Transitioning from Facebook to Google+

28 Sep

Before we begin, let me be clear: I’m not against change.

I’m against rapid change that I can’t get a handle on in my old, crotchety age.  I need time to adjust to something before it goes all snickersnack on me and shakes up again.  Else I feel lost in the ebb and flow of a technological sea that leaves me blubbering at the bottom, wondering why I ever even dipped my toes in.

I use this long, unnecessary sea metaphor to say one thing: I’m going to Google+.

Now I know that some of my readers are in fact old and crotchety and not just pretend old and crotchety like me and may not have any idea what I’m talking about.  So allow me to explain that Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook.  Basically, Google+ is an attempt at creating a social networking platform where folks can share content with a sense of greater control over whom they share it with.  Google introduced the notion of “circles”, so that instead of simply “friending” someone (like on Facebook), you just add them to circles that you set up yourself.  For example, you might name three circles: family, friends, and coworkers.  Then you drag and drop appropriate folks into appropriate circles and then you have a choice to share your updates and information with one, some, or all every time that you add content.

It’s a great way to avoid that picture of you face-down on the bar with your bra strap showing ending up on the screen of your current boss.

Circles have a variety of fun possibilities.  For example, since no one knows what circle you have them in, you can name them anything at all.  I prefer a Seussical system, wherein coworkers are West Beasts, friends are Glotzes, and family are Zooks.

Anyway I have this whole theory about Facebook leading the way to George Orwell’s 1984 and am finally uncomfortable enough to make the switch to Google+.

I see the irony in how I feel safer with Google, which is clearly taking over the world.  I’m also aware that Dante also put people in circles.  I’m carrying on in full knowledge of the would-be legitimate claims of hypocrisy, and this is how:

Facebook answered Google+’s ideas by allowing people to create lists to sort their friends and share certain information with certain lists.  It also introduced a feature called “subscribe”, which essentially just means I’m electing to have someone’s updates show up in my news feed.  But the beauty of this feature isn’t in subscribing, really.  It’s in unsubscribing, and it will pave my soft, flowery path to the Googlemeister.

Over the past week, I have been slowly unsubscribing from people on Facebook who I don’t really care about.  I’m not trying to be mean – I’m just being honest.  Do I care that this person who I went to elementary school with but haven’t talked to since they bullied me in the tennis courts in third grade is eating a ham sandwich for lunch?

No, I don’t.  And so I shall unsubscribe from their ham-eating updates.

What’s better is that they don’t even know.  They’re friends with me – that’s all they see.  They have know way of knowing if I follow them or not.

So first I will unsubscribe from people I don’t care about.  Then I will unsubscribe from people that don’t ever have interesting updates.  And so on and so forth until I am left with only the cream of the crop in my mini-feed.  I will systematically chop people out of my information IV like a ruthless ruler.  And when I’m left with a very small group that represents those who I am interested in either for entertainment value or for the fact that they really are my friends and I care about them in a virtual sense, I will aggressively campaign for those people to come join me on Google+.

It’s a pretty solid plan and I think more people could make the switch if they slowly weaned themselves in a like manner.

There are a few matters of business to be carried out, of course.  For one, I have every single picture of myself for the last 7 years harbored on Facebook.  I stopped taking pictures when I realized that my friends would take pictures for me, log them, and label them.  So now I have about 600 pictures that I need to get Facebook before the switch or I will have no physical evidence of me being alive for what are supposed to be the most exciting times of my life.

It will be an epic undertaking.  There’s rumor of an app for that.  I shall Google it and relish in the irony.

But the most important thing that must be addressed before I can deactivate my Facebook account is what the appropriate terminology for enjoying something on Google is.  On Facebook you just click a thumbs up and say you “liked” it.  On Google+, there’s a little plus sign (+).  But how does one express that as a verb?  They plus-ed it?

I can’t just go joining  a virtual group of people without knowing the appropriate term.  Heaven forbid I throw out “Plus-ed” in casual conversation and it be wrong.  But once I get that taken care of, it’s off to the Googlemeister for my social networking needs.

That’s it for me and Facebook.  It’s going to be a slow, slightly painful, and definitely awkward transition.  But once I make it to the land of the Google, I can hang out with all my Glotzes, Zooks, and West Beasts.

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33 Responses to “Transitioning from Facebook to Google+”

  1. misswhiplash September 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Good for you Jackie! I too am considering coming off of FB but I had not thought of Google+.
    I will take a look

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      try it out, P 🙂 Just poke around a bit.

      • iiphotoart September 29, 2011 at 1:53 am #

        as someone who really IS old and crotchety…thanks for explaining all that in a way that made sense to me. Now that I can make an informed decision I will go away and consider my options..and probably forget what the h$%$ you were talking about.

      • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

        LOL sure. Sure. If you can remember to remember to come back and read it for when you forget, then perhaps you can remember how to…

        oh never mind.

  2. mkultra76 September 28, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    I like this more than words can express. Or should I say “Plus” this? Hmmm…

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

      See?: Awkward. Maybe they’ll just make up a word. They seem to be good at that.

  3. Square One Notes September 28, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    I realized too late that FB is no place for an introvert…thx for a lesson in the alternative!

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Sure thing! I really love that with G+ you can share what you want with who you want. It’s refreshing.

  4. Marylou September 28, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    http://code.google.com/p/photograbber/downloads/list

    handy app for downloading all your pictures on face book

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Hey thanks!!!

  5. Marylou September 28, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Also, you’ve officially inspired me to do the same…

    • Marylou September 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      You know what’s a really unfortunate flaw in your plan though?

      Facebook makes it incredibly difficult TO GO THROUGH AND UNSUBSCRIBE FROM EVERY SINGLE FRIEND INDIVIDUALLY.

      Although doing so makes me hate Facebook even more. So that helps.

      • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

        just do it casually. when you’re scrolling down through your feed, just weed a few out here and there. eventually it will have to fill your feed with other folks and you’ll get a good rotation going.

  6. pegoleg September 28, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Good luck on your journey. Be sure to pack a little snack and some clean underwear.

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

      always the mother, Peg.

  7. Anita S September 28, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I’m on both right now, but I’m not really using Google+ yet. I didn’t realize that I could unsub from people without them knowing — ‘I have a little list, they’d none of them be missed’ (I probably misquoted). Perhaps I will go unsub them right now. I get way too much crap on Facebook anyway; I can’t see the posts of the people I really care about!

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      I suggest weeding them out casually and occasionally. Just read through your feed and unsubscribe right there in the feed from folks you don’t care to hear from constantly. You can even adjust it to “all updates, only the most important updates, or unsubscribe”

      of course, I’m not sure what the heck ‘the most important’ updates are..

  8. onemommysthoughts September 28, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I think this is a really sound plan and much less painful than the alternative of quitting FB cold turkey. Thanks for planting the seed on my next big technology switch over. I have grown a bit tired of the aggressive changes FB has been making. Toodles FB…tata for now!

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      WOOHOO!

      They are aggressive, aren’t they? I should have used that phrasing. Where were you when I was writing this post?!

  9. Erin McNaughton September 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I’ve been on Google Plus for a week or so, and I like it better than Facebook, although there are far fewer people on G+ than FB…hopefully more people will make the transition.
    https://profiles.google.com/u/0/102022179878743318915

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      well isn’t your picture just lovely!

      I agree – the biggest downfall of G+ right now is just the strain of having some friends in one place and some in another. Pain in the tushie.

  10. mona September 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    This is my third day of no FB access whatsoever! I’m lucky in that my closest friends jumped to G+ immediately, so I’ve got my virtual circle if I need it… good luck with your plan!

    oh and I’m a new follower; love your style!

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      Hi Mona, the New Follower. Welcome to the party. 🙂 Third day no FB, eh? Do you have the shakes yet or are you holding steady?

      • mona September 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

        Day 4: The shakes and cold sweats came early last night. I starting hearing voices in the walls, couldn’t be sure if it was the delusions or Zuck’s eyes and ears on the ground. I’m scared… but I’m holding out. They won’t take me alive!!!

        Erm, I’m doing well. Seriously.

      • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

        LOL

  11. Jules September 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Been on Google+ before it was cool.

    /hipster
    /deletesG+profile

    (kidding)

    Good luck on totally erasing everything you don’t on want facebook. They’re notorious about holding onto data that should have been gone.

  12. Lian September 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I like how you state you don’t hate change, just when there is a really big difference, and then state you changing to a completely different system 🙂 Is google+ any good? I’ve been considering checking it out but I’m not sure I want another social network to take up all of my time. I’m pretty sure I can’t abandon facebook though, I’m kinda addicted to it. How did they do that again?

    • Jackie September 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      Fair observation 🙂 Google has a habit of announcing changes well before they’re implemented and allowing you to switch back and forth until you’re used to it before the rollout. I’m hoping they keep that up for G+. Also, it’s really the next step Fbook is taking that has me running scared from 1984.

      I like G+, personally. There isn’t much to learn, really – it’s what you expect. It’s like Fbook before things got all crazy. Wean yourself off the Fbook 😉 Every time someone comes up in your mini feed that you don’t care about, unsubscribe to them. Keep doing it once in a while until you boil it down and ask yourself if you’re really spending all that time on there just for them. If it’s worth it, awesome. If not, leeeeave.

  13. Linds September 29, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Hi Jackie! Really enjoyed your take on Google+. Makes me think I need to give it a serious try and get rid of Facebook, too. I’ve had a Google+ account for a while, but I didn’t understand why it was so much better or why I should put the effort into it until I read your post. Thanks!

    Oh, and I have a solution for your Facebook photo problem. Several months ago I wanted to download all of my photos from Facebook to my computer. I used a free program called PhotoGrabber.

    Here is a tutorial and link to the download:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-download-all-the-pictures-tagged-of-you-on-facebook-2011-7#to-download-the-free-app-navigate-to-httpcodegooglecompphotograbber-and-then-click-the-downloads-tab-pick-win-for-windows-and-osx-for-mac-1

    It’s kind of scary at first because it asks for your Facebook login info, but it is the only way and I’ve never had it infiltrate my Facebook. You can opt not to have it become a part of your Facebook life. It’s great.

    P.S. Just wanted to say I come from a geek/nerd family, too. My dad used to play D&D. When my sister and I were old enough to have similar interests and game-playing skills, he bought us HeroQuest. We spent many hours playing it. We also used to play a lot of the Lonely Mountain game (you quest for LOTR treasure in Smog’s lair).

    • Linds September 29, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      Woops! I should’ve written Smaug, not Smog. What a rookie mistake! I guess my brain isn’t functioning this morning 🙂

    • Jackie October 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

      Love the link – thanks! And the spelling correction for Smaug – me thought you were a poser at first (jk).

      HEROQUEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      HEROQUEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You are the only person I know that has ever mentioned that game in conversation. Ever. I…I… I have so much joy I don’t even know how to express it right now. Thank you so, so much.

  14. egills October 4, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    The only thing I don’t like about G+ is the privacy settings, before when I was just on FB I could keep things hidden, now I’m on G+ I seem to have my photo plastered everywhere…

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