Circles: Why Facebook Doesn’t Work For Me

To state the obvious, Google+ does something that Facebook doesn’t: Circles.  I ended up deactivating my Facebook account because even among my collection of friends, I don’t want my personal and professional  life splattered across the entire collective.  I am not a Borg.  Within that collection, I have circles of friends.  They don’t know necessarily know my friends in other circles.  And frankly, I don’t necessarily want them to.  I have a diverse set of friends, and quite frankly, I want to maintain boundaries between these friends, just as in real life a friend says something in private that you don’t go telling every other friend of yours and all the strangers who are their friends.

Furthermore, there are “non-people” entities that I’m interested in as well, such as groups that post on Facebook upcoming workshops, events, etc.  While useful, again it’s not something I want cluttering up (or publicly visible to my friends) my “wall.”

The only solution that I can think of is to have about a dozen different Facebook accounts.  However, apparently Facebook has something called “Lists” (found a blog entry on the concept) that might do the trick.  But like anything Facebook does, getting it configured right appears to require a lot of effort–effort which I don’t find much value in making for the simple reason that my visits to Facebook were something like once every couple of months.

Oh, and if you’re curious, while I’m also on Google+, I never visit it either.  I’m simply not a social networking person – my social life is quite full and enjoyable in the real world–these virtual social networking sites simply do not meet any need.  The only “social network” (to use the term loosely) that I participate in is the Code Project forums, because it meets my needs for interesting discussions, humor, and technical news.

So, will I return to Facebook?  I’m not sure yet, and only after I’ve taken the time to investigate this “Lists” thing some more.

Marc

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2 thoughts on “Circles: Why Facebook Doesn’t Work For Me

  1. Hi Marc,

    Something about this post seems a little self-contradictory.

    First this statement: “I have a diverse set of friends, and quite frankly, I want to maintain boundaries between these friends, just as in real life a friend says something in private that you don’t go telling every other friend of yours and all the strangers who are their friends.”

    Then it occurred to me that I was reading something written by a man who knew not a single thing about me, yet who was sharing quite intimate information in his blog: poetry, philosophy. This strikes me as something of an un-boundaried behaviour.

    How do you reconcile the two?

    Dan

    1. I don’t necessarily see the conflict, but here goes in trying to explain it. I publish “intimate information” that I am comfortable with being in the public domain. However, it is up to you whether you want what I publish on your Facebook wall, for example. Or maybe you are OK with what I write being on your wall within a particular circle of friends, like poets or philosophers, but not with your business friends. So, what bothers me about FaceBook is not what I publish, but what other people post that ends up on my wall for all to see, without my overt permission. I simply do not want certain people (such as coworkers) to see the rants of certain friends. I want to be able to filter the input, just as I actually do filter my output, but I don’t know how YOU might want to filter my output for your comfort.

      That said, having been away from Facebook now for a while and re-activating my account (only because causes.com requires a FaceBook login (which I find rather bad form, but that’s another issue) I discovered that FaceBook’s security is much better – I can now more easily control and moderate what shows up on my wall when other people tag me. That’s a significant improvement.

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