info) to prove that I’m really me; the business is really a business; and my payment information wasn’t stolen.
I’m currently that far in the process. Step three – part two. How many more steps are there? I DON’T KNOW. I’m working in, though, and will keep you posted regarding keeping up with me as I abandon the big blue ship in cyberspace.
For now: I suggest you follow me in one of three ways:
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