April 4, 2012

Escaping Facebook and Our Culture of "Likes"

The FB cover photo has to be "nice".

I like Facebook and more so, Twitter. However, I have so far avoided checking the Newsfeed and the Twitter page for a good 3 months now. I only go there when I want to post something (which is very, very rare), when I get a notification that I got tagged or when there’s a private message that got in.

Otherwise, I use it as needed, like when I want to check on my family abroad.

Meanwhile, most of the Pinoy FB’ers are on it all their waking hours. It is the first thing they check when they wake up in the morning and the last thing they check before dozing off. I know a lot of people who refresh FB and Twitter every few minutes to get real-time updates.

And what are the updates about? The food they ate, where they just checked in, their likes, their rants, their recent photos, and all their thought balloons converted immediately into status messages.

Sometimes, the refresh button is clicked and the screens on their iPhones constantly dragged down to see the number of likes they get or to check if there are new comments made on their photo and status.

I know that a lot of thought also comes when people post a picture or when they write their status. It has to be clever enough to generate so many likes.

I would also get my fair share of comments and likes and I was told that the convention here is to “like” also every single comment they make on your wall to signify that you’ve read it and appreciated the comment.

Well, I don’t like these rules. I don’t like playing for the FB audience. I don’t have to be likeable. And while I am a generous “liker”, I don’t want it to be forced on me because of some online norms.

For a brief time, I was that person who was snooping on FB and Twitter for all the breaks and pauses of my everyday life. Now I’m free and enjoying all the extra time without having to like anything or anyone. 

My life is so quiet now. And I really, really like it.


Anonymous said...

I like the freedom to choose what to like :)

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

Ahhh you totally are right. I just wrote about a post about this exact same thing, only I lost it, and haven't re-written it, but I will. I'm sick of all the "like" going on!!! Good on your for standing up and not playing by the fb rules....seems to be much better I think than following the norm. Can you imagine how many people who just stare at their fb page rather than living their life hoping people will like them???

supermac said...

Jen R: I still think that the "Like" button is a thoughtful addition to all the wonderful apps of Facebook and I remain to be a serial Liker when I visit family and friends ;-)

supermac said...

Brenda @ Mira Narnie: Yes, it is staring at the FB page like a zombie that I totally eliminated from my daily habit. I understand though the intent of the other people who do so. My friends and officemates, for example, are on FB for work-related stuff as well as we have to constantly be on the lookout for new ads being posted by our competitors, new videos that are spreading virally, etc.

As for the other Filipinos who are FB addicts, I honestly cannot blame them. It is deep in our culture to constantly connect with others. We are actually in the Top 10 biggest FB users in the world. So you see, it was difficult at first to not always be there given that everybody else around me sometimes talk about what's on FB. I'm glad though that I was able to scoot out of the FB party and use it only when I need to contact a dear friend or relative.

Thanks, Jen R and Brenda for dropping by.

Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

It is something I need to get much better at doing; taking a break from it all. I know I check quite frequently, and I need to stop. You can waste so much time.
Thanks for the reminder.

Lou Lou said...

Good for you! You are much stronger than I! I do love FB and just joined Twitter, it's a great way for me to stay in touch with friends and family a world away. I do seem to keep it under control and don't refresh too much at all...

Kymmie said...

Good on you Tey! I hadn't noticed but my Facebook addiction must have subsided because I received an email from Facebook saying "we haven't seen you for a while".

The same for my blog. It was quite neglected for the first two months of 2012. I didn't miss it. Life was full enough as it was!

Good on you for saying when enough is enough!


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