The decision to leave Facebook was easy for some, not so easy for others.
It was a big deal for me. As an early adopter, and deep into Portland’s arts community, it initially was the perfect medium for connecting with people and promoting arts events.
Over the years of watching one Facebook security mess after another, I came close to pressing the Disable Account button several times — either for “mistakes” they’ve made, or from general irritation with the platform.
What invariably stayed my hand were the relationships I’d built with funny, smart, and creative friends that I could never have met in the non-virtual world.
Something shifted when news of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco hit. I began to feel as if I were in an abusive relationship. And that is not a healthy place to be.
Even though my settings had been fairly tight for the past couple of years, I have no doubt that my personal data was “harvested” before I wised up. I shared as much information as I could about the scandal, but truly, few seemed to care that they had been abused by a platform that they trusted. It seems that most users don’t understand or are not interested in how to even use Facebook’s security settings. Frankly, I got tired of shouting into a tunnel and only hearing my own echo.
Liberation comes in many forms.
So, today I celebrate my liberation, at the same time that I mourn the loss of connections. Although I gave friends fair warning (and heard pleas not to leave), I also shared information on how to keep in touch. Many will be remembered in the same way that I remember college classmates: in my life for a time, and then we move on. Thankfully, several are on Twitter and Instagram so I can still keep in touch.
The hardest part about leaving Facebook was leaving Origins! — a group I founded to share and explore the latest information on archaeology, anthropology, art history, and scientific discoveries, among other topics. The company of other nerds is surprisingly comforting! I hope that someone will step up to moderate the group, but if I stick with my decision, that is now out of my hands.
My intention is to use this platform more rigorously. Rather than rushing to engage on Facebook, which often meant sharing information that I found on Twitter, I will turn to my blog to let off steam, share insights into contemporary culture, and keep up with social and scientific advancements.
As a way to make my time on Twitter more productive and enjoyable, I’ve been actively updating my neglected Twitter lists.
Lists are a great way to follow your interests as well as individuals without wading through the often overwhelming hodgepodge of Twitter Home. When you’re following nearly 5000, that can be like diving into a rabbit warren. Way too easy to end up in a cul-de-sac of bickering and name calling. No, thanks.
My Twitter lists…
Artists2Watch Artists from the Pacific Northwest and around the world, and the people who follow them.
Origins! Anthropology, culture, women’s history, human evolution, archaeology, and historical oddities.
POV Media & Politics Media & Politics are running us ragged. This is a way to keep up.
If you’re on Twitter, I invite you to to follow me @LoraFisherPOV!
I vow to focus on and share positive news as much as possible — scientific and social advancements, humor, and the arts — and avoid the mass of political pundits that inhabit Twitter. They’re all on my lists if I need them.
Time is precious and we can not afford to waste it with nonsense.
My new motto: