Saturday, October 06, 2018

Should one remain on Facebook?

Periodically, there are waves of frustration against Facebook. Folks often talk about deleting their Facebook accounts and wonder what alternatives there are. I plan to stay on Facebook because I tend to think the magic is in how we use the media.

Facebook has the inertia of friends, comments and likes. In the IT industry, that's called "the network effect." Besides Facebook, I do use other media as well. I guess better word for this is "momentum."

Facebook is still the social media I use the most. My wall visible to Facebook users, friends and general public alike. For some reason, one still has to be a Facebook user to see the regular Facebook walls. This isn't necessarily true for another networking site, Google Plus. More on that later.

Here are some other internet medias I use and what they mean to me.

I have this blog, but, admittedly, it doesn't get many comments. People have to remember to navigate to my blog. It doesn't go out and find folks in their news feeds; so to speak. I link to it sometimes on Facebook. My blog does come up in searches, tho. Does have some audience. The blog is on a platform that is owned by Google; another big corporation.

Another service is Flickr. I share lots of photos. Not many comments come to my Flickr account either, but it does get quite a bit of traffic. around 3 million hits over a period of years. Some photos seem popular as they come up in searches.

I've donated my photos to Creative Commons so they also find their way into Wikipedia and so forth. The descriptions on my photos can be an outlet for my writing.

Flickr is owned by Yahoo; another big corporation.

There's other social media besides Facebook, like Google Plus and Ello. Seems like they don't have the inertia; the network effect that Facebook still has. My posts on this blog automatically get posted on my account at Google Plus. It works similar to Facebook, but doesn't seem to have the traction.

Twitter seems mostly for sound bytes. Not enough space for depth. I seldom use it.

My website ties my presences on various platforms together.

As for mainstream media, I listen to NPR Radio a lot. Not just on the live radio, but also shows that are archived as podcasts. Science shows, sensible political comment and so forth. I learn a lot, but I often wish I could talk back more. Yes, there are the listener comment sections at the very bottom of show pages, but comments can be quite buried.

There's also face to face communication. I do get a lot of that from walking around Bellingham. Seeing folks I know. I go for the civil conversation about meaty topics. Informative and political discussions that often happen on the street corner.

Here's a thought I just had. I hear quite a few people are thinking of giving up on social media. People who leave social media may be disfranchising themselves to some extent.

As for the government spying on Facebook, I figure maybe my government will listen to me for a change.


Theslowlane Robert Ashworth said...

From comments to this post on Facebook.

Robert. I read your latest post concerning Google plus. I am concerned with the use of the word inertia. I believe it means the opposite of what you intend.

Theslowlane Robert Ashworth said...

Yes. The word momentum is probably better.

From a later Facebook post.

I just learned that I was using the wrong word to describe the "network effect" behind Facebook. I should use the word "momentum," rather than inertia. Facebook has the momentum that other networking sites lack. The momentum of so many people on board each giving it their push. Once momentum gets started, it's harder to stop or change; thus comes the concept of inertia.