I joined facebook a couple of years ago when a friend started an author page for me. It was a fun place to hang out, catch up with friends and family, and play a few games. But it soon became a time suck and, as the rules kept changing, a bit too public for me. I didn't like having my personal data up for sale (not that almost every social site online doesn't do that, too) that anything I posted, clicked at, or even potentially visited outside of facebook would become public knowledge.
That really bothered me. Not because anyone would care that I frequent quilting sites, writing blogs, and news (Seriously. Who cares that I like Moda Bake Shop?), but does anyone really need to know if I'm researching decapitation, spousal abuse, or how long a person can live after a disemboweling? Not only would it potentially label me as psychotic, it could give away a story element long before the story went public.
And what writer wants that? ;)
The real kicker for me, though, was the increasing negativity. It's like people's self-sensors have turned off. While there's always been that free wheeling 'F this!' attitude to facebook posts, especially by the younger set, I lost count how many non-teenagers were telling others to do things to themselves best not said in public. Or posted raunchy, nasty pics and videos. Or just plain bullying and harassment. On my wall, at least, the venom exploded over the past couple of weeks.
I have no issue with disagreement, only the lack of politeness. People can disagree without calling each other names or making threats. People can be upset and angry without being vicious. Just apparently not on Facebook. And God help you if you ask someone to tone it down.
I just don't want that crap shoved in my face anymore. I have enough of my own to deal with, thanks anyway. So, between the nastiness and privacy issues, I decided I was done. I didn't want to lose my author page or that path of interacting with fans, so I haven't deleted my account, just closed the social 'wall'. I hope that works for everyone, including me. :)
I'll keep checking the page - promise! - but I'm also maintaining a twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/tambojones) and Google+ (http://gplus.to/tambo). And I'll make a greater effort to update this blog frequently.