Well, since lots of my friends and all of my family live in different countries, I'm sure the consequences for me would not be more in-person time with friends and family at all. In fact I may lose the connection to lots of friends forever. I'm sure I'm not the only one in that situation.
I have lots of international friends and family. Keeping track of important dates–and calling, not texting–on them and sharing pictures 1:1 via iMessage or Signal or whatever is plenty to maintain ties. In fact, it's probably more meaningful than liking each other's pictures on Facebook. With that returned time, you can now focus on your in-person relationships, which study after study show are vastly more important for our emotional and mental health.
It turned out I wasn't actually interacting with them at all. It felt like I was, having consumed what felt like a few thousand baby photos daily - but we weren't actually communicating, just congrats, happy birthday, like.
Chats, messages and the odd skype call seem to work out much better - if I stop responding, so do they, and it's noticeable. Facebook's bucket of noise approach tricked me into feeling like I was interacting with family when I was actually just scrolling past them.
I completely agree. I used to be a heavy user of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for years and I have been off all those platforms for 14 months now and I noticed that I am more in touch with friends and family than never before and most of them live abroad with at least 6 hours difference!
i never feel i'm interacting with someone on fb if i 'scroll past' or 'like' something. i do feel like that when i actually post a response and have a back-and-forth, much like in person conversations go.
First off, it really takes very little 1:1 contact to maintain a deep relationship - no more than 10 minutes a month on the phone for some of my most meaningful and long-lasting friendships, sometimes less.
It's true that, without the Facebook feed, I don't get a play-by-play of every single even that happens in their life via the Facebook news feed. I see that as a positive thing - it leaves us with something to talk about when we do make time for each other.
Second, I definitely am in contact with fewer people than when I was on Facebook. The relationships that I have maintained since then have been more fulfilling, though, so, at least as far as I'm concerned, it's still a net positive. (Think of it as giving your social life the Marie Kondo treatment.) I'd like to think that's a two way street - if I'm getting more out of the interaction, then that means I'm probably giving more back, too.
So the end result is that my friends are not, overall, spending that much time interacting with me without Facebook. I can't speak for them, but, I at least view it as an enjoyable way that we can spend some time together, if not physically in the same space. I'd like to think they do the same. It'd be really weird if they thought of me as a friend but didn't actually enjoy having conversations with me.
But there's always the opportunity for more quality remote friends and family time -- talking on the phone, video-conference, writing them in more depth in email form (or even snail mail), chatting for long time (as opposed to scrolling through their posts on FB), using those wasted FB hours as they amass to actually pay them a visit, and so on...
I have friends from high-school I see every 5 years or so. They were best friends in high-school and I love them but do I need them in my facebook feed? Before facebook I'd have been content with just seeing them every 5 years and maybe sending a holiday card or birthday note/card/email. Now there's this constant distraction of people in my feed of people that I won't see in years, aren't really a part of my life just my memories.
In the last couple of years I've aggressively unfollowed people that are not really a part of my life anymore. That includes beloved friends from high school. Friends that were part of my life in cites I haven't lived in in 35, 25, 15, 10, years ago.
Does that make me bad for not embracing 2019 and being able to see those people's activities forever no matter how remote and unconnected we now are? Or is it facing reality that by moving far from them they really aren't a part of my life except for fond memories and the occasional visit if we happen to be in the same part of the world? Everyone will have to answer that for themselves.
I feel a little guilty when I "unfollow" them but I remind myself this whole idea of following every person I ever met in my life via my facebook feed is a new thing and that I got by just fine in the past with a few letters or postcard a year and not daily updates. I think I'm down to 25 or less people I'm following out of ~1000 people I've added on facebook.
I'd agree with the second part, not sure about the first part of the sentence... Political knowledge would be something you acquire by direct participation in the political discourse, watching politicians, by reading the news perhaps, by reading books on history and other topics. But on Facebook? Every political post there comes with a blatant agenda. Instead of an informative discussion, you get an echo chamber and often regurgitated semi-educated opinions borrowed from other people, by (mostly) insufficiently educated people, appeal to emotion, etc.
I see a lot of friends juggle with some sort of internal battle between being off and on with this stuff, and then there are friends who just slowly "cruise" with it without affecting them.
So what's the point? I don't like or comment on anything on Facebook. I don't post anything on Facebook. I just open it up to mindlessly scroll. I don't need that. I have other sites that I believe are better uses of time to mindlessly scroll (this site included).
From my perspective: I'm a photographer and there are DM photography critique groups I wouldn't want to miss out on. Groups with contributors that have seriously improved my work.
Outside the critique groups there are darkroom groups where techniques and tips lost in the digital age are shared -- I shoot analog so I can make darkroom prints (a little non-digital zen after writing code for 8+ hours a day) so re-discovering some of these techniques has been vital to improving my printmaking skills.
I'd imagine there are probably yoga technique groups that are similar. Critiques of form and posture, tips when trying to reach that new, difficult pose, scheduling for impromptu classes, etc.
Any tight knit Instagram group of posters has some longer form discussion on the DM end of things in my experience. All people you want to speak with, but wouldn't do so over text message for whatever reason. I've tried multiple times to lift and shift groups to Slack, Discord, Discourse, etc. Never works. Instagram has a tight hold.
Posts are used as blogging tools. Along with fancy pictures of our latest poses, we like to write about the philosophy of yoga.
We also use DMs to communicate, along with WhatsApp, and stories to share random yoga and not yoga moments.
Yogis aren't just a group of gurus hanging at the top of a mountain :) Obviously, there is a conversation within the community about the usage of social media and addiction thereof.
Not everyone uses Facebook the same way though. I have no family on Facebook, very few friends. I use it mainly for the Groups I participate in - some of them quite useful. The Facebook groups are more personal than sub-reddits and people generally seem to behave better.
Facebook is primarily organised around the individual. You are following individuals, talking with individuals, and participating on a reciprocal basis as an individual with all the others. There are groups, but it's less prominent.
Reddit and HN are centred around discussion. Be it individual articles of interest (HN) or further grouped into specific topics (Reddit).
I don't think either are benign. The upvote/downvote mechanism does "gamify" the experience and adds some additional meta-effects to participation, which I don't think are necessarily healthy. However, it's not as bad as Facebook by a large margin. There's no pressure to participate; I can read interesting articles, make the odd contribution, and dip in and out as the fancy takes me. It's not nearly as addictive. Though I have to say, I still spent a reasonable amount of time on both HN and Reddit, I could step away for weeks without feeling like I was losing anything. I'm participating on my own terms.
IME, communities in the analog world engage in ranking, albeit largely unconsciously, and perhaps mimicking this pattern in a digital environment would be beneficial compared to current systems.
A key benefit to me is that the points aren't visible to others. Up/Down voting is fine, and there's no real public benefit to the karma given to an individual post, nor any way to even see what it is. Sorting isn't based only on the post score either, and it's not in your face -- it's a much better system that slashdot in my view.
I would assume the problem is more along the lines of; treating it as a substitute to talking to friends/family. Only responding in short bursts or assuming a "like" is enough to sate your need for other human connections.
Reddit/HN/fora are _great_ at connecting you to communities across the globe that have a shared interest. You don't talk to your sister/girlfriend/mother via hackernews, therefore it doesn't "replace" actual discussion with them.
The other type of posts I tend to see are about friends bragging about how many km they ran today or how great their vacation was. Not that it's that bad to post these things, but I wouldn't be surprised if exposing yourself to them constantly increased feelings of jealous and reinforce one's need to compare oneself to others.
On the other hand, I've discovered a lot of interesting books and projects through HN and learned about different topics, since there seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people here that comment on topics I know nothing about. The only type of posts that may be prone to making others feel worse are the ones about salaries / financial issues, but they are not that common.
This really depends on whether or not you set up your own account with subreddits in reddit. It is just as personalized and outrage generating as Facebook if you self-subscribe to it.
This is probably different on the main page though.
This is the single evil thing about Facebook. And it's evil, evil, evil. It's like an AI Skinner box.
No. It actually is an AI Skinner box.
I'm not using HN as some sort of substitute for social interaction. I'm not on HN all day engineering every post to garner maximal attention and approval like the people who abuse FB the hardest are. I AM getting that constant stream of novelty that is typical of social media. However tech IS constant novelty so that's unavoidable regardless.
On most social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc.) the answer is simple: advertisement. To maximize revenue from ads, they focus on:
1) Getting people to spend as much time as possible on their platform (so they can show more ads), and;
2) Gathering as much information as possible about people (so their ads are more effective).
Which isn't exactly what people want when they go on Facebook. This puts the objectives of the social network and its users at odds.
Compare that to Hacker News, which is in itself an advertisement for Y Combinator (I wouldn't know of YC if it wasn't for HN, or at least it wouldn't be the first accelerator in my mind). I feel the objectives of Y Combinator with HN are much more aligned with my own objectives than Facebook's (the company) with Facebook (the social network).
I'd be worried when/if ads start appearing on HN...
In light of the recent "Research" app disclosure, and that in both cases a fee was paid for participation, it makes me wonder what people won't do for a few extra dollars in their bank account given a similar scenario.
The NYT article is almost apologetic about its inconclusiveness. I might wonder - should I happen to be wearing my tinfoil hat - that it is designed as a means of placation, an ode to the status quo, rather than a deterrent for the average consumer.
If you got your political knowledge from facebook, you should probably get off of it right away.
Today, I've just read a paper copy of the Daily Telegraph (UK). The front page is a story about how a depressed 14 year girl committed suicide after being led into a downward spiral of despair by being fed a continual stream of self-harm images by a facebook property. Those lovely algorithms could have been made to make positive contributions to people in need of help. Instead, they caused a vulnerable teenager to end their life by making a bad situation even worse.
I do feel that companies like Facebook should have a social and moral responsibility to their users. They are in a position of great power and responsibility. And yet, they have shown scant evidence of any care in this regard, and they do have a case to answer. Not just for the single story I highlighted, but many years of utter callousness and greed in defiance of what most of us would consider acceptable ethical conduct.
I do feel that companies should have a social and moral responsibility to their users.
Sadly, companies only have a social and moral responsibility to their shareholders. It's one of the reasons why corporations are not people, they're more often immortal sociopaths.
Shouldn't everybody have one?