Update: it turns out that Facebook has had its largest data breach in its history. So, it looks like I’m not the only one vying to #deletefacebook.
Google is expanding their products beyond search. Amazon has (and continues) to expand beyond home delivery. Facebook is now basically a media network. Over 70% of all web traffic now flows through what has been dubbed, The Trinet.
When I joined Facebook in 2006, I don’t think Zuckerberg (or myself) thought Facebook would be gamed and manipulated into affecting the US Elections in 2016. But let’s back up for a minute.
Early social networks have been around in some form or another since the mid-1990’s. Forums, discussion boards, and sites like GeoCities or Classmates.com were some of the first.
Xanga was my first foray into these social networks. Naive, young, and full of contemplative thoughts these networks were an elysium. Full of rich-text editors, a blog full of lyrics, notes and comments from my friends — anyone would feel like they were on top of the world.
The web felt like a jungle (no wonder Bezos ultimately decided on Amazon as a brand name), and I hadn’t even discovered how to wield RSS yet. The mystique of the world wide web left my breathless. An endless sea of new things to discover, and yet — Xanga had an exodus on its hands in 2006 to Myspace.
Migrating from Xanga to Myspace was a chore, but joining felt right. In highschool, staying connected to my friends was the highest priority. So, we all jumped ship. And in my senior year of highschool, there were rumblings of a new kid on the block. The one, the only… Facebook.
At the time, invitation by university email was suspended indefinitely and by the time I graduated to college, it was clear that Facebook was going to be around for a long time.
Ever since then it’s been a phenomenal tool for keeping in touch with old friends and connecting with new ones. I don’t doubt Facebook’s engineering teams abilities to make a great usable product. I do however believe that the culmination of their effort has produced a monstrous mess. Their products are now capable of ruining lives, bothering those who do not want to be bothered, and every single one of their apps has a history of dark patterns.
It’s not something I can stay behind.
What's Old is New Again
So, yeah. Facebook (facebook.com) sucks. Only this time, I don’t have a new social network to migrate to. I’m a pretty regular tweeter (@smpetrey), but I don’t consider Twitter to be an authentic social network. It’s really more of a microblogging platform and news platform. Which is great. Twitter is my short-form blog, and I write my long-form here on this blog.
Here in the coming months, I will say goodbye to Facebook(.com). I can’t say I’m disappointed. Disappointed with Facebook shutting their Creative Labs. I’m even more disappointed with their acquisitions. Every single one has no doubt contributed a significant amount of value to shareholders (myself included at some point).
I can’t say I’m not beat up about it, I mean I’ve grown up with Facebook. I’m sure I’ll no doubt stick with some of their other products like Instagram. Just for all times sake. Instagram is way less annoying than the original Facebook product. But, for the most part I’m going to be spending most of my time here and Twitter. I’m actually really excited for this. I want to craft a blog archive worth looking back on.
I’m also excited to leave the Facebook echo chamber and look forward to curating/following my new favorite thing, The Blogroll. If you’re into that, stick around. But let me know below if you have a blog too, I will happily subscribe. ✌️