Facebook Compares to AOL? Time for New Habits

The Verge shared some scary insight today:

Facebook is the beginning and the end of the internet for a huge number of normal people, a combination of primary service provider (user profiles, messaging, photo sharing) and ’90s-style portal to the wider web. Facebook has its own IM platform, Messenger, just like AOL had AOL Instant Messenger.

This has so much truth in it, it makes me sad and gives me hope – hope because like AOL, maybe Facebook will actually be replaced some day.

I joined Facebook in it’s early days of public access, when it was fun, interesting, and social. Anyone who was around then, and still uses it now, will likely agree – Facebook isn’t what it was. I do think it was successful in bringing people together but I think Facebook has basically lost it’s way.

Google Play Newsstand
Google Play Newsstand

Out of frustration of what Facebook is now, I have started to create some new habits for myself that so far – are working. Instead of beginning the day with Facebook for news (which no longer appears in my News Feed unless the posts are sponsored), I now reach for my Google Play Newsstand.

Google Play Newsstand is an Android App. where I can see highlighted news I from sources I have selected. Unlike RSS, you aren’t able to add your own preferred feeds, but it’s a great starting point with a lot of fantastic news sources that cover news, business, entertainment, sports, and more. If you use Android, I highly recommend taking a look.

After browsing through Google Newsstand, I’ll often check out Reddit where I view internet cultivated news, learn new things, and get book recommendations (here, here, and here). It took me quite a while from the time I first learned about Reddit, to where I actually began to use it. Granted, they could use a nicer looking design, but the site functions well and their voting system works more or less as intended.

On Reddit, the more popular posts get voted up, and become easier for you to find. And no matter what your interests are, you’ll be sure to find a subreddit that exists – just play around with the search box.

All in all, my biggest motivation is to use Facebook only occasionally, rather than often. There are better ways to find out what’s going in the world, and someday, I hope there will be better ways to connect with friends, perhaps even here within the WordPress community.

How about you? Do you still find Facebook serves it’s purpose as a tool to connect with Friends? Is it more social, or anti-social in your life?

Creative Writing as a Life Skill

Jan 2015 Sharon and FrodoToday’s Blogging University assignment is to introduce yourself, a “who I am and why am I here” post. Rather than say who I am, it makes more sense for me to explain, why I am blogging. I’m actually using two blogs on the WordPress platform right now, but I’ll simply publish this post once.

Creative Writing is something that appeals to me, and quite frankly, I rather suck at it. Almost every year I challenge myself to begin writing daily, and I make it only three to four days in before I quit. Writing non-fiction is easier for me, but still difficult.

I launched this blog because I stay extremely busy with “life” but often can’t tell you what I’m doing from one week to the next. I work from home, seven days a week, and the days, weeks, and months all tend to blend together. What did I do last week? I don’t know, but now I have this place where I can go back and look and recall the recipes we’ve tried, books I’ve read, movies we’ve watched… things that make up my day-to-day life.

Now that I have this location (Drink More Decaf) I got a little crazy and created a second WordPress site where I can practice fiction. Why? Mostly because I’m very good at creating crazy challenges for myself. Partly because I want to see if I can actually write fiction more than five days in a row! I’m really not sure. I know if I improve my ability to write fiction, it will carry over to non-fiction, so my goal isn’t to become a writer, but simply a better communicator. It feels a little complicated to manage two blogs where I am challenging myself to write daily for each, but I wanted a clear demarcation between my life, and fictional writing exercises that have no basis in my reality. I’m hoping I can make this work!

So there you have it, for those of you participating in the Blogging 101 course, this is my WHY. I look forward to reading your introduction as well!