Today Facebook has 1.7 billion worldwide users. I’m not one of them. Several times this year I found myself asking why not, maybe I should join up. I miss seeing my son’s posts from Japan, I miss seeing posts about Saturday bike rides, and I don’t know what else I’m missing by not seeing posts from my old friends at Microsoft.
Every time I was on the verge of signing up, I found a new reason to say no to Facebook. Strava provides all the social media I want.
- I hate Advertising. The real purpose of Facebook is to provide a vehicle for advertising. You cannot read a person’s posts without seeing ads. Even if people claim they don’t buy stuff that’s promoted, I believe advertising influences our lives in more subtle, and more insidious ways by manipulating our values.
- People post a lot of stuff I don’t want to read. My daughter described how I would be inundated with a myriad of trivial details. From what I’ve read, most people don’t care about what other people write anyway.
- Or people do care about other people write and they get depressed. People post what they want the world to see, not a true view of their lives, not the blemishes.
- I don’t want any part of the Friend – Unfriend drama. I don’t want people to feel hurt because I unfriend them, or because I don’t accept their friend requests. I don’t want to feel hurt because someone declines my request.
- I don’t want to connect with people I knew in high school, or old girlfriends.
- I watch people waiting in line at Starbucks, glued to their smartphones, thinking we should invest more time talking to each other.
- My friend Bob recently told me about re-posts. I’m not sure I understand them, but they sound awful. Apparently a lot of what people post is not original, rather a proliferation of advertising.
- I’m not sure I understand Like’s, but apparently they resemble kudos on Strava. Push a button to show you like other peoples’ posts – even if you didn’t read them, or they didn’t write them. Collect a lot of likes, and you’re cool.
- Strava allows me to stay connected to people I know. I get to see stuff they did, activities that I might want to do.
- People have to actually do something to post it on Strava.
- We can post pictures on Strava.
- Any activity on Strava is worthy of a kudo – hard ride, easy ride, long run, short run, walk, swim, who cares? Someone I know did something fun. Give a kudo.