Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.

The G+ Effect

The G+ Effect

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Interesting that Samantha wrote about Google+ when I was planning to do the same! I guess that goes to show that we’re quite interested in this up and coming social media effort from Google, as well as where it will put our other social networks like Facebook.

Follow me on Google+ here!

google plus

From what I can tell, Google+ (hereon referred to as G+) has been a big hit so far. Lots of people, influential tech people primarily, have jumped on board. I was able to grab an invite from a Twitter user within the first week and have had plenty of time to get a feel for how Google wants to change the online-sharing world. Some thoughts so far:

  • Whatever personal information I had been holding back from Google, or had flat out lied about in the first place, is now correctly updated and proudly sitting on my G+ profile page. Interesting change of events.
  • I take particular joy in adding people to my “Brain Trust” and “Inner Circle” circles. Say that ten times fast.
  • Limiting the content you post to certain circles at the time of posting is insanely easy. It is all done from the keyboard and the implementation of auto-complete is very well done.
  • I use my other social networks more. Not as in a direct comparison to my G+ usage, but more than I use to use them. I’ve found myself around Facebook and Twitter more frequently as of late.
  • Flash, being used for a full-site experience, is dead. G+ showcases, especially with the HTML5 photo upload, that an immersive, interactive experience can be built without the need to call up Adobe.
  • Google is throwing all its weight behind that little +1 button. It is key to its succeess. A Facebook search engine, powered by the “likes” of your friends could very quickly make Google search results seem artificial; partly because they already are. Google, not given access to the huge amount of data on our Facebook pages, needed its own way to begin curating results. You can have the most advance search algorithm in the world, but I will always go off of the recommendations of the people I trust before I turn to a machine.
  • G+ is the result of a lot of vision and hard work. It is very clear that Google put effort into the experience and design. It might be the best looking first-launch of a Google product, that wasn’t simply bought and rebranded, in my memory.

The biggest thing G+ has hurting it right now is the lack of users. Social networks without your friends signed up feel like awkward house parties where the amount of food provided vastly exceeds the capacity of the guests there. Sharing with a circle of friends that only has one or two people in it isn’t very compelling, but every day I get another notification that “so-and-so added you to their circles.” Slowly but surely.

G+ may not be able to dethrone Facebook because it is much easier for Facebook to change up features than it is for Google to establish hundreds of millions of active users. But G+ is the first sincere push at a more social version of Google’s creed to organize the world’s information. I really like G+. But I know I’d like it a whole lot more if all my friends were here.

What’s the fuss with Google Plus?

What’s the fuss with Google Plus?

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If you know me at all, you know I adore social media. If you don’t know me, well, now you know :]

I find the whole aspect of “social networking” absolutely fascinating – when used correctly of course.

I believe that each social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) all have different pros and cons. These sites also have different groups of people who use them (in both the right and wrong ways).

Think back to the days of Myspace.com. I first made my Myspace profile when I was in middle school — way before every middle school-aged teen had a cell phone or one with a camera. This was way before the days of digital cameras in every family as well. I remember I didn’t even have a default profile picture on my Myspace page — for a while it was tennis-star Andy Roddick because, at the time, that was my favorite picture. Myspace came and went pretty fast, never really taking advantage of “networking.” It was mostly younger kids who had profiles and they just used it and abused it for keeping up with gossip and friends.

Facebook was still quiet around this point, and towards the middle/end of high school I found myself making a Facebook account. I don’t even have to go into explanation as to how quickly and successful the site became. I will say, however, that it is used to make new friends, get to know new friends better, creep on … EVERYONE and keep in touch with old friends. As you know, almost everyone and their mother (literally) has a Facebook account and everyone is sharing pretty much everything. It spread like wildfire, almost to the point where many people are beginning to hate the site because of the amount of ridicule the people on the site produce — that will happen anywhere though. Then of course there are the rumors and stories about how businesses can pay Facebook some big $$ to gain access to someone’s private accounts for hiring purposes, etc.

Then came Twitter (my personal favorite). During my freshman year of college I went to a communication seminar up at Progressive Field where public relations professionals spoke to a large group of us about the importance and positive direction of social media. They absolutely ADORED Twitter and could not stop talking it up. At the time, maybe only two of the people in the entire room had an account and they highly encouraged us all to go home and make one immediately. They stressed the importance of staying professional, showing some personality and meeting new people on this network. This all is why it has become my favorite; you don’t have to personally know somebody to follow them or even to converse through Twitter. Better yet, it is so easy to find local professionals in the field you want to pursue. It works as such a plus (and THIS is why I love social networking); you get to become acquainted with people whom you may end up meeting, working with and needing down the road.

OK, so back to the title of my post: What’s the fuss with Google Plus? (G+)

Think about Google.com … powerful, the best and most used search engine online, growing in talent and abilities, right? OK, now mix that with all of the traits of social media – status updates, picture posting, blog posting, friends and networking.

Google Plus is synced with your Google (gmail) account, which means on your homepage (think Facebook’s homepage), you can access your gmail email account, your calendar, your G+ profile, your G+ account and Google’s search features all while interacting with your friends, or as G+ calls it, your circles and seeing their status updates.

Instead of just accepting or denying every friend request sent, you can pick and choose what “circle” you want each person to go to. The strength of this concept? Hiding stuff you don’t want certain people to see. For instance, your mom gets a G+, simply put her in your “family” circle and when you post your status update about what you did last night, you don’t have to share it with that circle. There are also circles for friends, acquaintances and the option to create your own (i.e. sorority sisters, coworkers, people I hate, etc.) This way, you can pick and choose who can see what on your profile.

Some critics are saying our lives are on social media overload, while this is correct, old ones fade out (example: Myspace) and new ones perfect flaws and step in.

Right now, G+ is on a trial. It is invite-only when it comes to making a profile. Solution? Ask around, find a friend who already has a profile and ask them to send you an invite.

It will definitely be interesting to see where this goes. Google is so powerful and such a smart and capable engine that there can be many great things that come from this new line of social media.

Hope I helped somewhat illustrate this new trend!

Keep cool in this weather! :]

-samantha