After one too many social media flame wars and countless wasted hours, I corroborated the conclusion of a certain notable New Zealand Objectivist who calls Facebook "Fecesbook" because of all the sh!t that flies there.
I just closed my account after saving whatever goodies I had posted there.
I never really used Twitter but I closed that account also for good measure.
RoR is a social medium. Your frustration with Facebook is easy to understand. I created an account in response to some requests; but I never got engaged. I only see it as a stringing comment board. I never found anyone using it other than that/. I never found a way to create a Topic Thread. However, as I said, I never did much anyway - my high school class for six months; Austin Tech Republicans for about the same. I do not have a Twitter or Reddit or anything else. I goto specific boards like this one for Objectivism and another set for numismatics.
But Luke, you were an early adopter of Meet-Up and a strong advocate for it here, which is why we have all those Meet-Up forums here. Meet-up is also a social medium. Interestingly, the platform does have a fairly rich Discussion utility. However, although I am in a dozen local groups for techies and one for Objectivists, no one seems to make much use of the Discussions. Mostly, you get a lot of frontpage comments in response to the announcement of the next meeting.
You reach out to many people in many ways. It seems to me (not being you) that you might just gather your friends and form a discussion group of your own. You were hosting in your own home. Have you done that lately?
Boards like RoR and Ayn Rand Meetup are specific and focused and therefore productive. Facebook is all over the map plus its format proves a constant distraction and a huge temptation to get into each other's business as well as divulge too much of one's own. Every day brings a news item about this or that foible of some notable on Facebook or Twitter.
We have our monthly Ayn Rand Meetup at a bookstore in part to overcome issues related to these kinds of risks.
Anyway, I concede RoR and Meetup are social media but they are of such higher quality I can hardly compare them to the others.
Reminds me of the discussions over Leonard Peikoff's podcast answer to the question about internet forums, back in 2007...
(It was probably discussed here, Yaron Brook asks the question: Q: What is your opinion of the Objectivist clubs and advocacy groups on the Internet? Your opinion, I know, would vary depending on the policies of any particular group. But all things being equal, do you consider this an effective and rational way to spread the right ideas?" Peikoff's answer contained his analysis of three problems of internet forum exchanges versus, say, email correspondence...)
Thanks for the link, Joe! I found it interesting and refreshing.
Eva, I think that Luke's problem was something like this: You are in your high school class chat and someone tosses out a comment on current events. You reply. They quickly become abusive.
In addition, many groups do use Facebook for ideological purposes. Here in Austin, the Tech Republicans have a Facebook page to keep in touch with the others who are not technical. That opens the door to a lot of chat about social issues where discussion really is not an option.
The Atlas Shrugged movie producers have a Facebook page, also, for generating publicity via chat. (I do not participate at all.)
The Facebook Groups and private messaging, as I recall, once used the standard topic and thread format but that got dumped for a more recent "upgrade" to the streaming orientation Eva describes. Another problem is the constantly shifting privacy settings. People have posted things intended only for a certain subset of Friends only to have administrators change the settings overnight so that those postings become fully public. One news story covered a school teacher who got fired because her private rant became public. Good riddance to Facebook.
One Facebook Friend noted to me upon my departure posting that he could hardly blame me given the Gruen transfer nature of the medium, not just financially but energetically as well.
Luke, re: the "Gruen Transfer": When I worked at Gene's Books (which was in a mall), the layout was designed to lead the customer through a confusing "maze" of shelves to the information desk, in the middle of the store. Didn't know that technique had a name. (Though not surprised, either, after having read WHY WE BUY: THE SCIENCE OF SHOPPING.)
Regardling privacy on Facebook (a contradiction in terms), this came up on Ars Technica:
Facebook is being sued by two users for intercepting the “content of the users’ communications,” including private messages, with the intent to “mine user data and profit from those data by sharing them with third parties—namely, advertisers, marketers, and other data aggregators.” The plaintiffs argue in a December 30 class action complaint that Facebook’s use of the word “private” in relation to its messaging system is misleading given the way the company treats the info contained within those messages.
Facebook has been a Mecca for expanding recognition of my work, much more so than my blogs and websites, even my tent fairs... and this includes discussion of my views on aesthetics, giving many much food for thought on ideas as visualized by my art works as rebuttal to usually offered disparaging comments... it has also allowed me to become online friends with many wished had done fan letters years ago, but now can discuss as pen-pal friends, several even have met over the years... so is not, for me at least, a waste of time -as long as not overused and allows the rest of the day to do new works...
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