I love Google+! Within an hour of re-installing the app on my iPhone (and my Android tablet shows it off even better) and finding all sorts of interface improvements since January, I knew I’d rather be over there… but all of my “friends” were still on Facebook. What was I going to do? Oh no!
I made new friends, duh. Lots of them.
I sought out photographers and put them in my circle for photographers. I found Canon users and made a circle just for them, as well as adding them to my photography circle. I added tech sites like Ars Technica and Wired to have great articles to read. Most of my tech friends on Google+ (who were also on Facebook and/or Twitter) posted articles rather than status updates. Google+ isn’t about statuses. It’s about sharing information and collaborating and having hangouts (very cool) to get to know each other better and expand your knowledge or horizons.
I’ve also noticed that most people mostly keep their political news to themselves, but there’s a decent portion who will do one post every day or so. It’s sort of like keeping to the safe topics at the dinner table. However, when a political person or entity posts something, then the comments can get really vicious really quickly. I think the difference between Facebook and Google+ in this respect is not everyone is actually a friend, so they feel like they can say anything if they don’t know you… however if they’re not your friend but are fans and are friendly, they keep their comments to themselves. I don’t see much, if any, going out of one’s way to be rude in comments.
Some days, Facebook statuses put me in a plain old foul mood. “How could people actually have these world views?” was a constant irritant to my sense of justice and right-ness. That has gone away because I don’t often find controversial quotes or the like on Google+.
Another interesting life change of using Google+ instead of Facebook has been a sharp decrease in anything that could be construed as bragging. That’s what a significant percentage of statuses are… “look at me, Daddy!” syndrome for adults crying out to all of their friends and enemies. I’m guilty as charged, too. Wilhelm Hofmann from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business says this about constantly being connected to social media,
“Ask yourself: How important is this, really? How happy does it actually make you?” he said. “Harness that feeling of pride when you do resist and stick to it.”
The constant thinking in status updates is gone because there are no status updates on Google+ if you’re using the platform correctly. The early adopters set the rules and the rules state that you’re boring if all you do is type statuses without links, images, or videos. Google+, like I said earlier, is about passions. Passions are worth more than words… or at least your readers deserve a nice photo while they read something you write because that’s how the platform was built for tablets and phones.
There’s a movement
It seems like every week, I read a blog post by another person who completely deleted their Facebook account and has noticed massive changes in their life. Here is a good one from September that you should read, if for no other reason but perspective.
I have to say, I feel better by only spending about 5 minutes per week on Facebook. Have you left yet, or at least started using Google+ more?