I wrote a while back about my conscious decision not to post so much about Twitter and Facebook:

"although I have deleted my accounts on both networks, if I keep going back to them, focusing on them, then I'm not free of their influence and still letting them interfere in my life."

Considering that, for years, this blog was built on writing about the social web, and the "blue two" in particular, it felt like quite a decision.

I became disillusioned with Twitter because of the conversation, the arguments, and the vitriol. Some would say "you're following the wrong people" but things suddenly changed. The people I followed were previously the right people but the same overbearing conversations were everywhere and passions rose even among the most moderate. The only way to completely avoid it was to step away.

It's similar to how things are now with the whole Facebook privacy issue - it's everywhere, even on sites and channels that would never have discussed Facebook in the past.

You can't avoid it!

But maybe that's a good thing, this is a conversation that has to be had and in the open for all to hear and judge for themselves. And that's the thing - it's a choice. There's no denying that Facebook serves a valuable purpose for millions, if not billions, of people, connecting them in ways they might not get elsewhere. It's easy and convenient far outweighing any negatives for most - the trade off is a no brainier.

Indeed, many may spend their time on Facebook just talking to friends and family, ignoring stupid personality quizzes and notice nothing wrong. They get ultra-targeted ads and flick through their news feed blissfully unaware of any problems.

Sometimes I wonder how much of the outrage is manufactured by a tech press that thinks everyone should think like they do. This outrage becomes amplified and its migration to the mainstream press merely serves as validation. Still it doesn't mean that opinions will change. The truth is that most don't care or don't care enough to warrant taking action - the friction is too great or they see no evidence of any wrongdoing in relation to their account.

There does need to be better restriction on the use and spread of data, how to control it, and greater education on how things actually work but for many there is likely a loss less to worry about that some would have us believe so saying the sky is falling is an overreaction at best.

  1. Despite overwhelming evidence that participating in those networks is not worth it, I still occasionally feel the pull to rejoin (although I manage to resist). Just goes to show how much they've gotten into our consciousness.
  2. Colin I suppose, in the end, it's who you listen to; namely, those that have something useful to say and those that don't. I'm not a big user of either platform but providing I wear the right pair of glasses, I still seem to draw (some) comfort from using the platforms. Best wishes Julian
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      And that’s the joy of it, for some it works, for others they get immense value without issue. I made my decision but don’t expect that the circumstances which led to it should apply to anyone else.

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