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Why I’m Not On Facebook (wired.com)
112 points by rblion on Sept 25, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 71 comments



I'm just finishing up a 4 year college degree, and have had a Facebook account since high school. Over the years, I've friended just about everybody I've ever been acquainted with, even if I never had any real connection with them in the first place. I figured it would be a good way to keep in touch with all of these people if I ever wanted to - a great way to be social.

Last weekend, I realized that I don't care about 80% of these people. I would waste countless hours a week browsing through photos, profiles, and status updates from people who I've hardly ever known. Not in a creepy stalker way, just in an aimless zoned-out kind of way. Impulsively, I deleted 600 friends (leaving me with about 160) without even feeling the slightest bit of guilt or loss.

For me, Facebook was not a networking tool. Facebook had not provided me with social experiences that would have otherwise been lost. Facebook did not connect me with people I would have otherwise not been connected with. Facebook was wasting countless hours of my time that could have been spent on more productive and rewarding endeavors.

Facebook has transformed meaningful interactions into emotionless clicks and keystrokes. I'm really considering getting rid of my account altogether for a more wholesome social experience.


  For me, Facebook was not a networking tool. Facebook had
  not provided me with social experiences that would have
  otherwise been lost. Facebook did not connect me with
  people I would have otherwise not been connected with.
  Facebook was wasting countless hours of my time that could
  have been spent on more productive and rewarding endeavors.
Why would you expect Facebook to do that for you? It just a tool, it enables but you must create something meaningful with it. I have a paper and a pen, I don't complain that they don't write a nice poem or a novel for me, I have to do it myself.


Create something meaningful with Facebook? The last time I checked, Facebook is not a creative outlet. Sure, you can let your collection of virtual friends know that you despise public transit, and post a few photos - but create something meaningful? I don't think so.

As for your analogy - a paper is quite literally a blank canvas. You can create anything that you can imagine, assuming your talents allow. Facebook, however, is not a blank canvas. Far from it. Facebook confines its users to a predetermined set of rules for their own benefit ($).

Edit: to elaborate on my last point - when was the last time you saw something truly incredible created entirely via Facebook? Something absolutely amazing that just blew your mind. Please let me know. I'm ready to be educated.


Create something meaningful with Facebook? The last time I checked, Facebook is not a creative outlet

Then you're not using it right. For me, Facebook is absolutely a creative outlet-- it is a blogging service aimed at a limited audience of readers, i.e., my friends.

Furthermore: all genres have limitations; that's what makes them genres. There are predetermined sets of rules for almost every type of creative endeavour.

As for your final question: why does created entirely via Facebook come into it? Facebook, like all good communication channels, includes citationality. You might as well say that YouTube cannot be used as a creative medium, because the videos were not created purely within Youtube.


My sister recently posted an old photo with herself, some friends and me on it. For a few hours all those people who often haven’t seen each other in years met in the comments.

It seems obvious to me that a service like Facebook is useful and desirable. The specific implementation has much I don’t like but the concept is great.


While Facebook may not be a "creative" outlet, at least not in the common definition of "creative", it can still be useful. I co-founded of a non-profit, and we do most of our organization, event planning, and networking through Facebook. It's been incredibly useful to get the word out, not just about our organization in general, but also to spread word about specific events we hold and other organizations we support.

Have we done anything particularly creative using just Facebook? No, not really, but we have helped gather support for local artists and musicians, who do do creative things. As rimantas noted, Facebook is just a tool. It can be a waste of time [1], but that doesn't mean it's always a waste of time.

[1]: A pen and paper can be a waste of time as well. Just look at all the people doodling during lectures.


A tangent on doodles. Apparently doodling has been shown to be a mental self-defence mechanism. By engaging some small part of the mind in a boring situation it enables you to continue paying attention at the same time rather than check out completely into a daydream.

Wired article summary with citation of the research paper: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/doodlerecall/


Perhaps the conclusion is that Facebook is not intended to be a networking tool, or a replacement for a real life -- it is simply a place/way to share online experiences with your real-life friends. AFAIK, it doesn't pretend to be anything else.


One point that I am trying to convey here is that experiences are not being shared on Facebook, real-life friends or not.

Let's go with photos as an example, since they are a pretty integral part of Facebook. I love taking photos while on vacation. I take photos for two reasons: to reminisce at some point in the future, and to share my experiences with friends and family... even if those photos convey just a fraction of the real-life experience of the vacation. When I return from vacation, how do I share all of these photos with friends? Facebook, of course - it's easy, convenient, and everybody is already connected. As great as it seems, I somehow feel absolutely terrible after sending off so many emotion-packed photographs into the endless abyss that is Facebook. I feel empty and unsatisfied. I know that these photographs, displayed so carelessly upon lifeless white background, will never convey the experiences that I had. It's just not a natural form of expression.


In olden times, people would get their vacation photos made into slides, invite their friends over, and bore everyone to death with a slideshow that didn't convey the experiences they had. Facebook is way better.


Yes, but now that experience of being locked in a room and bored to death is pieced up and spread throughout every day of your life; album by album.


You know, I find that I trim people down not so much according to how much I care about them as how interesting they are. Boring people I don't have a real connection to get deleted, but interesting people I don't have a connection to I follow.


I did the same purging of random Facebook 'acquaintances' when I graduated (2009). Then even a year later I was able to trim that 140-150 down to about 80. I also deleted all the random people I had lost touch with from high school who were no longer relevant to me, as since they were added we hadn't bothered to communicate.

I realized a lot of people on Facebook are there to collect friends like it's a status symbol. I really didn't like having college friends, coworkers, professors, high school buddies, employers, random celebrities/bands all lumped into one list together, there needs to be a way too separate these groups.


>there needs to be a way to separate these groups

I was on Facebook when there were only a few schools on it, and it was very useful and very relevant. Because there were no other schools on it, I was only friends with friends from college and there were certainly no high schoolers or parents on it; you had to have a university address.

Facebook essentially got to where they were because that privacy made it awesome, and then promptly lost the very thing that made people trust them with their data to begin with, which was a limited user base.


I think that announcing "I'm not on Facebook" is sort of like announcing "I don't watch TV." That's nice, but I think you care more than anyone else you're telling.

I say this tongue in cheek of course because I'm always telling everyone that I don't use Facebook. It's kind of difficult at times, but really, the people who I want to talk to will still find ways to talk to me. Better, I find that not using Facebook frees up a lot of time that I wasn't really aware that I was using.


If I don't watch TV, it doesn't matter much to me if all my friends are. If I'm not on Facebook and all my friends are, I may miss out a lot of social interaction I'd otherwise participate in, and which might occur somewhere elsewhere from Facebook if more people from my social circle weren't on it. So it looks like it'll benefit me more if I can make other people not do the thing by announcing I'm not doing it for Facebook than for TV.


    miss out a lot of social interaction
http://i.imgur.com/EpTdz.png from http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-networ...

This has been my experience as well.


That was a great slide deck. Thanks for the link.


> I may miss out a lot of social interaction I'd otherwise participate in

The thing I believe about Facebook is that it's usage figures are driven by an underlying fear in those that use it that they may miss out on some social event between their friends.

I have three further beliefs in this area: 1) That Facebook is becoming the new TV in terms of using cognitive surplus and 2) that it is becoming the media in which people wait for a shared social event (see below), and 3) that games within Facebook are used because of the fear of missing a shared social event.

To the latter first, if people are on Facebook and stuff is changing ever so subtly all the while, then the people feel a sense of anticipation that something may happen, and they really don't want to be the one person in their social group to miss it. They play Farmville because it passes the time and amuses them, but they only do so because it is within Facebook. They would not leave Facebook to play Farmville as Facebook is where the social event will appear and that is what they don't want to miss. So Farmville and other games within Facebook are used by those who fear missing a social event as a tool to help justify to themselves staying on Facebook waiting for the social event.

To the second, TV used to deliver social events. In the UK many people still recall the first time that they saw Boy George on Top Of The Pops and the chat across the country the next day. It was a shared social event that works because everyone witnesses it at the same time. The fragmentation of TV from the few terrestrial channels into hundreds of channels and the rise of the internet have both heavily diluted the ability for TV to deliver this king of shared social event. Aside from X Factor train wrecks, not much can be relied upon to have been seen by the majority of your social circle.

And to the first I was at a Facebook sales presentation only yesterday in Covent Garden and some fantastical statistic was quoted along the lines of "X billion minutes are spent on Facebook each month". In my head I heard the word "wasted" rather than "spent" and recalled Clay Shirky's rant on this http://www.shirky.com/herecomeseverybody/2008/04/looking-for... better distilled here as the key quote http://www.cybersoc.com/2008/07/clay-shirky-tal.html . Facebook now consumes the cognitive surplus that TV used to monopolise. 28 minutes on average, every Facebook user spends on Facebook every day (number taken from yesterday's presentation).

To me, not using Facebook is to say that I'm alright about, and not afraid of, missing the next shared social event in my circle of friends. It's saying that I'm OK working on other things in my spare time (projects, or doing stuff with my girl) rather than burning through my cognitive surplus with nothing to show for it. For me, not being on Facebook is a statement about being proactive in my life, to make the most of it.

So when people ask why I'm not on Facebook, I tell them how I see it is a fear-driven thing that would consume my time and give me little in return.

I share some of the same concerns as per the article, but more than that I want to use my life as best I can. For the same kind of reasons that I don't watch TV (not being afraid of missing the next shared social event) I don't use Facebook.

Strangely, I don't feel that about Twitter. Twitter isn't a tool that appears to be driven by fear of missing something, the very temporary nature of it's updates passing by in a stream mean that it's inevitable that you miss things. Instead Twitter feels to me more about sharing and inspiring others, it's information dissemination rather than a magnet for shared social events. I'm on Twitter, and I use it as a creative tool to feed ideas about things to try and do.

Now I wonder whether the author of the article is on Twitter, as most of his arguments could be used there too... in which case are they really the reason he's not on Facebook?


Oh, and the reason I think that shopping on Facebook makes sense? Because of course if you let people do their shopping in the time that they have available whilst they wait for that shared social event. Then yeah, they'll rather do that than leave Facebook and do it elsewhere.

The rule for success on Facebook given all of this: Allow whatever you provide as a service (shopping, gambling, games, etc) to be interruptible.

Your service isn't why people are there, but they'll do it whilst they're waiting. But if that shared social event emerges in the midst of grocery shopping or game play, then your service must allow them to instantly stop things.


That's a common sentiment. Indeed, I hear people liken "I'm not on Facebook" to "I don't watch TV" more often than I hear people say "I'm not on Facebook."


I get that this is a joke, but I believe it touches on an important subject. And this article was much more than the author announcing that he doesn't use FB-- That announcement was only an introduction to an article about possible downsides to sharing social information

I know it isn't a popular sentiment among hacker circles but if you stop to think, there are a lot of reasons to be cautious. Information about people has always been a precious commodity and now we're giving it away.


I agree.

Another subtlety I noticed is this generation's concept of Self is becoming contorted into your number of 'Friends' and quantity of 'Likes'. Not really this intelligent HN crowd but, more so the other 99% of society that unconsciously uses fb.


> Another subtlety I noticed is this generation's concept of Self is becoming contorted into your number of 'Friends' and quantity of 'Likes'. Not really this intelligent HN crowd but, more so the other 99% of society that unconsciously uses fb.

Yes, us intelligent folk here on HN would never stoop to accumulate arbitrary, meaningless "likes" (or "points" if you will) based on some groupthink valuation of our opinions. And us hackers would never consider shaping our published opinions to match the group's thinking so that we could accumulate more of these..."likes".


Liked!


This reminds me of the concept of "whuffie" in Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" where he posits an entire future society based on these principles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whuffie It did not occur to me at the time I read it that this was based on contemporary online media. It is interesting to consider that society might actually be moving in that direction.


I've stayed away simply because of the inevitable overlap between my personal and professional lives.

For each online presence, I decide if it will be professional or personal, and then try to make sure they don't overlap.

Some things are fairly easy to separate: Linkedin professionally, Flickr for personal photos. Nobody at work knows who I am on Flickr, so I'm free to post whatever I want w/o affecting me professionally. If I'm job hunting, the prospective employer will not associate my weird photography style with my professional qualifications.

FB pretty much assures that I'll end up with friends, family and work mixed together.


> I've stayed away simply because of the inevitable overlap between my personal and professional lives.

You can can create simple work/family/etc lists of friends and when you post something you choose who gets it. In some ways, you do pick a recipient whenever you send an email, so it's not like you're not used to having to pick a recipient when posting something on the web. Facebook makes it pretty easy every time you post a status to choose the list of people, or a black list, or white list or even pick the people one by one that will be able to read your post, same as with emails.


Yeah, but it can be pretty easy to click the wrong list or send something to the wrong list. It is too easy to make a mistake. Plus, what happens if someone else tags you in the college picture of you doing a keg stand? That's not something you have any control over and yet something that you may not want potential employers to see.


> Yeah, but it can be pretty easy to click the wrong list or send something to the wrong list.

So does that mean you never use email either?

> Plus, what happens if someone else tags you in the college picture of you doing a keg stand? That's not something you have any control over and yet something that you may not want potential employers to see.

Actually, you can prevent people from tagging you. Also, if someone has a picture of you doing a keg stand and puts it on the internet, you're pretty much screwed, facebook or not.


>So does that mean you never use email either?

No, But it does mean that I use separate e-mail accounts on separate systems for each social realm. My professional, personal and 'internet' presences are divided up between my ISP, GMail, Yahoo & Microsoft, as are my on line photos, blog comments, blogs, address books, etc.

> if someone has a picture of you doing a keg stand

I think that depends on the context. If they post the picture along with my name and enough of my address/phone number to identify me and associate the photo with the resume that my prospective employer had, then yes, I'm screwed. That's why I make deals with my friends -- you don't post pictures of me & I won't post pictures of your wife. ;-)

My thinking (right or wrong) is that Facebook's social network makes it much easier to unambiguously associate my professional identity with my personal identity, especially when combined with another social network like LinkedIn. If I have overlapping relationships in two systems like that, it's not hard to figure out that the personal/Facebook 'me' is the same 'me' as the LinkIn/professional 'me'. And that has a high probability of affecting me professionally at some time in the future.


I tried to keep linkedin and facebook private but once a client (who I'm friends with) friended me it made my facebook pretty damn vanilla, and its stayed that way as I've added other professional friends.

Now I don't even worry about it I just don't put stuff out on facebook that reveals much. I mostly just lurk and post something I think is funny but not too racy. So I'm on facebook but I'm not worried about anything "getting out" because I don't have anything to hide in that zoo.

I've been more tempted to say things that are revealing in this forum but since I use my real name it makes me keep things pretty tight - I'm not going to post anything too offensive. Again - I'm okay with that.

In a way I've sacrificed being able to say some things I might later regret. But then again I'm not saying things on teh interwebs that I might regret.


>but once a client (who I'm friends with) friended me it made my facebook pretty damn vanilla, and its stayed that way as I've added other professional friends.

This is a usability problem with facebook. It should be easy as pie to control the information you present to different GROUPS of people. Instead functionality is scattered across by CONTENT TYPE. Makes no sense and is completely illogical, social networking is about people, differing content-types are just small variations on the sharing theme and not the main conceptual focus.

The 100 different content types are the entity sets with privacy attributes, rather than having privacy be an attribute on a manually created (small) number of groups of people. We put people in groups (ie. professional, family, friends) in real life, I can't understand how Facebook can possibly get this so wrong.

The root of these problems is piss poor User Interface decisions. Facebook expanded without a plan. It's just like Urban Sprawl: let's add a bunch of widgets everywhere just like a suburb with zero urban planning adds strips malls.


> For each online presence, I decide if it will be professional or personal, and then try to make sure they don't overlap.

Similar reasons; I usually try to have my not-directly-related presences separate from eachother to the extent that, for example, I use a different image hosting service for Twitter and the various discussion boards so that the latter cannot discover the former. Sometimes I let people know where to look, sometimes they find me by accident. The internet being what it is, it is possible to link the various presences but it is generally not feasible for a non-government entity.

The downside of this is that I lack and will lack an "established online presence" with its transient and overlapping benefits. Sometimes it would be nice to be known.


I deleted my facebook entirely as an experiment, and completely forgot about it a week later. I used to use it very often, but the moment it was gone, I didn't miss it in the least.


"Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right?" - Steve Jobs, referring to IBM in 1984

Facebook is IBM's grandson. I have nothing against Mark, as I do not know him personally. However, his vision and his history reveal a depraved worldview where we are just users dependent on his social approval drug called FB.


I'm not on Facebook because it sucks. Anyone who wants to talk to me has 7 other vectors of communication, none of which spam me with Zynga game updates.

Has anyone who's left Facebook felt that they've actually missed anything?


Nope, I left it a while back and I'm not missing anything but then again I have always valued face to face contact above any other and I consider facebook to be a very poor emulation of a social experience.


I recently took a month off from Facebook.

I would say that 95% of communication (excluding face to face) between people I know is conducted over Facebook. In addition to that all events are organised through Facebook, if I didn't have an account I would be missing out.

When I meet someone new I don't exchange phone numbers anymore I exchange Facebook details.

For me at least Facebook is my phone number and email address all rolled into one. If I didn't have it I would be unreachable for a good percentage of people I know.

This might not be typical I'm a younger person with a good percentage of my friends still in college or just leaving to start work.


Funny. I'm 18, college freshman, and have been facebookless since May. I got my account when I was 15, so I had two and a half years of addiction to fight. My experience without a facebook? I get the exact same experience as everybody else around me, but with 90% less drama.

I like this.


1) It's boring.

2) It's a waste of time.


My experience as well. People don't suddenly become interesting just because they have an easy forum at hand. I've trimmed most of my internet use down to directed research and a carefully cultivated list of blogs. I don't feel that I'm missing much.


3) There's no discourse nor substance, only an endless stream of lowest-common-denominator prattling


I agree with a lot of the reasons people give for not using facebook, most substantially the privacy concerns. However, I think the 'someone might read your old status messages and judge you for it' [1] idea is a ridiculous way to live your life.

If people are going to judge you on a random message you wrote five years ago, that's their fault, not yours. I think Randall Monroe explains it best: http://xkcd.com/137/ .

[1] (FTA "A vindictive ex-partner, or a workplace rival, or a health insurer, or a political opponent, may selectively expose information to your detriment – powerfully re-framing your identity in a way you would consider dishonest.")


You know, Zuckerberg gets a lot of flak for the "idiots" comment he made five years ago. It's MSM material now. You might say it contributes to public perception of his company, which is a big deal for the value and future success of his brand. The situation you brush off happens all too often. (also, see any political campaign, ever.)


On the other hand, when I had to give a hiring recommendation on a key lead technical architect position for a multi-billion dollar organization, I searched usenet for old posts from this person (perfectly legal - I cleared it with general council first).

Matching up name+date+e-mail domain wasn't hard, so I knew I had the right person. The search taught me that the person was thoughtful, articulate, analytical; had a very good grasp of the complexity of the domain and the technology underlying the domain, did not rush to judgment, etc.

Had her posts been filled with OMG-WTF snarky crap, or if her posts had lots of dumb questions that could have been answered with a bit of self-directed study, she would not have been hired.


Does anyone remember the early 90's where everybody and his mom's cats have their own webpage with their profile, blood type, etc available on angelfire/tripod/geocities? Well, Facebook IS the new angelfire/tripod/geocities.

Social sites? I don't think so! The only thing you socialize with in FB are the buttons and the random add friends of friends who you don't know and don't care and will never actually socialize with. And then you show off to other people your 1,284 friends list, 95% of whom you most probably will never, ever socialize with.

And then you cry yourself to sleep at night because Zuckerberg sold your info to some data mining company.


"[a] strange game. The only winning move is not to play."


Privacy zuckering is my main concern and why I deactivated my account. Every feature Facebook adds requires a visit to the privacy settings to specifically opt out. It doesn't matter that your preferences were set to yesterday's version of lockdown -- you never told Facebook it couldn't let Yelp see who you are, so you need to revisit your privacy settings to opt out of that.

Facebook forces feature adoption by ignoring ethical privacy practices.


Given that it's Wired, I'm surprised one of the reasons wasn't, "Facebook is dead."


It depresses me to see the banality of the the people that I thought were cool in college. Nobody is cool. What a bummer


I avoid the privacy flip-flops by simply making my entire profile public. That way I'm never tempted into writing something I wouldn't want the world to see. To be honest I think I would be a better person if I never held an opinion I wasn't willing to publically defend.


I don't know about that. pg has a whole section in "What You Can't Say" that boils down to this: if you have any interesting or controversial opinions at all, don't go around saying them or else your life will be consumed by controversies completely tangential to what you want your life to be about.

http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html


Facebook still remains a good tool as an "internet yellow pages". I feel no need to actually use it as intended, but rather maintain a profile with my email address as a means of contact.


Your choice to make your information public is not a privacy issue. Sure, for the naïve (average) user, networks like facebook should provide explicit and honest disclaimers, intuitive customization, and conservative defaults. Beyond that, facebook only has information you choose to make public, and they shouldn't be expected to not use that information. If a random person on facebook can look you up and see your favorite music, then I don't consider any different if advertisers utilize that information (either by scraping it themselves or by purchasing ads through facebook) to target ads.

Granted, you can make the valid argument that information can be mined without you explicitly providing it (e.g. friend graphs). That's an iffy ethical argument that is up for debate: is deriving information about someone from public information an invasion of that person's privacy? For example, if you walk out your front door and drive your car away, it's obvious that a neighbor witnessing that has not invaded your privacy. However, if the neighbor noticing you leaving and returning on a regular schedule, and learns that a local strip club has a weekly special event that corresponds to your outings, has the acquisition of that information (whether or not you're actually going to the club) constituted an invasion of your privacy?


The mere learning of the 2 facts, which may have been completely accidental, didn't consitute invasion of privacy. The act of analysis of the information, ie. an act of thinking, is the offense here.

DMCA comes to mind here - a law which explicitly (i think first, yet definitely not last, time in human history) made analysis of information, ie. an act of thinking, a crime.


Facebook started out excluding everyone who wasn't a college student, keeping it private without oldsters...then when it opened up, it kept things private so only your fiends could see.... Then, later, they made these private things public by default.

Facebook violated their privacy promise to me, and I will never forgive them for it. I'm only keeping my account around until I can complete deleting every piece of information I've put into it.


I don't think dropping Facebook is the right answer. Announcing to everyone that "I'm leaving Facebook" seems too idealistic and self-righteous.

I have 45 friends on facebook. This number still seems too high to me, but I realize is very low compared to many of my friends. I share things only with those that I am closest to. I decline the large majority of friends requests sent to me. I am comfortable using Facebook for only my closest friends and family, however others have criticized my use of Facebook in this way.

There are many ways to use Facebook. If you are prepared to accept some criticism for "not going with the group", I think Facebook can be a very enjoyable social tool.


I like that facebook is public expression place (with more details and social connections for just friends).

I put pictures of adventures and creations on facebook as viewable by anyone with a facebook account. People who vaguely run into me can go there and find out more of who I am...sort of like a resume for friendship (tactless). We also find common interests, conversation starters, etc. I naturally make friends in person; to me facebook is just one more neat tool in the toolbox for forging and maintaining social connections and fun in general.


I have his original list, which I think he switched out:

1) I'm not relevant.

2) I don't want to understand the most popular site on the internet, which my publication writes about regularly.

3) Despite my position at a publication that relies on technology and social media as both a promotion tool and main subject, I want to annoy my PR contacts and writers by forcing them to use other techniques to contact me.

4) It's the hip thing to do for the ahead-of-the-ahead-of-the-curve trendsetting techies like Jason Calacanis and I want to show that I have something in common with that guy.

5) I use privacy as a crutch to shield my real reason for not using Facebook (below).

6) I want to be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. And as a side effect of that, I'm choosing to no longer be relevant in my field of technology.

--

I do not understand how someone in his position can do his job and recuse himself of Facebook. You don't have privacy: You're the editor of a major publication that covers technology.

Got a problem with that? Don't overshare. Make a fan page so people can worship at your altar, and turn on your privacy settings so nobody else can see your data. Use your head.

But you edit the U.K. edition of Wired, one of the most popular technology publications in the world. And you don't use Facebook. It's like wearing a giant sign around the office that says "I don't deserve my job."


I don't really get some of you points.

1) I'm not relevant.

You then go on to explain how relevant he is with Wired.

3) Despite my position at a publication that relies on technology and social media as both a promotion tool and main subject, I want to annoy my PR contacts and writers by forcing them to use other techniques to contact me.

Is FB the primary way to contact people professionally? Apparently it must be as potential contacts would be 'forced' to use another method. If it essentially was the only way of contact, wouldn't that prove his points about privacy and running everything through a questionably motivated company?

Got a problem with that (privacy)? Don't overshare. Make a fan page so people can worship at your altar, and turn on your privacy settings so nobody else can see your data. Use your head.

Then what's the point? If he's not using it as a way to communicate anything of significance (your point #3), then why bother? How would a fan page make him understand and be connected (wired, if you will) to the world?

6) I want to be contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. And as a side effect of that, I'm choosing to no longer be relevant in my field of technology.

Or, perhaps he believes that there is nothing technically amazing about FB other then it gained critical mass to build a huge user base. Are the uses of ajax and some clean UIs really bleeding edge? In my mind FB is similar to what YouTube was before it was bought by Google for 1.6B. A nicely implemented site (nothing technologically jaw-dropping) with a massive user base. Essentially: decent app, excellent domain name, and superior name recognition.


Pretty much all of the items (written as a sarcastic response to the article) were attempts at suggesting he's creating his own obsolescence by ditching Facebook. In the very first paragraph of the story, he's chided by a Silicon Valley CEO for not being a part of the site. Clearly people want to have him as a friend on Facebook. But he's not having it.

My problem is the gap he's creating for his magazine's journalism by doing this. It's the equivalent of covering the Washington Redskins when you have no real interest in football. It's like being a food columnist when all you eat is Taco Bell. It's like being a TV critic when you don't own a TV. It's like covering a city hall beat but deciding that you hate meetings. As an editor of Wired, he better get on Facebook, fast, because it's his job. That article isn't going to convince people to stop using it.


Professional TV critics get the shows sent to them before broadcast so their stories go live at the same time as the show airs, they could probably live somewhere remote without traditional cable or broadcast access and do fine.

I'd imagine being an editor of Wired means you don't need to go trawling Facebook for the latest breaking tech stories either.


Try playing devil's advocate with the football example because you completely missed my point, buddy.

The idea isn't that he's using Facebook for the latest tech stories. It doesn't have anything to do with WHAT he reads on it. The idea is that he's intentionally making it harder to "get" the piece of culture that he's chosen to cover in his career.

It has nothing to do with HOW he uses the service; it has everything to do with blocking oneself off a key piece of popular culture on the Web. It's one thing if it's an up-and-coming service. It's another when 90+ percent of your readership uses it and turns to you for information about it.

I do not understand why my original point got downvoted because he's not doing his job as a journalist by not using one of the key pieces of technology people expect him to know about. And as readers, that should be of huge concern.


[deleted]


Civil disobedience is when you disobey your draft orders and go to prison instead of Vietnam. Civil disobedience is not sitting around writing linkbait articles about why you choose not to use certain popular websites.


That wasn't my point.

My point was that THIS PARTICULAR GUY shouldn't be trying it out.


"Why You Shouldn't Be on Facebook" would make for an interesting headline, but this will obviously deter most readers.

Guess it's better than "Facebook Is Dead", though.


I don't know what does it feel to be on facebook and never will.


Sometimes it feels like facebook suffers more from wrong use by people rather than their privacy policy. Hear me out before you downmod me.

I know their privacy policy kinda sucks (personally I don't have many problems with it, I just am very careful about what I say on the internet). But there is another much deeper problem with facebook which everyone tends to ignore. Partly because we are part and contributors to that problem. Anyone who has a facebook account these days tends to "friend" any random person who proposes a "friend request". I dont think that is very appropriate. You are not comfortable with sharing your information with advertisers who would at least provide relevant ads, but are comfortable with sharing your whole life with these random friends whom you do not remember meeting? I see people who have a friends list of about 300+ people. I don't even have that many numbers on my phone or email ids in my gmail contacts list. And I bet even they don't. Its just amazing how we use the number of fb "friends" as a status symbol.

Disclaimer: I use facebook in a very controlled manner, promoting my blog in my college students, viewing picture which have me or my best friends and commenting on them and once in a while commenting on somebody's status. My facebook friends list is 82 people long, that includes 50 people I meet almost daily (my bus pool, best friends, class mates, we have fun together) and other 25 or so relatives. Rest are just very old friends which I feel guilty "defriending". So maybe I don't know what it is like having 300+ friends. Maybe its kinda fun. I am commenting on something which I have never experienced. So take my comment with a grain of salt.


Anybody else remember the late 90s when people would send wide distribution emails about their trips and parties and such? I don't really feel facebook improved that system so much.


To the author: I'm not on facebook , but I'm writing this article on wired, hoping you will "like" it and tweet it. 31 like so far from facebook, I'd like to see an article with the title: 6 reasons why wired is not on facebook or 6 reasons why I don't use the like button my articles. What a funny. As shortformblog put it, it's like wearing a giant sign around the office that says "I don't deserve my Job"




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