Fuck social media.

Facebook FU

“Facebook is so much better than a blog…” — person who was promptly unfriended on Facebook.

Yes, I am entirely aware that a link from a social network probably brought you here. I planned it that way.

I’m a blogger, see? Been writing on the web since 2001. That’s before Facebook, MySpace, Friendster even. And though I’ve registered accounts on almost every social media network there is — ok, maybe not Friendster — I’ve come to the realization that I despise all of them, in varying degrees.

It’s not just that you’re feeding your content into someone else’s machine, though that’s a big part of it. Each of these damnable things has its own unique flavour of fail.

To elaborate, a blog is better than…

Facebook

Facebook has this amazing ability to make smart people look stupid. Folks I’ve known for years and have had real-world interactions with are somehow transformed by Facebook into whiny, self-absorbed exhibitionists, with an army of like-bots hanging on their every word. For a while it was fun to elevate the banal to the level of high prose, but the novelty quickly wore off and it was back to blogging on the open web for me. By the way, if you’re Facebook friends with two thousand people or more, do you really need the privacy that Facebook supposedly provides?

I suppose Facebook has some value for bitching to a company via their fan page. But you can also do that on Twitter, where your friends don’t have to see you being a dick.

Worst of all is that I’m pretty much forced to keep my Facebook account active, as there are people out there in the world who seem to have forgotten that email is still a viable option for electronic communication. How sad is that?

Google+

Oh look, a bunch of Android fanboys posting screen grabs of their launchers. Pass.

Identi.ca

Largely an angry mob of freetards fighting for the FOSS crown atop Mount Who Cares.

LinkedIn

Yes, I realize that my more than a decade of potty-mouth blogging does not translate into an employable skill. Thanks so much for reminding me.

Twitter

This is a tough one because I actually use Twitter.

I recently downloaded my personal archive of tweets, dating back to 2007. The data portability is a welcome addition to the service but honestly, re-reading all those self-indulgent 140-character blurts makes me question their value. I like Twitter because it forces concision, and a 140-character blurt is easier for me to digest than the equivalent Facebook post with a bazillion comments and likes on it.

I think Twitter’s greatest asset and biggest failing is that it’s ultimately a dumping ground for outbound links. Come on, you know it’s true. I try to keep mine interesting, I really do, but just like you I’ve posted pictures of food in the past and I’ll probably do it again.

So I had this crazy New Year’s resolution to go back to blogging (I never really left) and use social networks solely to promote said blogging. Turns out that’s not so easy. There are at least two sites/services that, particularly with their mobile apps, do wondrous things that even an awesome blog like this presently can’t.

In other words, a blog is handily beaten by…

Flickr

More a photo-hosting service than a social network, Flickr has been a boon to my self-confidence as an aspiring shutterbug — whether due to my mad skillz or permissive licensing I’ve had at least a couple of my shots published in print. Flickr is so good that it’s worth paying for (it even got me a girlfriend!), but deep down inside I resent the fact that I can’t get the same photo-blogging functionality out of WordPress. I’d much rather have everything in one place.

Foursquare

I’ve come to rely on Foursquare to keep a running list of all the fantastic shops, sites and restaurants around the world that I’ve had the good fortune to visit. I could use Google Check-ins or Maps, but Foursquare’s many and varied data portability options give it a leg up.

Meanwhile, geo-located posting is now an option for both WordPress and WordPress.com blogs, but the GPS radio on my phone is only accurate to somewhere within a three-block radius of where I actually am.

Both Flickr and Foursquare could be integrated with this blog — in fact, Flickr can post directly to it — but I’m not yet sure whether I want that or not. Point is, I’m not going to give up either of these accounts anytime soon. Or Twitter, if I’m honest.

Ok, so maybe this inaugural post should have been called “Fuck most social media”. Not nearly as catchy, though…

8 thoughts on “Fuck social media.”

  1. Hi
    I myself have been having a heck of a time getting switched over from the fugly & busted, Livejournal, to WordPress, its REALLY pissing me off, to no end!
    I’m on a iMac, (for the accessibility options & cheaper in the long run)

    I only use FB to keep in touch with those that dont use email, & seeing as I cant afford worldwide long distance on a cell, I keep it goignt o see what my friends are up to..

    Twitter, yeah, addictive, its my rant-sphere, as well as keeping up to date with stuff in my fave cities..
    also love reading various news & blogs & just find it highly entertaining..

    Good to see your back AC..

    Peace

    Em

    1. Thanks, it’s somewhat liberating to have a blank canvas again.

      I actually have a LiveJournal site too, though I’ve never had to get anything out of there. WordPress isn’t perfect by any means, but I’ve been using it for over six years now — better the devil you know, I guess…

  2. Anyone who uses that crap is tainted. They have deep pschological issues and need to seek professional help.
    If you require attention or some need to belong or feel wanted. Try going to local bar and talking to the person next to you instead of just playing with your god damn iphone and opening up some form of socially media.

    FB is turning the world into socially inept fuktards who would rather communicate via social media instead of directly.

    Once upon a time when computers were being created people wondered how they could get someone to sit infront of a stupid box all day for a job.

    Thesedays it seems people want to do it – How our ancestors would react if they could see the world today.

  3. Love this piece, but it goes to show that when we start something like “fucking all social media”, we end up still needing some aspect of it as you said Flickr. Do you think it’s possible to go back to a world where people have actual conversations and aren’t on their phone every 3 seconds checking notifications? I’m a part of the Facebook clan, but I’m tired of seeing the same drama and bullshit, yet I’m still there. What the fuck is that about!
    Hope you’re still keeping to your limited social networks. The world would probably have been better without Facebook

  4. A lot of “social media” sites seem to only cater to folks with phones. To have to enter a phone number to create an account on the site is an abomination. I’m going to continue using my general purpose computer to communicate with folks (or a plain simple phone) and thus will be restricted to using some “social media”. Oh well, I’m just not going to bow down to the proprietary walled in garden created by the telcos… and the messed up “social media” sites that only cater to them.

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