My goodbye(?) post from the FB:
Getting excited about this Ello thing. I'm not yet sure how committed I'll be to fully transitioning from FB, but I've started my Ello account and am learning my way around it. The biggest pull to use FB is in the numbers - being connected with so many people I'd lost contact with in the past. But in reality, a good many of the people I've connected with on here have been people I'd never really connected with in the past, or who are even complete strangers to me outside of FB. In many cases this has been a fantastic thing. At the same time, many people I'd been connected with in the past have very divergent lives from my own, to the point that I argue with them until I eventually drop them from my feeds because I can't stand hearing what they have to say without feeling negativity. Obviously, this adds to the mixed emotions about the usefulness of FB for me. I do love being able to see what's going on with friends, though.
Perhaps the best way to cope is to exchange actual personal contact info with people I truly want to communicate with, and drop FB altogether in the planned "mass exodus" being planned among queer circles on the next full moon in a couple of weeks, in October. I've been pissed off at FB and its policies a number of times, but have acquiesced and continued to use it, overlooking the bad for the good, continuing to be the little sheep they want everybody to be, and pretending I'm not. Is it finally time to say goodbye to it? Will the departure be significant enough to FB to make them wake up? Does it even truly matter to me WHAT FB does, if I have the option to do something else? Do I just walk away and quietly enjoy my bitterness about it while secretly missing the connectivity? Do I even really want to walk away?
Perhaps I use Ello for my "real" communications with people who I'm actually close to. I would love it if my friends (friends) were easily accessible through another means such as this. I've reconnected on Ello with a couple of you already, and eagerly want to see that number climb. It's currently a little difficult to find people I know on there, but hey, it's still a young site.
Perhaps then I could use FB for more "markety" type communications. I mean, it's so ubiquitously integrated with every other damn app in existence, and it's a great way to share blogs and tweets and crap. Does that mean I treat FB and all my "friends" on here as a market group? Doesn't that mean that I'm doing the very thing via FB that FB is doing to me and all of us? Am I not then feeding into what I dislike about FB? That's exactly how I use Twitter. It's not for reals, it's for sharing with anonymous readers who are nothing but numbers to me. I like to think of my FB friends, the ones I really appreciate communicating with, as steps (no, staircases) above that. Sadly, many are not.
When it comes down to it, I've gotten addicted to FB. Addiction can be treated, and I'm thinking it's time to go into FB recovery. I like sharing photos and updates and stories. I like seeing what people are up to. I like seeing photos and updates and stories. I like wishing a happy birthday to friends (and, yes, even people I've never actually met) and have come to rely on FB to know when it's ANYbody's birthday. But I also am tired of being a targeted market. It's true in every aspect of life, and I like the idea of being free of that in at least one place: friendships. I'm tired of the ads. I'm tired of the "trending stories". I'm tired of reading bullshit ignorant comments. I'm tired of the rounds and rounds of the most goddamn asinine shite posts about "sharing this if you like that or else your (sic) evil" and "this is the most amazing thing you'll ever see and you won't believe what happens next because the 5th photo will absolutely bring you to tears over how epic this guy's reaction was to that."
I guess it narrows down to the fact that I'm craving connections based on reality, and don't want to lose those that FB provides me. I'm scared of leaving the comfort of something that's become so familiar.
How many of my friends out there are already using Ello? Anybody wanting to join up? If you pm me your email address I can send you the invite to get linked up immediately (vs waiting for an "official" invite through the link). Like the early days of FB it's got some growing pains. SO many people are signing up for it right now that it's having a hard time keeping up. I like that about it. It's a cleaner, more genuine way of social networking. It's friends following friends. It's free of advertising (but then, so was FB in the early days...) It's quite lovely and simple, and I want it to be everything that I love about FB and nothing I hate about it.
Am I making the transition completely? I don't know. But I hope so, but I'm still ambivalent. I like to think I can "rise above" the addiction to FB. Anybody else feeling the same? I'm happy to invite my friends to join, whether that means you ditch FB or not. I know plenty of people who've eschewed the virtues of FB and they're all still alive.
Thanks if you made it this far. That makes you a great candidate to at least try out an alternative!