So you might be thinking, you didn’t have Facebook before? No, I didn’t. I used to have Facebook, and about 5 years ago I decided to get rid of it (and have been pretty happy since).
Let me explain this a little bit. A good part of my leaving the social network was Twitter. I had joined Twitter about half a year before and fell in love with it. The biggest reason at the time was that I didn’t know a single person on it and could say whatever I liked. I could also follow whomever I liked. Since then I’ve stopped following random actors and have honed my Twitter account into a wonderful place full of tweets about books, Tolkien, LOTRO, fantasy and sci fi shows, and general nerd information.
But the biggest part of why I dislike Facebook is the lack of interaction. The network is presented as a social community in which important connections can be made. And yes, when I had Facebook originally, it was full of family and friends. But in my experience, we didn’t actually interact with one another. I would send messages to people that would go unanswered, wall posts were meaningless, usually downgraded from comments to a ‘like’ after a while. I was far more likely to pick up a phone and call someone, text them or email them than I was to Facebook them. Now, I realize that this is just my personal experience and that some people live and breathe through Facebook, but in my opinion there isn’t a lot of interaction present.
Twitter, on the other hand, is only interaction. You have to Tweet to be present, you have to follow people to get information. I mean, sure, you can have a profile that never posts and just follows people, but then you’re considered a zombie and people like me report you. But assuming that you Tweet, interactions with other accounts will slowly grow until you’re having full out conversations in 180 characters or less. I just think it’s awesome.
There’s also the fascinating possibility of having such a conversation with someone you’ve never met on the other side of a planet. This has happened to me many times (perks of Tweeting about LOTRO when there’s so many other players on Twitter). But I have actually created what I would like to think of as a friendship with a really cool guy in Scotland. We chat frequently over Twitter, about games, books, cooking, and all sorts of random information. It works well because we both do our own thing, writing our own Tweets, but when something the other person Tweets is interesting, we are able to comment on it and create a conversation. It makes me laugh to think of creating a connection like this over Facebook.
All of my friends and family know me as the person who doesn’t like Facebook. So why go back? Well, I’m at a weird point in my life where all of my friends have spread out across the entire country. I have friends from British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia – and even a few in the States. With few of my friends on Twitter, it’s inevitable that it becomes harder to keep in contact. Plus, big events are happening. Close family members are having babies. Friends are getting married (two of which weddings I have attended in the last to weeks – sorry for not blogging!). But major events are happening and 90% of the time pictures don’t get emailed to me – but they are posted on Facebook. I realized that I don’t want to miss out on pictures and memories just because I refuse to be on Facebook. People are more important than pride! So as weird as it is for me…I got Facebook.