Facebook DislikeWithout question, Facebook is the most popular Social Networking  site, at least by user count.  The latest figure is around one billion users.  Any web site would be delighted to have such a user base.

In my opinion there are a number of flaws with the service, and while I am confident I can not make a difference I decided to go cold-turkey and disengage from Facebook for seven days to see how I felt.

Firstly, let's be clear -- I like Social Networking. Some people view it as very impersonal and lazy but I disagree. For me, it's a great way to keep in contact with friends, especially across a large geographic area. Some of the posts might seem trivial, almost tedious, however those little nuggets of information are what keeps us together.

By far the largest factor driving my temporary departure is forced content.  Facebook needs to make money and this is achieved with targeted adverts, mainly. I do however strongly dispute 'targeted' -- some of the content I am forced is way off my interest areas. Also in the 'forced content' definition I include friends activity; yes, this sounds odd, but bear with me....

When I follow a friend I do indeed want to know their status updated. However if that friend comments on, or likes, a public post I am also informed. Why do I care about their public commenting or topics we do not share in common?

Equally, given the number of users on FB, the corporate marketing machine is driving a huge amount of nonsense to me, indirectly. We are bombarded by competitions and strongly encouraged to Like and Share these to enter the draw.  This of course forces even more content!

Facebook provide a bewildering number of switches and security settings to apparently refine your feed but so far all my experiments have had little impact.

Personally, I run a tight ship in Facebook.  I'm not a collector of random people hoping to reach hundreds or thousands of friends. Honestly, how could anyone engage with these staggering numbers?  I have around fifty people I interact with and want to share my personal social content with. Even with this meagre friends list my forced content is excessive.

Therefore, in my stand against FB I have set myself a seven-day detox. No Facebook until 8th March 2013. That's the plan.

If you are still reading this, and remotely interested(!) I will report back in a week. I'm interested in how detached I feel from my friends, and how they feel too. I post several times a day on FB and it generally results in fun chat; they may also have some thoughts on this experiment, which I will share.

I appreciate other platforms are available, but right now Facebook is where my real-world friend are busy networking!

I know this experiment is nothing new, but it is for me and it inspired me to write a few words on my experience.  

site by DAJ