Have to admit a sense of ‘told you so’ smugness at reading a news story that social networks are losing their shine.

Pavel Durov, founder of the Russian version of Facebook is ditching all his ‘friends’, saying: “Everyone a person needs has long been on messengers. It’s pointless and time-consuming to maintain increasingly obsolete friend lists on public networks. Reading other people’s news is brain clutter.”
Pretty much why I never bothered with Facebook in the first place (that, and originally it displayed personal info publicly).
Seeing Neil at work (when I did look one day at someone else’s feed) posting about the vending machine in the office ripping him off seemed an illustration of craziness. Posting on Facebook rather than, you know, actually talking to people the other side of the office.
I also saw someone else had posted that his granddaughter had tried on his hat. And wondered who had time to share or read such trivia.
I created a Facebook log-in, as you need one to see public info pages, and one of my friends uses it exclusively to stay in touch (via messages). And have been bombarded since with daily emails: ‘you have more friends than you think’; ‘do you know…?’
The reponses to which are: “I know who all my friends are, thank you.” And: “No.” Because the latter are friends of relatives of my friend, or whatever.
I have friends who use Facebook to keep tabs on their kids. Which has to be awkward both ways. When I was in my teens/at uni, the last thing I wanted was my folks knowing what I was up to, in pictures!
And how would they have felt, seeing photos of me and my friends having midnight piggy back races after a pub crawl?

‘Friends’ who aren’t

That extends further. Facebook ‘friends’ can be relatives, work colleagues, people you met on holiday, as well as actual friends.
I can’t be the only person who compartmentalises people in my life: I don’t share the same information with all of the above. And we’ve all heard of people who’ve lost their jobs after posting something unwise on Facebook that their boss saw.
It’s one reason why I gave up up a modestly popular blog a few years ago, and why I’m not sure what to do with this one yet (I just want to get up to speed with WordPress).
Although the pleasure of blogging was getting to ‘meet’ new people, around the world. Two of whom, in different countries, I actually met eventually in person.

Showing you care

Facebook is impersonal, too. I tend to text a lot. So 1990s? Who cares? It’s personal. It’s addressed to one person and they know I’m thinking of them, not (as on Fb) talking about myself for everyone who knows me to read.
Messenger apps make it easier to send longer, personal texts.
The news story I saw this on says: ‘Predictions from a few years ago that social networks would lose ground to messenger apps appear to be coming true’ (with stats to back it up).
I’m quite happy to be able to say: “Could have told you that”.

Hitting democracy

One major reason for disliking Fb etc, by the way, is they are destroying journalism. They are happy to share content created (and paid for) by others, and profit from it. But by taking so much of online advertising revenue, they are putting news outlets out of business.

If people only get the news they are ‘fed’, they miss so much, and don’t get a balance, either.

“Payment appears to have gone from the creators of content to those who aggregate it and provide a platform for others to share it…. The consequence of this trend will be fewer journalists, less holding those in power to account and a less well-informed electorate.” Source: UKPG


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