Digital Dilution

published

After a valiant resistance, I finally caved in to peer pressure and created my Facebook account. I created the account because I was tired of receiving invitation requests. It’s too laborious to respond to each one with an explanation of why I don’t intend to use Facebook; and I felt that my extended family – the ones sending me more and more invitations – deserved a better response than that, anyway.

Looking at my Facebook home page, I knew right away that I made the right choice to avoid the service for this long, and it only cements my resolve to avoid using it in the future. I log in once every couple of days to see if I have any new friend requests. I plan to accept every such request, because there’s no real penalty to such a plan, and no real benefit for not accepting such requests. (Alas, I actually did decline a few of the invitations that were pending when I registered my account, because I hadn’t thought through my intended usage of the site very well.)

I have zero intention of creating content on Facebook, though. This has nothing to do with the much-discussed Facebook Terms of Service, and everything to do with my own limited attention span. The first and only thing I’ve posted to my account is:

I’m not really here. Find me at http://skippy.net/, http://flickr.com/photos/skippy, and http://twitter.com/smerrill.
I originally created the account to stave off additional unwanted invitation requests, but ultimately I hope I can use it to drive would-be friends to my existing online presence – this blog, my Flickr photos, and my Twitter stream.

As Owen observes, “I have a formidable online presence. No really, type my full name into Google.” I’m not as heavily linked as Owen, but this blog is the first result for me, so I’m not hard to find. That’s okay: not everyone lives and breathes the Internet as much as I do, so I’ll help them out by using my Facebook profile to point them here, and to the other resources I use.

One of the first things I did with my Facebook account was to configure the Twitter application, so that my Twitter updates would be posted to Facebook for visibility there, thinking that in this way I could use Facebook in a limited capacity to share some of myself with that community. I then immediately deactived the application. I don’t want my Twitter updates to hit Facebook because then people might reply to them on Facebook, and I’d likely never see those replies. I could turn off the ability for people to comment on my Facebook postings, but then what’s the point of sending that data to Facebook to begin with?

Ultimately, there are too few hours in the day for me to add yet another communication mechanism to my life. I wastespend way too much time as it is writing content for this blog, contributing to Crunchgear, posting to Twitter, instant messaging, emailing, texting and actually talking to people on the phone.

There’s no specific value to me to dilute my online presence by using Facebook.


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