For many people, myself included, Facebook has become a staple of modern life. We’ve come to depend on the Newsfeed to tell us what is going on in our circle. However, Facebook has grown to be more than just the Newsfeed. Facebook Groups have become a gathering place for people to share common interests, without necessarily becoming “friends”. Additionally, Facebook events are a great way to plan a gathering complete with RSVPs and shared photos and comments. Finally, Messenger fills out the feature set with robust IM functionality.
The Newsfeed is where Facebook began, and it’s still where most activity takes place. It’s also one of the places where the most frustrating conversations can happen. With the outcome of the election this week, many people’s Facebook feeds have become explosions of argument, posturing, and all around ugly behavior. To be fair I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things this week as well, that have made things more bearable, but sometimes it’s hard to cull through all of the other stuff to get to the gems.
A friend of mine decided he needed a break from all of this, and last night told me how he deleted the Facebook app from his iPhone. I’ll be honest, I’ve thought of doing the same thing, and leave the Newsfeed for a while. The beauty of what Facebook has put together means that just because you want to ignore the Newsfeed, it doesn’t mean you have to leave all your social circles behind. On the phone there are apps for Groups, Events, and Messenger, all isolated from each other. This means that you can continue to interact with your Group pages, RSVP to events, and communicate in Messenger, without needing to interact with the Newsfeed at all.
One of the issues I have with putting Facebook aside is that so many of the running events I take part in are talked about in my various Groups, or through Events. With the inclusion of these apps, I can now consider taking a break from the Newsfeed, and still not miss out on some of the interactions I really don’t want to do without. I applaud Facebook for giving people some of these options. It means we can still stay connected to social media, but yet not feel like we’re drowning all the time.