Monday, June 14, 2010

Why I decided not to use facebook (at least for the time being)?

I joined facebook about 3 years ago. I did it because everyone kept talking about it and it was also becoming a mobile web phenomenon.
Being an executive in the mobile industry and a former CEO and investor of a mobile content/platform company, I could not use/try/understand how facebook was being used. WIth time I did use it more and more, have more than 300 friends, posted about 200 pictures and at least 4-6 updates a week

On this point, I recommend you to read the last issue of Time magazine (may 31st 2010, vol. 175). There is a very good editorial article on facebook and also a very good commentary from Steven Johnson on his own choices on facebook usage. He does also introduced a movie/documentary I saw recently "we live in public" on late 1990 Internet tycoon Josh Harris (really recommended)). It does nothing to support or not support my thesis but it gives you lots of arguments on both sides on choices ahead. BTW found fascinating the reference to Zuckerberg's Law (Facebook CEO) that each year we will share twice as
much information as we did the year before

Suddenly after my good friend and former mmCHANNEL and Vodafone Colleague Damien Saunders decided to quit facebook (and just focus mostly on twitter and his blog)
I did my own examination on facebook usage. 

Privacy (the most spoken topic about the danger on facebook) was not a concern as I have self-imposed a number of rules
on what I post and what I don't (which I can tell people should re-think a bit on this one). My key issue is that a lot of people is substituting the email and phone
communication (and in some cases blogging) for facebook. Yes it is real time, but in the majority of the cases it is short, impersonal, almost effortless. And for me friendships and strong professional ties have comed by investing heavilty (time and emotionally) on those relationships. IN fact the people who really invested time on
my facebook communication (through messages and not just comments and like/dislike) will easily transfer those skills into email. Furthermore I could use my facebook time for my blog, email communication, calling friends

So what I decide to do? I did delete all my pictures, and shut down the email notification and reduce my profile to a minimum. I will decide in the future If I truly delete the profile. I send messages
to those good "facebook" only friends to move to email, phone and blogging (will keep using twitter and linkedin) and start this experiment
This week I bother to send those pictures that I thought special to the people that will mean most (mostly Blackberry pictures using my email fucntion on share/send to) and I usually got a nice email back with comments or messages. Even so I will need to think if I want to maybe start using picassa or something similar for photo uploading (as the blog does only allow oen picture per text
And I feel I am using time for something else and not feeling OUT of the communication loop or the facebook so called ALWAYS ON stardom :-)

Will keep reporting on how does it feel so far

PS I know many of you, my friends and family love using facebook. I have nothing to say about this and I have no intention to have any influence on people usage
My only aim is about how do I coomunicate with my people and the choices I made when dealing with them 

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, for me Facebook has become just another place where my twitter updates get syndicated and where from time to time I get messages I'd prefer on email... perhaps its time for Facebook and its user to reconsider how to empower its "friend focus"