People seem to have noticed that I've declared I will not be using Facebook to publish content any more, and ironically have taken to commenting on my withdrawal from Fabebook directly on my Facebook status message saying as much.  This is indicative of my many issues with Facebook, but I shouldn't rush there through this explanation.  You may or may not know that Facebook changed their terms of service.  I didn't know.  No, really, I never received a message, and if I did, it went directly to junk.  This isn't surprising, since most of the messages I get from Facebook are inane emails telling me to go look at Facebook for messages (gah, that's infuriating), usually resulting in someone poking me (as Berta says, "Shooting spitballs at people went out with grade school") or a friend "invitation" from someone whose alleged friendship status is questionable.  While I'm thinking about it, there are people who I wouldn't mind talking to from high school.  While it's often easier for me to say that I don't want to talk to any of them, I suppose some explanation is in order.  It'll be no shock to you high school pals that you didn't really talk to me in high school.  I wasn't exactly a pariah, but I didn't get invited to go out or participate in anything you did in high school.  And so now that you've stumbled upon this world in which I live and work, inviting me to be your friend again online is a joke.  Suddenly I'm your friend because I'm on the internet and that's where the action.  It's like high school all over again.  That high school trivia aside, I have a formidable online presence.  No really, type my full name into Google.  I'll wait.  Anything you want or need to know about me outside of what would require personal contact is somewhere within those 400,000+ results.  There are ways to interact with me online, there are ways to see the work I do.  You can see all of the places on the planet I've visited, photos I've taken of my kids in those places, and read my list of current ambitions for travel destinations.  I even keep a reasonably personal "bucket list" of sorts online in public, and a list of all of the DVDs I own.  And if none of that is satisfying, you can email me.  If you look hard enough, you'll find the address.  In summary, I don't need Facebook to connect to the world.  Perhaps you do -- that's fine.  And since you do, and since I'm a (somewhat) caring magnate of small internet proportions, I had imported some of my choice disparate content into Facebook to present to the folks who can't attach to online community any other way.  This is how the Facebook ToS is involved in this maddeningly long explanation.  Really, I don't care to interpret the ToS.  I don't care if Facebook doesn't want to use my content for evil.  What I know is that most content that I generate - writing, audio, graphic, or photographic - is mine, belongs to me, and should not be redistributed except as I dictate.  While I'm not sure why I was under the impression that a feed from this site imported into my Facebook profile would remain under my control for distribution, but my re-educated understanding from the Facebook ToS that I recently read (maybe as a result of the change, but who knows) is that when my stuff goes into Facebook, I no longer control distribution.  Sorry, that's no good for me.  So I've yanked everything out of Facebook.  I don't crosspost blog entries there for Facebook-only internet "users" to read.  I don't cross-post llinks from my delicious account, which people might find educational.  I no longer crosspost twitter updates as new statuses to Facebook.  And why?  It's not just because of the ToS, although that was impetus enough to push me over the edge.  No, it's because I'm already all over the net.  As you read, I'm crossposting everything from somewhere else where it actually lives.  There is no new, original Content to be put on Facebook except for "being a fan of bacon" and filling out the occasional, similarly-worthless movie questionnaire.  I'm certainly not going to re-input into Facebook what I've already established solidly elsewhere as an original source.  So, as snobbish as this is going to be to say, if you can't get your lazy butt off of Facebook, put my name into Google, and click "I'm Feeling Lucky", then I don't want to talk to you.  Follow me on Twitter, read my blog here, check out my pictures on Flickr, but: If you don't have the impetus to see my original source content in its original wrapper, then you are not the kind of person I want to "friend" anyway.  Next on my hitlist: Organizations that are migrating meeting RSVPs entirely to Facebook.  Easy for you, but ultimately stupid.  There's got to be a better way than relying entirely on this single source of fail.

Comments

Looks like Facebook reverted to their previous ToS due to the backlash. They're writing a new ToS to be released in the next couple days to be a little more friendly to those who want control over their content.

We'll see what comes out of this attempt...

Not to fixate on a tangent, but just a heads-up that facebook emails you your message content these days. You still have to login to reply though..

I think part of your antipathy is related to where your "actual friends" are. For those of us whose actual contacts are on twitter, flickr, email, IRC, what-have-you already, facebook seems a mystery. For people who've never heard of twitter and whose 90% of friends are on facebook, the network effects are pretty strong.

I generally agree with your opinion, and have used this argument to justify my lack of a Facebook account.

But as Firas points out, there's some inertia to using the tool that everyone else uses. Moreover, from what little I know, it's possible to passively learn of old friends now using FaceBook, which makes it all the easier to find people without putting forth much effort.

Folks like you and I take Internet communication mostly for granted" we live and breath it every day, and it's the norm for the bulk of our interactions. Not everyone is as comfortable with this, and Facebook (and other sites) gives them a comfortable framework in which to operate.

And it's not just about "finding" people, but about (hopefully) establishing some sort of connection. Facebook makes it easy to say "Hey, I found you! Let's be friends" in a way that simply finding and visiting your blog does not. Perhaps people are timid to send an email that says the same thing, for any of a number of reasons. It's the normal behavior of Facebook, though, and so it's easier to do.

I suspect I'll be getting a Facebook account before the year's out. I've recently had a desire to connect with people I know, but who have no specific web presence. I don't have phone numbers for them, but I'm willing to bet they have a Facebook account, which I could use to make contact in order to obtain email addresses and phone numbers for continued correspondence.

I have yet to find a reason that I need to create content on Facebook to connect with any of the people who would want me to connect with them on Facebook. I, personally, can't think of anyone that I would want to interact with exclusively via Facebook and its features. YMMV.

I didn't mean to imply that I seek to create content on Facebook in order to find people, or even to attract people. Like you, I'm easy to find. I'm also not looking to communicate exclusively via Facebook.

But Facebook likely provides me with the means to contact people who I've recently met for whom I've failed to collect direct contact information. From there we can then move the conversation to more appropriate mechanisms (email, telephone, txt, what-have-you).

Sorry, commenting on this post is disabled.