15 August 2014

Minimizing my Facebook Use

About more than a month ago, a rather controversial study appeared, in which Facebook users were apparently subjected to massive emotional contagion thru their News Feed. The main finding of this study was that people who saw more positive emotions on their News Feed felt more positive, while people who saw more negative emotions on their News Feed felt more negative. And the reason why this was controversial was because Informed Consent was never asked, at least in the traditional sense. That made me think and re-evaluate how I use Facebook myself.

See, I signed up for Facebook back in 2007. I was in my mid-20s back then. I used to be a very eager user. I posted a status update every day. I did that for years. Only about a year ago have I scaled down my status posts. And now, I rarely do it. In fact, from now on, I don't think I would want to post a status update at all. So that means that my Facebook use would be very drastically different from when I started.

The other thing I use Facebook for is for dissemination of my photos. I create photo albums of the pictures I have taken in my trips. I used to have this accessible in public, but now I am limiting them to my friends only. And of course, to those who have access to it through the hidden links that you may or may not know where I store. I will still use Facebook for this purpose. But that means that I will only add new content whenever I create an album. This pretty much is the only content that will be created by me.

The rest will be just sharing links. I don't create this content, I just share links I found in other places.

I also removed my other personal content. I removed my personal information. I removed my life events. I removed the connections I used to have with Facebook and other social network websites, such as Goodreads (where I keep track of the books I have read), Yelp (where I review restaurants and other establishments), and Flickr (where I post my picture of the day).

Yes, I will be more passive in Facebook right now. It's not because I don't want to be experimented on, but because I just think that sometimes, I have a significant amount of my life on Facebook, and I feel like I need to focus more on the real aspect of life, not just its virtual side. So what this means is that if I want to connect with people, I really have to make an effort to do it, like sending them emails, calling them, instead of just checking Facebook in order to get the illusion that I am keeping up with people I know. I also blocked my wall from being posted on by friends.

So yeah, Facebook was a good thing for me when I was younger. Now, I think I am moving on.


  1. I don't regret never jumping on the Facebook bang wagon. I'm also lucky to have a fairly rare last name so anyone looking to reconnect can google my name and my blog shows up. I think FB is very time-consuming and a bit pointless to be honest.

    1. Zhu,

      Good point regarding the name uniqueness and the blog. And I agree; there are other ways to reconnect without using Facebook. I think the positive aspects of Facebook have already been surpassed by its negative aspects.