Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Why do I dislike Facebook and Twitter?

...is a question I've been asking myself for some time. I belong to Facebook simply because of my kids/nephews/nieces - it helps keep up when they're away - but don't post myself. Also, people keep asking me to "be their friend", and it seems churlish to say no. But I feel there's something sinister about both Facebook and Twitter, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

It could well be the speed with which posts are put up, especially on Twitter. People don't seem to think through their remarks, and some thoroughly nasty "tweets" have been aired. Others, as far as I can see, are just plain boring, and the rush to "tweet" tragedies and accidents (rather than perhaps seeing if help is needed) seems to me to  be deeply unpleasant. I know some of these on-the-spot missives have proved very helpful, but others have been salacious, unkind or unncessary. At the other end of the spectrum, if I want to know badly enough what someone had for breakfast, I'll phone them (but don't hold your breath).

 Some might say that I blog, and what's the difference? I suppose it's that not many of my friends, let alone my acquaintances, know or care about my blog, and it seems somehow more private. And while not everything I write is particularly sensible, at least with blogging there's time to think through what's written before it is posted.

(Breaking news: for lunch I had a sandwich and an orange.)

35 comments:

  1. Frances, I am so with you! Add to your own reasons for disliking FB the fact that they act VERY carelessly (well, profitably is really the correct term here) with the personal data given them so willingly by their 7 million members. German data protection organizations are constantly fighting FB, but of course they have their European branch office in Ireland, the country with the least stringent data regulation of all Europe.
    Twitter - well, I never quite "got" Twitter.

    For me, the balance I have established between my online and my offline activities is healthy and good, both parts enriching each other. If I were to sign up with yet another social media platform, that balance would shift, and I do not want that.

    Thanks for your breaking news :-) My lunch was lettuce, risotto and apple cake at my Mum's.

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    1. Thanks, Meike. I'm particularly envious of the apple cake!

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  2. Totally agree with everything you and Meike have said. The blogs I follow are all interested in writing, whereas family are not. I have relatives who ask to be 'friends' on facebook, and when I tell them I prefer a personal email, I don't hear from them again. If I could find the cancel button I would take myself off twitter and facebook completely.

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    1. Hi, Maggie. yes - the use of the word "friends" is odd, isn't it.

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  3. I joined FB to keep up/share photos with family originally, but the friends list has been gradually growing. Now I use it and Twitter mainly to post links to petitions so everyone is probably fed up and blocking me anyway!

    Breaking news: Not eaten since last night - starving :-) x

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Now, for goodness sake go and have something to eat!

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  4. Hi Frances. I agree with you completely. I am not on twitter or face book and don't want to be - it all seems so false. I look at my children's and step children's photos on my husband's facebook (these are his only friends) and we are not interested in using it for anything else. I would say it was an age thing but I know lots of people who use it regularly who are my age. On the other hand I love my blog as I feel that only poeple who are interested in writing or in what I have to say read it - it's not a free for all. None of my friends outside the writing world even know I have my blog.

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    1. Yes - it's odd how a blog seems so much more pirvate, when really it's open to anyone!

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  5. Some stuff on FB and twitter is nasty, boring or stupid - but that's because some people who use it are nasty, boring or stupid. There's also lots of fun, useful and friendly stuff.

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  6. I find FB creepy, mainly because it has so devalued the word 'friend'. Twitter doesn't bother me at all, it's no worse than overheard loudmouths in a skanky pub on Friday night. (But then I only follow twelve people.) (And I don't go to skanky pubs.)

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    1. I so agree abotut the creepy thing, Tim, but still not sure why...

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  7. Twitter I never had any reason to bother about so far. I think Facebook can be okay if one can find the right level of involvement, and don't expect it to be more than it is. I've not gone in for adding everyone I ever knew, but with some old friends FB has turned out a good way to keep in touch at least one level above just sending yearly Christmas cards. I don't update my status daily or even weekly but put in a few words or a photo now and then to show I'm "there". My blogs fill a different need for me, they have been (are) a way of making new friends more than keeping in touch with old ones.

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    1. Yes, DT - I have to admit that I've managed to trace a couple of old friends via their kids on FB. So it does have its uses!

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  8. A sandwich and an orange, eh? You are obviously destined for greatness.

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    1. Oh, yes. Sandwiches and oranges pave the way to greatness. I hope....

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  9. Aching for more...which way did you choose to peel your orange?

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  10. Okay. I'm an expert at this (Ive been eating two oranges a day for as long as I can remmber). First, give the orange a good squeeze all over to loosen the skin. Then with a sharpish knife start at the top, pulling each piece of peel away downwards, and taking as much of the pith with it as you go. Finish off by removing last bits of pith. Takes no time at all. (Lazy people eat bananas!)

    Well, you did ask.

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  11. Interesting post and comments! I find that social networking eats into writing time, but I've formed many good online friendships on FB as I tend to only be in contact with other writers. Even People's Friend have a presence there now as do many publishers, and it's good for keeping in touch with what's going on. Lots of interesting groups too, like the one talking about women's magazine fiction. Like all networking, there's the good, the bad, and the ugly at times but you choose what you want to answer.

    I wasn't sure about twitter at first but, again, it's invaluable for contacts, opportunities etc - I tend to follow writers, publishers and agents. I only use it once a day as it would be overwhelming otherwise.

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    1. Good points, Rosemary, but I still think they're not for me! Apart frim anythng else, I waste/spend quite enough time on the internet as it is...

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  12. You forgot to add 'LOL' after your lunch news. I think it's compulsory.

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    1. Keith, I've never ever used LOL, nor do I intend to!

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    2. He he you just have done :-D

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  13. One of the advantages of being away for a day or so is that I catch up with your posts after most of the comments have been made.

    I'm largely with Monica on this one. I make the occasional post on FB and my blogs go on it too. I keep up with old friends and family who use it and as a messaging service (not visible to anyone else).

    I follow various groups such 'Old Liverpool Photos' and my Prep School which are very interesting and informative.

    Twitter is very useful for things like the NZ Geonet earthquake and tsunami warnings and the news channels but I stopped looking at their tweets a while ago. I may regret that one day.

    Like so many things FB and Twitter can be used for the things you want or not used at all. It is a choice.

    By the way what was in the sandwich?

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    1. Smoked salmon. The salmon was half price in Sainsburys. Mmmmm!

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  14. PS You made the statement that "Lazy people eat bananas!" If you are saying that people who are lazy eat bananas I can only quibble with the accuracy of the statement. If you are suggesting that people eat bananas because they are lazy (which is the more logical interpretation) then I find that just downright offensive. I eat a lot of bananas. I have little doubt that I have been accused of many vices and transgressions in my life (many or even most of which might be true) but I doubt that I have ever been accused of being lazy.

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    1. GB I'm delighted that you too are a pedant. Ok. To clarify: bananas are the easy option for the lazy. Is that better?

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    2. I'm happy now. Thank you. I'm no longer mortally offended.

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  15. PPS I eat a lot of oranges too.

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    1. Lazy people don't eat oranges. I've noticed that. Therefore you are not lazy. Phew!

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    2. I do so enjoy your posts Frances.

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  16. Not my cup of tea either Frances, but never mind. Live and let live, they say. But I have to say this; I rarely laugh out loud when reading something. A smile yes, a grin maybe, but that's it. But when I got to 'breaking news' at the end of this post, I just roared with laughter.

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    1. Always good to make a cowboy happy, Mr. V.

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