“See you on The Other Side.”


“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!

7 thoughts on ““See you on The Other Side.”

  1. Last time I tried it, G+ resembled nothing so much as a simulation of what it was like to be the only person alive on Earth. It was a vast, empty wasteland, totally devoid of life. Still, if it’s improved, that’s good news. We badly need a real alternative to Facecake.

    1. Precisely, my dear Watson. I had ventured back a few times myself an gazed around the perfectly kept hotel lobby with the sagebrush balls blowing by just beyond the doors, etc.
      Hence my intention two nights ago to just flick across for an hour or so until the emptiness became too intense.

      I think it was the mixture of jeering and squawks of alarm from the other dimension that goaded me into staying longer and making it work. So rather that sit there on my thumbs waiting for it to entertain me, I went exploring. I found life!

      I’ll see if I can find you. Give me one clue. Let’s make this a challenge!

    1. I’ve noticed a change in me already. Feel the space freeing up in my brain to revive blogging, for example! Also, in this ‘exciting new lifestyle’ – less daily horror about news and current affairs – things which constantly invade Facebook.

      1. See, there is the major difference in our Internet use, because I like Facebook for the news and current affairs. I prefer my news in small doses, rather than a whole half hour of doom and gloom on the television. But I am very pleased if you start blogging more often!

  2. Lindsay Gregory

    Well that failed – or seemed to – unless my comment is in limbo awaiting approval from the SteamedUp master. I tried to write something witty and filled in email and name (because I never like logging in using anything that asks permission to access my entire life’s history) and I ended up in no-man’s land……
    Anyway to cut a long story short – I found Ged, Ged and more Ged on the other side – just like FB but I liked what you wrote above more than anything I’ve read in a long time.
    Keep up the blogging.

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