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Mindsets Social Web

Thoughts about being off Facebook

I just read Cheri Baker’s post titled “Eight months without Facebook” that touches on my unformed thoughts about being on Facebook.

When I spent a lot of time on sites like FB and Insta, I developed the habit of stereotyping people based on what they shared. I’d unconsciously tell myself that so-and-so is all about being a parent, and my other friend is super career-minded, and yet another friend is a world traveler. Our digital projections can become so strong that we don’t really see our friends (in all their complexity) any longer. And when that happens, it seems difficult to get beneath the surface.

I believe relationships take time. Conversations. Support. An investment in one another. And in that regard, getting off Facebook acted as a sorting mechanism. I found the answer to: Who will make time to hang out? For me that’s a small group, but a treasured one. And sure, it can feel lonely while you look for your people in the flesh-and-blood world. But it gets easier the more you invest in your relationships.

 Cheri Baker

I’m still undecided about Facebook, despite being especially enthusiastic about it in the past. There’s still more value having a Facebook profile than not, at least for me. My family and friends use it fairly heavily, so removing myself from Facebook tends to amount to me removing myself from those circles, to varying degrees.

As Cheri pointed out, stepping away from Facebook only really works if you put in the effort to remain connected to your friends and family. I’ve fallen short here. I tend to become pretty caught up in my day-to-day life with my wife, and our kids, and I forget to reach out to the rest of my family and friends.

If anything, Facebook probably masked my tendency to withdraw by default. The odd thing is that I don’t really consider myself an introvert. Perhaps that is something for me to focus on going forward – reconnecting, and rebuilding relationships that were artificially supported by Facebook.

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Events and Life Mindsets People

The key to a better quality Facebook News Feed

I much prefer this approach to friending people on Facebook to the more cynical friends-as-followers-to-pitch-to approach. A more select group of Facebook friends is far more meaningful than thousands of “friends” who are just people you connect to because connecting is less meaningful than it could be. Yes, Facebook uses our data to target ads but a better quality group of Facebook friends also translates into a better quality Facebook News Feed which is why we use Facebook in the first place, isn’t it?

Categories
Mindsets People

“We’re a generation of smartphones and dumb people”

One was to describe the world we live in today is as a “contradiction”. We have so many ways to connect with each other and share our lives and yet the primary ways we do that also isolate us from meaningful human contact. The instrument of our isolation is also the device we use to connect to each other: our smartphones.

How often do you find yourself in a room with friends or family and they are more focused on the screen in their hands and interested in a conversation with people somewhere else than they are in the moments they could share with you in person? The challenge with social media is using it to share moments and not isolate yourself from meaningful connections with each other.

Gary Turk published a terrific video about this titled “Look Up” which says it nicely:

I like his characterization of what many of us have become:

We are a generation of smartphone and dumb people

I also really enjoyed this interview with Louis CK on Team Coco about his take on Twitter: