“Uh, I’m gonna turn Facebook off and go over to Google Plus. Se ya there?”
With these hastily-typed words I inadvertently launched myself into a curious adventure some two days ago. It meant no more than, “I’m closing Facebook for the evening. Going to catch up with a couple of convos I’ve got going on G+.” But I think the cheeky part of me added “See ya there?” as a sort of cattle-prod to the entirety of FB and all who keep it seething along. Like: ‘Hello, there are other social media sites, y’know!”
I didn’t expect *anyone* to follow me over and say hi, but maybe just maybe the attention-seeking part of me was at play. Maybe I really actually secretly wanted someone to follow me over.
And guess what? No-one switched over just to say ‘hi’ on The Other Side. Not a single one of them! But oh the panic and consternation I left behind!! 18 comments, the first 3 starting with “Nooooo!” Playful, yes, but little by little I began to realise that people thought I was REALLY leaving FB for all time and going across to The Other Side! ‘Hmm I’ll stretch this out a bit, see what transpires.’ So I did not immediately bounce back to FB the next morning.
Well gosh; G+ had change enormously. I needed to re-acquaint myself with the controls and I’d only just made a couple of friends who were active users. So I stayed and dug around and backtracked through their old posts and followed some links and ACTUALLY ENGAGED WITH IT, this was an interesting world. Yes sir, it WAS! I joined a group. I commented on something. I thanked someone for a link. It started to tick,
Then: OMG! This new world could suck up an entire lifetime! But more than that: G+ has a Very Different Tone. It was no place for the trivial and the trite. No place for a corny pop-psychology meme or a silly kitty-falls-on-it’s-arse video clip. None of that. NONE!! I found myself thinking about the *value* of what I might share. What was I adding to the world? Would these practitioners of this ‘higher tone’ find it worthy enough to examine?
THEN IT HIT ME: G+ is elegant. It is designed. I’d been living in a low-rent backpackers for years, sleeping in a ten-share bunkroom and listening to every fart and squeak of bed-springs and dodging under a stranger’s undies to get to the door and smelling and seeing every weird foreign meal cooking in the share-kitchen, (thank you, Instgram!), and suddenly BAM – I’d been upgraded to a classy Japanese hotel. Clean, precise, simplified, in every room a single bonsai, mini-shrine or art installation. Calming, and also sending a whole different signal: ‘Keep tidy’. ‘No undies!’ ‘Meditation Before Action’.
The difference is phenomenal and the effect on me has already been significant. My view back at the squabbling raucous hubbub of the Facebook Street Market has changed. Do I need all of that? The visual clutter? The constant blare of someone’s radio? The spruiking of wares? The smell of goats? Every single thought that pops into some people’s heads and a photo of their every single frickin’ lunch!?
So I can report to you that the experiment is under way. I’m going to stretch this out a bit more. I’m going to see how long I can go without a daily dose of the zoo we call Facebook that we feed and fuel with our attentions and addictions. I’ve loved it and I’ve hated it, and maybe, just maybe, I might be leaving it. Or at least getting some distance.
We’ll see. The experiment continues. I’ll keep you posted here at Steamed Up. Thanks for reading!