Facebook, I’m breaking up with you. I’m not dumping you entirely; we can still be friends, and we share too many mutual acquaintances who are important in my life to ever sever the ties completely. But you’ve become too possessive, too nosy. Your insecurity is showing. You demand to know everything about me, where I visit, what I read, who I like and don’t like. Then you don’t have the common courtesy to keep that information to yourself, seamlessly sharing it with people I’ve never heard of. I’ve tried to stop you. I’ve applied all the available filters and privacy settings, avoided the ubiquitous games and apps, but it’s no use. And while I don’t like to be superficial, you’ve let yourself go, become cluttered and unwieldy and downright unattractive. Oh, I know, you’re trying new things, flashy news tickers (annoying!) and profile timelines (creepy, at best). Enough is enough. We’re through. I’ve found someone else.
Google+ is seductively clean and elegant. My professional friends don’t have to hear about the family reunion, and Aunt Jan isn’t inundated with writing advice and rants. I know FB tried to make that possible, but it was too little, too late. Many of the hard lessons I learned there can be implemented much more easily on G+, and I don’t have to try to undo the mistakes of the past, whether they were mine or the platforms. I’m starting over, wiser and more focused, aware of my social networking needs, my likes and dislikes. I’m more cautious who I allow into my circles, screening new followers and keeping overlap to a minimum.
I’ve also learned the hard way (thank you, FB) that it’s best, for me at least, to severely curtail the negativity. Political rhetoric, especially as the never-ending campaign cycle kicks into high gear, is no longer welcome. I’ll stick with pleasant family connections, humorous friendly chats, and informative writing notes and commentary. Social networking at its best, I hope.
FB won’t disappear from my life completely. I’m too paranoid by the publishing industry’s insistence on its vital importance in building a writer’s platform, although I’m not entirely convinced they’re right. I’ll still drop in (probably far too often, knowing me) to see what my friends are up to, add the occasional witty bòn mót to the discussion, keep up with the events listings for my writers group. But if you’re looking for me to chat online, you’ll find me on G+ or Windows Live Messenger. Drop me an email, send me a text. Always glad to connect.
As for Twitter, eh…seems more like a noisy teenager clamoring for attention than a useful tool. I’m there, but not enamored. But G+? I’ve found a new online home – hope you’ll stop by!