Facebook, yea, nah!
If you need it, here’s the TLTR version: Facebook sucks. Don’t waste your time with it.
If though you like reading my ramblings, then read on.
I used to think, like everyone else on the planet, that if I had something going on, then I HAD TO use Facebook to reach my ‘tribe’, as Jeff Goins likes to term it. As such I have been using it to varying degrees for my endeavours since 2012, and in turn have had an on-again, off-again, relationship with it ever since. Over the past few years though, as Zukerberg has proven what a self indulged, horror show of a person he and his company as a whole actually are (and as many had already suspected), my questioning of the platform has only, thankfully naturally, increased. So while I still attempted to use it for my ventures, maybe hoping at some point it would flip and something might happen, my enthusiasm for doing so ebbed away and I kept on asking myself, in increasing amounts, ‘why?’.
Over the past week I read a poignant rant by Rob Starr over at Perishable Press, in which he outlines his feelings about the platform and why he has been using it less and less. I can’t argue with his sentiments or reasoning, if only because they mostly reflect my own (so worth a read as a background to where this post is coming from), but the gist of what he says is why spend time filling Facefraud’s platform with your content, and receive what accounts to nothing in return?
I have to say, I can’t argue with that thinking.
You see, once upon a time, when the world was bright and unicorns flew through the air (you remember those days, right?), the overarching attraction used to be when you did something on Facebunk, people noticed. Not like, say, a site blog, where you’d post something and hope that someone would see it. So as the rainbows glistened in the sun, when I posted something I did to Facecrock (as opposed to reposting someone else’s efforts), my audience actually saw it AND engaged with it; it was an almost instant feedback loop. Very cool, huh? But over the years the grand plan, and don’t think there never was one, slowly unfolded and came to be , it became very clear that if you wanted to continue to be noticed, you now had to pay for it.
So in the new world, you’d spend a chunk of your week creating content for your page, for your audience, but then would have to pay Facecrook to have it seen by the very audience you’d spent so long building. But by this point, as you’d invested so much of your efforts into it, probably killing off your own website’s organic audience while you were at it (if you even had bothered creating one in the first place, because, you know, why bother when you’ve got Facehook?!), you part with the cash and hope for the best (want a long read about my ventures into Facebook advertising? Go here – ‘Facebook advertising – something smells‘).
Neat plan eh?
And when Zuckerbook acquired Instagram, that plan only deepened and the ecosystem became even more enclosed.
Last week I set my pages to delete, bombed the Page’s app from my phone and removed FB link icons from this website.
I’d simply had enough of being played and Mr Starr’s article was probably the catalyst I needed to make the call. In a world where I have only limited time to do too much already, the proposition of spending, giving, my time and efforts to something that gives nothing in return just seemed a little mad. If anything, the lack of return for my efforts made me nothing but anxious; which no matter how you look at it seems like a bunk exchange.
The other gist of Starr’s article is if you have content, then it’s yours and treat it as such. Give it a home. Invest in a website.
‘Oh but blogs are dead!’ I hear you cry.
Are they? Really? But here you are.
On the contrary, if you dwell in the online world, you’ll already know the increasing chatter about owning your content, and the best way to do that is… a website blog. It’s old school, sure, but in a strange, ironic way, all these ’platforms’ that promised so much, but ultimately delivered very little, have pushed those with something to say/show/share back to websites, just so they can have control, and ownership, over what they create.
‘But no one will see what I do!’ I hear you say.
Really? But here you are.
There’s whole bunch of Pointdexter numbers that come out of my site’s stats engine, but that’s not for here. All I’ll say is ‘conversion’ – ALL the numbers point to what a waste of time Facebook actually is. Don’t get me wrong here, for some out there Facecrook can deliver results, but for me, I just can’t be arsed spending far too much of my increasingly valuable time to try and make that happen, and then hope it’ll actually happen.
So, what now?
I’ll admit, while I want to ditch Crapbook entirely, there are some things that have simply just become too convenient to give up on…
Messenger is still one of the best ways for me to easily, instantly, keep in contact with people I know in a way that’s actually akin to talking to them, so killing my account totally would be counterproductive; plus, for whatever reason, I do throw up occasional stuff to my personal page (which I had to have to create a business page); by no means though do I, or have I ever, been a big Crookbook user outside of my actual Pages.
The original brand page that has been there since 2012 is worth keeping for nostalgia’s sake, but the site it’s associated with gets more traffic from Pinterest than it does from Crookbook… which says it all really.
Lastly, I follow one or two user groups where I pick up on interesting stuff, and as forums et al. are for the most part dead (even though one does have an official and active forum), Facebank is now the unfortunate default.
But for the most part, Facebook for me is dead and buried, my days of giving shit away for nothing are done.