I’m out of Facebook, Part 2

Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesDays after I decided to quit Facebook, pressure mounts for me to come back.

I’m not kidding. Friends whom I met over dinner, my boss, and peers were all asking why?

For someone who is hyper-social, leaving the most popular social networking service is a big surprise. They are all skeptical and trying to figure out that SOMETHING  pushed me to drop Facebook.

It’s funny that my boss gave me a week to come back.  My other friends tell me that this may be connected to a virtual fasting with weeks before the Holy Week.

As I have learned over the past few months studying human behavior, big decisions were made due to life-changing situations. I went through that last year, and I must admit there was some purging in some parts of my life.

Let me share one situation: Months before I quit my job at one of the oldest Internet companies, I decided to give away all my books (well, almost all). I didn’t sell it. I just thought that they needed a new home–besides, my current rented apartment is too small to house them all. On top of that, I gave away my collection of DVDs and magazines (but kept some  rare guitar magazines).

Quitting Facebook is another purging, I guess. Relinquishing the most popular social networking service is hard. Yes, I’m going to miss the Groups. Yes, I’m going to miss on “breaking news” from friends. Funny, I still got wind of a big story through colleagues, old-school way.

I erred in describing myself earlier as a digital native. I’m part of a generation who still loves strolls at night. But with the explosion of the Internet, social, and now mobility–I was always first in line. First among my friends to join Facebook (they were on Friendster back then) back in 2006, I was a fast-follower. And boy, I latched on these innovations quickly, and learned from it, including the mess it made on my computers and phones.

In recent months, there has been an itch for me to look the opposite direction. I want to find alternatives. I want to find disruptions. I want to see the next BIG THING after social. Is it mobile messaging?  I don’t know. I’m also out of these mobile messaging services because they’re all too personal now.

There’s an end to this story, but at this point, I don’t know what it is. I might comeback to Facebook because the job requires it. But at this point, the “one-week deadline” my boss gave me will not happen. There’s nothing more compelling in Facebook that draws me in.

One last thing: if a thing/idea is interesting and compelling, it will always bubble up and grab your attention. I just don’t find Facebook sexy anymore. 🙂 [I’m going to get more weird stares and shaking heads for saying this, but that’s that 🙂 ].



I’m out of Facebook

no facebook

It’s done. I’m out of the biggest social networking service after years of using it. It has come to a point that this service has become too distracting.

Why you may ask? Several things:

1) Facebook has become a “bad” habit that sucks time better spent on doing something more productive.

2) Less is more. I have one social networking service left: Twitter. It’s a better source for news–and it’s not too disruptive.

3) For digital natives like me, the decision is easier. There are alternative social networking services that make more sense. And it protects your privacy.

4) Digital detox: I’m finding more time writing in this blog; reading news on mobile aggregators like Flipboard and Zite. I also purged all mobile messaging services. I’m back to using SMS and e-mail. Better, a phone call.

5) I want get rid of my F.O.M.O. syndrome.

6) One of my colleagues inspired me to do this: She’s on Instagram. That’s it. She shares what she thinks is worth seeing. None of the foodie and scenic shots that make friends envious and angry.

7) There’s life after Facebook. It’s about time that we connect not just digitally, but physically.

My list of reasons will grow, I suppose. But I believe this decision was not made in haste. It was coming. It was inevitable. It was a deliberate move to help me reconnect with my kids, my family, and my friends in very traditional ways.

Now, I can breathe a little more.

‘Too old for that s@#$%’ (Why 20-year-olds are ruling the world)

From the Millenials Tumblr website
From the Millenials Tumblr website

I read this New York Times’ magazine article, Kid These Days, with one nagging question hovering. What makes this generation different from ours?

A lot!

What drives them to excel? What motivates them? What’s their media habit? Do they still sleep? Are they really disconnected?

Much of the creative juices happen when we’re in our 20s, this Times’ article notes. Of course, it names Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. They were all in their 20s when they created companies that made a dent in our universe 2o years later.

So what is it about that youthful decade after those awkward teenage years that inspires such shoot-for-the-moon success? Does age really have something to do with it?

It does. And that leaves the rest of us — even those of us just a little older — at a bit of a disadvantage.

The conventional wisdom is that young people bring fresh eyes and a new perspective to confronting problems and challenges that others have given up on.

It’s hard not to argue against this, especially for older fogies like me. Wisdom comes with age, they say. Younger people may have fresher eyes. But jaded aside, they also say life begins at 40.

But that’s just me, me, me.

The New York Times’ magazine article reminds me of another one: Time magazine’s “Millenials: The Me, Me, Me Generation.” The article looks at a recent research that labeled young adults as “lazy, and entitled narcissists.” (But are we not all like this at some point in our young lives?)

I will not go further into the debate of what makes this generation different from ours. Each generation is different. When I was in my 20s, it was the dot-com boom and bust. It was the closing of an era of spandex pants, MTV, Sony Walkmans, Michael Jackson, and more. Internet as you know it, back then, was non-existent. We only dreamed of having our Letters to the Editor published in a local paper.

We, however, had more time to stroll around. To connect to people physically. Colored TV and remote controls were scant. Music shifted from loud to raw. Kurt Kobain committed suicide.

My main source of news was radio. Cable TV was a luxury. We had our taste of real democracy in 1986 after years of Martial Law.

Oh, when we were in our 20s, we also wore tight jeans and leather jackets. And we were in rock bands too. We were angry too, and we expressed that in arts, music, and writing.

Kids These Days may be right in telling us the biggest difference today’s generation and mine. My purpose and motivation back then was: finish school, land a job (and keep playing music, if you still have time).

Today, this has changed a lot. I see more young adults traveling. I see them creating content (e.g. #selfies and #ootd). I see them write. They still consume news, but differently. You’ll be surprised that they sometimes know more than we do. Life for them is about making their mark early. They have more tools, more canvass to play with. They have more friends they even have not met physically.

In the Philippines, young adults make more money that I do when I was their age.

Digital technology has changed the way we perceive the world.

Imagine having no Facebook, mobile phones and Tumblr. My kids cannot fathom the idea of having no wi-fi at home or in a restaurant. When I was at a family reunion last year in a far-flung area in Bacolod, the kids were all looking for Internet connection. Amusing? Just go to South Korea and see how a wired world looks like.

Both New York Times and the Time magazine articles are looking at a generation of young Americans. But they both offer some global insights that may apply to Filipino Millenials.

Today, I hope to find that out.  It is my first day in class and I’m teaching newswriting to a group of Millenials. Do they still care about news? How do they define news? What’s news to them? Do they still go to news websites to read up on the latest news on Senator Juan Ponce Enrile resigning as Senate President? Let me find out and will tell you more about it.


RP firm develops platform for Facebook developers

Cebu-based Morph Labs has launched a platform for Facebook application developers.


MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — A Philippine software company said it was allowing any company to use its web-based environment to deploy Facebook applications using an open source framework, an executive told reporters here.

A smaller world we create

Thanks to Manuel Villoria (who I follow on Twitter), I found this interesting take on web 2.0 by Sacha Chua.

Why do we blog? Why do we Twitter? Why do we spend time “poking” people on Facebook? Why do we keep growing our old Friendster profile? Why are we obsessed with social networking services on the Internet, devoting an hour or “less” on updating our profiles?

When I started blogging several years ago, some people were laughing at the idea of me blogging because I was already writing for an online news service. So I retorted, why not? Then there was Facebook. Less than a year into it, I’ve surpassed the 200-mark of friends. The rate of friends being added in my Facebook was higher than my Friendster years ago. Hmmm. This might mean people are moving to Facebook.

Lately, there was Twitter. I must admit, I’ve never used my Twitter account actively until recently when I started following more people (read: stalk, heh). Right now, I’m following close to a hundred people.

Ask yourself this: what is the first thing that you do in the morning besides hitting the bathroom because you drank too much water last night? You open your computer and check your e-mail? Or perhaps browse the Internet for news. Yes, I’m compelled every morning to boot my computer to see what has happened the night when I was asleep. I’m quite paranoid because some stories break while I’m asleep. But apart from reading the news, I also check my RSS subscriptions to blogs, and my Twitter friends. Of course, I also open my Facebook profile because another person has decided to add me as a friend.

We are creating a smaller world, thanks to the Internet. In fact, you’ll notice that in services like Facebook, you’re actually connected to the same people through friends, a friend of a friend, etc. This phenomenon is called “six degrees of separation,” a concept studied by a Harvard social psychologist. But it becomes very evident in social networking services and the Internet how our world has even become smaller.

Why are we doing it? I guess we are afraid of just being alone.