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Portland, OR

(503) 272-1842

Brian Ryer's Personal Blog



So Long, Farewell, Aufwiedersehen, Goodbye!


Brian Ryer is Saying Things


So Long, Farewell, Aufwiedersehen, Goodbye!

Brian Ryer

I'm leaving Facebook.

You may have seen other folks posting sentiments similar to this lately so I don't want to make too big a deal about this decision. I do want to tell you why I've made it.

It's not the new messenger app, and it's not the Snowden revelations, and it's not the emotional manipulation experiments, and it's not you. It's me.

I've never been all that good at maintaining relationships with actual people in real time in the first place. It's clear to me now I'm even less able to do so on Facebook. My experience has devolved into an parade of posts from branding and news bots punctuated by posts from you – when I'm lucky. It's like seeing a text message about a friend on that always scrolling television news ticker. “… New violence in the Middle East : : NASDAQ up 3% : : David took his children to the park : :  Congress gives itself a raise …”.

Events are flattened out on the FB feed, all presented as if they were of equal significance. They are, of course, not all equally significant but they are all, at least, a little bit interesting. So I scroll on, and on, and now it's an hour later but I don't feel closer to anybody, don't feel I've let them know anything about what's really happening in my life.

“Yes,” you might say, “ but what you give is what you get, Brian.” This is true. I can't claim that I've over-shared on Facebook but that's my point really. Why would I put something of any real significance into a stew of commercial messages disguised as important updates; where the only verb is a weak and ambiguous “Like”; where the deepest I can go with someone on a comment topic thread instantly becomes an artifact for data-mining? Especially when the people I want to communicate with may or may not see my posts depending on what Facebook's current feed algorithm is; when my emotional complexity demands at least a “Dislike” and a “Meh” button; when I can have my data and mine it too?

The answer is, I wouldn't – more correctly, I shouldn't. I have my own website, fercrissakes! I should be publishing there and linking to it on Facebook The reason I haven't? I'm browsing my flipping Facebook page!

You can get updates about my everyday life, read what news stories and books I think are worth paying attention to, see pictures of my family, my pets and my lunch and correspond with me in short form comments or long form missives by visiting BrianRyer.com every once in a while.  When you want to, not when Facebook wants you to. When you are in the mood. When you are interested.