Facebook No, Strava Yes

descentofmanToday 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.

Facebook No
  • 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.
Stava Yes
  • 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.

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Born in Harrisburg, PA. Undergrad at Drexel University. Learned to ride a bike when six years old, riding ever since. Started cooking when I was in college, stopped when I got married, started again in 2006 when my wife was out of town for a few months. Jobs: worked at post office while in college to earn money to buy a stereo. After grad school, worked at a small software company in Redmond, WA for twelve years. Afterwards, went back to school to get a certificate, then started teaching high school. Still doing that off and on, part time as the need arises.

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