Biting the hand that feeds…Why I’m out of love with Facebook. Skilbey Blogs.

If absolutely nothing else, disregard this blog, skip and read the following link in its entirety.

This blog, by Cody Musser, sums up perfectly how I have physically (yes, physically- it makes my stomach sink), and psychologically felt since committing to Facebook in Dec 2015 and why over the following months it was beginning to leave me feeling quite peculiar. I didn’t like what I was feeling (to be honest, I was never in love with it), but was struggling to find the right words beyond all the well-trodden ground discussing the negative aspects of social media that many have expressed. Trying to place my reaction to  Facebook was as irritating as trying to identify that impossible taste that teases you sometimes in a medley of flavours, as irritating as trying to chase the whiff of a scent from somewhere or from some long time ago, or like waking from a dream, perturbed at not being able to recall why you felt so unsettled. And then I read Cody Musser’s post. It enlightened me, courtesy of B F Skinner as to what was going on.

His blog highlights how Facebook is set up and designed to trigger a need to consume it, based on behavioural principals mapped out by B F Skinner, a Harvard Psychology researcher who conducted experiments on pigeons. I won’t spoil what happens. It’s worth reading. I will only say that it demonstrates how we are being conditioned, and for me, it placed a firm finger on the button of what is happening inside our heads. It tapped into a mild disquiet I never knew could exist from using Facebook but knew I didn’t want to entertain for too much longer.

In addition to this trigger behaviour- and also at play- is the Social Comparison Theory. Again, please read. No point in me repeating what is explained so succinctly. I will add that Social Comparison Theory is our very tangible Achilles heel. However, I certainly do not want to spend my life sizing up everybody else’s, or feel inferior or superior to anyone else. Glossy magazines and the celebrity ‘out of reach’ lifestyle do their bit to foster out jealousy, insecurity, a sense of non-fulfilment and insignificance and I generally give them a wide berth.
These two ingredients create a potent cocktail that I find hard to drink. Maybe I’m control sensitive; I’ve never actually liked the taste of alcohol nor enjoyed its effects on me, though, I am not against drinking- each to their own. And besides, my sweet tooth addiction (intense sweetness can surpass the cocaine reward, look it up), would leave some people gagging.
And many people live off different strains of stress; it has often been the fuel towards people feeling ‘alive’. Competitive business, technology, science, sports and art thrive off a strain or two. I work better when staring a deadline in the face. Stress can be healthy.
Facebook has pros. I drop in very rarely now but wouldn’t have got the message about a reunion had I not made the effort to look. I am pleased I have connected with many old and new and there are still some dear old friends I would love to try and contact but I ran out of the will to deal with Facebook.
In any event, I’m not being as severe as Cody. Just yet. I’m getting off at the stop just before ‘quit’, on Destination Street.

‘But’, I hear you ask, ‘what about getting yourself out there as a writer? Shouldn’t you be watering that ‘status’ garden? Aren’t you literally biting the hand that feeds?’

Yep, pretty much. But I’ll take that chance, though I know it may go against me.

Let me know what you think. Do you agree or have wildly differing views?



10 thoughts on “Biting the hand that feeds…Why I’m out of love with Facebook. Skilbey Blogs.

  1. Hmm, it’s one to think about. I think it’s how you use FB? And how much time you let it consume. Jx

  2. People use Social Media, these days, not to be informed or to inform, but to improve their place on the Google ladder. Google notices the traffic on most websites and if you are trying for page one recognition, in some category on Google, then the more blogs and mentions you get – with the correct search engine optimization and meta tags – the more likely it is that you improve your readership. Professional publicists will tell you that all Social Media outlets are being used this way, by people who never even read their own blogs, let alone other peoples well thought out efforts. But never fear, the better your position on Google, the more you will be noticed by willing readers, and that dear friends, is how it is done. So, do not despair!

    1. Thank you Patrick. And I have barely touched Google! I made a decision some time ago, that after I’ve finished the editing and make that leap into the world of seeking publication, I would venture further into fine tuning social media optimization. But I know I will struggle with Facebook- it just doesn’t sit well with me xx

  3. I shall go off and read that post but I share your disquiet about Facebook. Until I published something I had never been on any sort of social media so I had no ongoing ‘friendship’ base on Facebook to tap into. I therefore set up my Facebook profile under my pen name rather than as me. This has proved to be both an issue and a blessing. The issue is that Georgia Rose isn’t me and I therefore do not share family stuff for example only writing or other things that capture my attention, so I don’t think I’m using it in the way it was intended to be used. For example I don’t go out of my way to find old friends because, well I’m not me. The blessing is also that because I’m not me on there I keep it at a distance and have no problem not involving myself in endlessly looking at other peoples stuff. Again I’m probably not using it as it should be used.

    I also have an author page plus one for my new business and I share stuff wherever it is appropriate to. The thing is that while it would be very convenient if all people interested in us and our writing would sign up to our newsletters and therefore all be in one place, things are never that easy and readers are to be found wherever they find it most comfortable to be. For some, this is Facebook.

    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone on this and I know there is no easy solution. I have my ‘writer’ page and then my account (full name) as my ‘social’ page. The idea was to keep them separate but I’ve tweeted my blog post on Twitter and have seen it come up on my account page. I’m sure there’s a way to solve that but I’ve lost the will…
      And the ‘writer’ page is restrictive but what I should really be doing on it is sharing other peoples stuff but I really get put off using it because somehow just you get pulled into fb’s world again- a notification or a message which is lovely but…
      I really will have to get the hang off it at some stage, just not yet,(spend more time on my book, as fb eats away your time), and I think, like you, focus on it when I actually have something published- though that certainly won’t make me like it any better- far from it! But it will give fb purpose for me. I don’t think I’ll ever like it, purely because of the residual ‘pigeon-like’ feeling it gives me. Thanks for your comments 🙂

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