Facebook, It’s Not Me, It’s You

Facebook, It’s Not Me, It’s You September 21, 2011

There’s a lot in Pagan news I want to weigh in on, and there’s a lot I want to say regarding Mabon, but today I need to get something off my chest.

I loathe Facebook.

Like all of you, I woke up this morning to find Facebook had transformed itself into multiple annoying not-very-useful feeds. Anyone familiar with the show Pimp My Ride will totally get why Tom Anderson, creator of MySpace, posted this graphic on Facebook today:

I adore Xzibit, but I do not need him to pimp my social network.

I joined Facebook unwillingly because family had joined it. I liked the creative atmosphere of MySpace from way back in the day, where I could customize my CSS code. First family, then friends joined Facebook. It was useful although not nearly as colorful as MySpace. Then I began using my Facebook for work. Facebook became work. Being able to control my feeds and pages were key to being able to work effectively. Facebook does not think that is a priority.

That makes me angry. While the pages are still useful for work, for letting people know what’s I’m up to here on Patheos, the feeds on my personal profile, which is how I kept up with what’s going on in Paganism, are no longer useful. I don’t really see the point of customizing my feed yet again to fit the new changes when Facebook will arbitrarily and without notice change everything again.

Here’s My Proposal

If you want to stay on Facebook, that is awesome. You are a more patient person than I am. If you stay on Facebook you will still get the Patheos Pagan Portal feed. You will still get links to this blog and all the other Pagan goodness here on Patheos and around the web.

However, I’m going to start dismantling my personal profile on Facebook. It’s just not useful anymore and it’s a lot of unneeded stress. It’s going to be a slow process, so it won’t happen overnight. I will still post updates for awhile, but those updates are going to just be carbon-copies of my updates from the social network site I’m moving to: Diaspora.

Diaspora is geeky, not evil and quite useful. You can use any name you want on Diaspora. You can call yourself Poopy Pants. You may not have many friends that way, but then you have that option. It doesn’t have a bajillion apps. It doesn’t have pages you can subscribe to, instead it has hashtags you can follow. Google+ literally ripped off Diaspora’s aspects and layout while making it less useful. You own your own content. Decide to leave? Export all your content and delete your profile. Pretty darn simple.

Also, it’s committed to being clean, useful and not annoying. Which I like. So I’m packing my bags and moving there. If you feel there is some value in my personal social media feed, you are welcome to join me. I can invite as many people as I want. Just send me a message with your e-mail via Facebook, Twitter or even e-mail: sfoster at patheos.com. I’m happy to invite anyone.

I’m done with Facebook though. You can’t keep investing time and effort into something that continually makes your life more stressful. I like Diaspora a lot. The only thing it is missing is all of the amazing people I know who are doing amazing things. Amazing things I want to read about, not have them lost amidst a sea of pet stories and who friended who…

A Dozen Reasons to Switch to Diaspora by David McCauley

  1. It’s Opensource.
  2. No advertisements of any kind!
  3. You retain complete control over your private data.
  4. No nymwars! Call yourself whatever you like.
  5. No censorship! Post whatever you like!
  6. No big brother spying on you!
  7. No restrictions on post or comment length.
  8. Animated gifs are allowed.
  9. No restrictions on picture size or shape.
  10. #Hashtags!
  11. Simple and clean interface.
  12. Friendly and interesting community! (By and large from what I’ve experienced.)
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