Facebook is dead

It passed
away at about 6:34pm, Wednesday afternoon. That’s when I went FB cold turkey –
around about a month ago.

I don’t
want to make a big thing about it (and I doubt anyone even noticed). I have no
great antipathy towards Mr Zuckerberg either. It’s just that it was a dirty
little habit that had to go.

When FB
was born, I fully embraced it. But the novelty of sending humorous council
estate gifts to my pals soon waned. So I started playing with it for a little
while – in a smug post-modern style. Creating mock-photos of the ‘disco-fied’
jollity that everyone seemed to be living in.

Then I
just got bored.

Not sure
why. Maybe it was that horrible term ‘sofa-lising’ – where you sit fiddling with
your mobile phone while half watching the TV; actually doing neither very well –
waiting with bated breath for someone to utter something of
significance.

Perhaps
it was the words of those two great philosophers – Street-Porter and Kierkegaard
that jolted me from my digital slumber:

“Facebook has been a
runaway success because it allows people to create their own profile and welcome
new ‘friends’ with whom they can share their every waking thought. This, in
turn, allows them to feel important and individual, no matter how humdrum their
existence might be – by designing a far more interesting version of themselves
online. In their pathetic chat-rooms, they can project a vicarious image to the
world – of everything from their appearance to their social life – which
generally bears little resemblance to mundane reality.”


AND

‘The
idea of
busyness: that state
of
constant distraction that allows people to avoid difficult realities and
maintain self-deception.’

I’ll
leave you to work out who said what. There’s probably something a little deeper
to my cold turkiness though. Possibly the fact that Facebook is becoming an
unwieldy goliath – constantly appropriating features from its competitors in a
desperate attempt to stay ahead of the pack. Twitter is much more enticing in
its single-mindedness.

Has it
reached that Friends Reunited/My Space tipping point? The moment where it
becomes all-pervasive – and hence un-Internet in spirit? Is it high time for a
plucky underdog to take centre stage?

What I do
know is that I feel free! My itchy FB fingers have finally calmed themselves and
the cravings have lulled. I’m like one of those baby people emerging from their
pods on ‘WALL-E’.

Of
course, I’ll probably eat my words – because FB has just been valued at over
£50bn and there’s talk of it being floated on the stock market. I can always
come crawling back though – coz Facebook will kindly keep all my personal
details forever. How nice.

  • This is officially the first ‘Facebook is Dead’ blog post of the year … it certainly won’t be the last. For the record, I think you’re right. In the words of the legendary Yogi Berra, when talking about a formerly fashionable bar “No one goes there anymore because it’s become too popular”

  • I carried out a similar approach for a specified period of a month. Its amazing how you dont miss it, and how you fee free, but actually you start to ask yourself what is so wrong with being on it, and then crawl back!

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    Yawn!

    Hey man I’m at the vanguard because I quit Facebook just as I was at the vanguard when I joined it. Hey I’m so cool, so cool in fact that I’m no longer denying who I truly am. Isn’t Twitter sooo much better?

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    Actually , the short-termism of social media is rather wonderful. We embrace and enjoy it while it lasts; then move on to the next bright young thing. There are no hard feelings and nothing outstays its welcome. Everything has its natural lifespan…

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    The 33 other Mark Tomkins’ on Facebook slightly undermine the power of your gesture

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    Yes Vincent, I’m afraid you’re right. Grand cyber statements do have to be committed en masse to achieve cut through! I did feel mighty powerful for the briefest of moments though. Perhaps I could persuade the other versions of myself to jump ship too – then hop back on when they’re not looking.

    Seriously though, the biggest threat to FB’s existence is its scope for expansion. If China closes the door it’ll just be treading water…

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    I set up a page some years ago and proceeded to do nothing with it bar contact the old friends who contacted me through it. IMO that’s all it has ever been fit for. The only trouble is most old friends I have lost contact with wouldn’t be seen dead on it! I can understand those who feel liberated by leaving – it appears to be the world’s biggest time waster bar the I-phone.

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    Hi Chris.

    Speaking of FB and the wider web as a ‘time-waster’, there’s an interesting new book out – ‘The Net Delusion: How Not To Liberate the World’ by Evgeny Morozov. It takes a cheeky swipe at cyber-idealists who thought that the Internet would bring down repressive regimes; giving people the opportunity to educate themselves about their situation.

    The reality was that people wasted their time searching for porn and watching reruns of Dallas – paying even less attention to their country’s news. Certainly not galvanising themselves for revolution!

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    Me and a lot of people i know still use facebook all the time, it’s a great way to keep in touch with people you might not necessarily swap numbers with or indeed want to have a conversation with.
    Facebook chat is also good when it works. At the risk of sounding ageist though i would say it was definately for the young, people in their 20s and 30s definately use it. or maybe it’s just me and everyone i know.

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    I have read all comments on ” Face book” is dead.,
    Some comments are interesting& real.,
    For me. Regularly surfing both Face book& Twitter websites.,
    I have studied Honors degree course from Unversity campus at Bangalore, India with lot of bright Post graduate students from Capitalism to Communism linkage., Excellent professors, lecturers, multi linguistic, metro, co-education back grounds., All students were very bright& well placed to their job fronts.,
    Regret to say here, till, today, not even a single my class mate or college mate are friends i’n face book& i’n twitter.,
    For time passing, sharing occasional emotional feelings, avoidance for Loliness, I am i’n Face book& i’n twitter.,
    These are all true feelings from a freelance writer& a humanist.,
    What happened to MSN, Yahoo, My Space chat columns.,
    Day by day, their popularities are decreasing.,
    That is the fate of chats features.,

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    Nicola – if you would not want to have a conversation with someone why would you want to communicate with them at all?

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    Chris,

    I guess that’s a ‘very Facebook’ phenomenon. Keeping hold of a very loose-knit periphery of ‘friends’. People who you wouldn’t really want to spend any time with – but might need to call on in the future. It’s telling that, according to recent research, Japanese folk have an average of just 29 friends. So they have a much more traditional definition of what a friend is…

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    Mark – that just sounds like the desire to say you have ‘x’ number of friends to me. I cannot envisage a situation where I would suddenly need to call on people I do not know or have never spoken to. Even I have about 50 ‘friends’ even though I do not engage in any activity whatsoever on Facebook – but then they are people I geuinely know anyway. Meanwhile my 24 year old son appears to have about 1200 but I suspect that has much to do with his profession.
    It may be an age thing but I really cant see the point of having ‘friends’ you neither talk to or communicate with, not my definition of the word. Not even my definition of the word ‘acquantance’.

  • Great tool for Marketing peeps thou.