Skin Deep 209

About three months back, I left Facebook. Left it forever both professionally and personally – it’s an insane place to be at the best of times. What began many years ago for most of us as a place to keep in touch with old friends we had long since moved away from (and let’s be honest here, we only did that to make sure they weren’t getting on any better in life than we were), has turned into the world’s biggest party… and I’m not even in the kitchen.

On the plus side, I have reclaimed an estimated whole day of my life back. On the downside, nobody wishes me good morning anymore, nobody is LTFAO at something mildly humourous that I stole from somebody else to post, and nobody is updating me on what they had for breakfast or how shit their car is today…

Worse still, I have gone from thousands of friends to just three who – as luck would have it – I knew before Facebook launched and are still around. When I first announced I was going to leave, one of my FB friends asked me not to because it was “handy to know what I was doing without having to speak to me”.

Thanks. That made me feel really wholesome and warm inside.

The really scary thing however – especially for those of you who have the hub welded to your souls – is that I reckon 98 percent of my ‘friends’ still haven’t noticed I’m not there anymore.

You know it’s time to move on when the huge companies move in and start asking you to hook up with them via their TV adverts. What was once a cool place to hang out and see some funny pics from days gone by has become big business. For those of you who use Facebook as your only source of PR and business, I would suggest you think carefully about this. It’s not your special space. It’s the world’s special place. At the stroke of a button, they can be away from your lifes-work and milking pigs at Farmville. It’s rather like going out for a drink with somebody who insists on messaging their other friends while they’re sitting next to you.

Step back for a second and take a look at the screen you’re locked into. Seen how many subliminal messages are loaded up on the page that will take your digi-pals elsewhere?
… and twitter? I’m a writer. How am I supposed to say something in 140 characters when I can’t even make a decent point in less than 1,400 words? I don’t think so. If you’ve got nothing to say, why not shut the hell up?

Surely having your own online house is the way to go? Do you really want to live and conduct all your business in a digital hostel? Social networking will die in the next three years – be ready. A party with that many millions of guests can only end with somebody being sick in the garden.

I know this because I checked in on MySpace on the way out of the door. But none of that is an excuse not to like us on Facebook all the same ;)

-Sion

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