#WordPress vs #Facebook?

I spent five minutes on Facebook this morning, and I couldn’t wait to leave.

I commented on a couple of family posts and liked a couple of Hugh Howey’s posts, but I still couldn’t wait to get out of there.

I also liked posts by some of my friends, most of whom are on Facebook, yet it didn’t feel like a genuine interaction. That only seems to happen on our respective websites and blogs.

I know there are special interest groups on Facebook – like Indies Unlimited – that should be of interest to me, but I am so uncomfortable on Facebook that I’m never there long enough to interact with them.

I don’t know why I am so viscerally ill at ease on Facebook, but I would like to find out, so forgive me if this post turns into a form of digital navel gazing.

Okay, starting with the factual, the following graphic is a side-by-side view of my WordPress and Facebook pages. WordPress is on the left, Facebook is on the right:

wp-vs-fb-screenshot

What strikes you first when you compare these two pages?

If you’re anything like me, your first impression of WordPress will be that it’s visually restful. Your eye is drawn to centre stage for the main event while the ancillary functions stay modestly in the wings.

I’m no graphic designer but I have worked with images most of my life, and to me, the WordPress layout design is:

  • easy to read
  • easy to navigate
  • and uncluttered

By contrast, as soon as I glance across at the Facebook page, my eyes start to spin. Everywhere I look, the realestate of the page is packed with information, all of it trying to get my attention in some way. I can actually feel my body tense up as my brain tries to sort the clutter into something I can work with.

And before you think I’m a neat freak…I’m not. I love the elegant minimalism of traditional Japanese interior design, but I loath the sterile feel of contemporary interior design.

My idea of warm and cosy is this:

acf-homepage-mockup

In case you’re wondering, this is a mockup of the website I was thinking of creating about two years ago. I gave up on the idea for a number of reasons, the main one being that moving ‘house’ would have meant losing most of the visibility I had gained on WordPress.com. I’d rather have a simple blog that everyone can find than a snazzy website that people would have to find all over again.

Anyway…the background photo is of my actual loungeroom and illustrates the kind of clutter I love – warm, cosy, intimate.

[Slight graphic correction: the walls are not dark brown as shown in the photo; they are actually a warm, olive green]

To me, Facebook is not intimate at all. It’s like walking into a barn filled with strangers having a party. There’s no room to dance or do things so everyone stands around, drinks in hand, shouting to be heard over the high decibel background noise. And even when I find a group of people I actually know, I don’t feel as if we can have a deep and meaningful conversation because you can’t do deep and meaningful while shouting at the top of your lungs.

By contrast, all of my interactions on WordPress feel like an intimate dinner party, regardless of who’s hosting the meal.

And right there, I think I have my answer. I am who I am, and I take myself wherever I go, even online.

I’m not a typical introvert though. I’m not shy. I can stand up in front of a class and give a lecture without the slightest twinge of discomfort, but I simply can’t do big, loud parties. Never have, never will. I don’t even understand why other people enjoy them so much. It’s as if I’m missing the big party gene, and when I am forced to attend one, you will generally find me in the kitchen – if there is one – or standing in a corner somewhere, bored out of my brain.

In the real world, my preferred form of social interaction is dinner with close friends. While we eat, we do catch up on the minutiae of life, but once coffee and dessert arrive, the conversation inevitably turns to issues – political, ethical, philosophical, universal – and I’m like a pig in the proverbial. My brain is on fire, and I am totally in the moment. I could stay up all night because we’re all firing off each other. It’s wonderful.

In the digital world, I frequently have dinner at Pinky’s house. Pinky runs a salon where debate is the dessert served up with coffee. Or I might pop in to the Passive Guy to catch up with the latest issues in publishing. And then there’s dancing and trips to the Museum of Modern Art with Candy, or afternoon tea with EllaDee. Anne invites me in for an afternoon of botanical drawing, while David Prosser has me in stitches with his sly-yet-gentle humour.

Take a look at the people in the sidebar of this post. They are all my friends, not because we’ve friended each other, but because we’ve shared moments of mutual understanding. They are all kindred spirits in one way or another, and WordPress [for all its faults] makes our intimate communities possible.

Thanks WordPress, and sorry Facebook but this square peg will never find a home on your pages.

-hugs-

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

78 responses to “#WordPress vs #Facebook?

  • The Little Mermaid

    This is an excellent comparison between wordpress and facebook. While I find the latter more stressful, both to the eyes and mind, wordpress is totally the opposite. It is warm, non-judgemental, friendly, classy and intelligent. I regret not signing up here before. I enjoyed the post.

    Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    I struggle with Facebook too, and I never really understood why, but I think you’ve just solved it for me: it’s too cluttered. So much visual stimuli competing for my attention. I like a clean interface, and you’re right–for the most part, WordPress offers that.

    Liked by 1 person

  • headwindjournal

    Interesting insights! When I log into Facebook, I usually have the same mindset as when I go to a big party. Just focus on one person at a time and try to tune out the noise on the sidelines! Have a few brief interactions, then leave. I don’t expect a lot. As for WordPress, I’ve been blogging for four years but only reaching out to the blogosphere for a year, so am still learning what is meaningful to me and others in that world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Ah, now that is interesting. ‘Have a few brief interactions, then leave.’ That is how I feel about Twitter. I don’t expect to have an indepth conversation so I go into it with a ‘hello, goodbye’ mindset. With Facebook, however, I always feel as if I /ought/ to be staying longer.
      Mind if I ask how you’re finding the blogosphere so far?

      Like

      • headwindjournal

        I am finding it strange. But I reserve judgment, since I just started exploring. I guess I am a little scared. I reach out and get some odd responses from blogs I don’t understand (not yours). So then I pull back. But I will not give up and surely my observations will evolve. Currently I write about a variety of topics, so I don’t fit into a convenient niche. Some blogs are not of the best quality (putting it politely). Since I hear from a few people all over the world, it is kind of like having pen pals (remember those?). Any insights welcome. Thanks for asking!

        Like

        • acflory

          Hmm…my blog is pretty much all over the place because I wanted to create a space where I could explore all my passions, not just writing. I also don’t blog ‘regularly’ – as in on a set day of the week or on a set topic. That said, I do try to blog at least once a week and I do explore other people’s blogs, but only the ones that genuinely interest me. I think that might be the ‘key’. The people I discover and who end up becoming friends aren’t just randoms – we all have some ‘thing’ in common. And I think our writing is what draws us together.
          The only hard part is managing to stay connected. We’re all busy and it’s just not possible to visit everyone in a single day, not in a real, I’m-listening-to-you kind of way.
          Bottom line, if you’re looking for friends, you will find them. That’s been my experience.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Esme upon the Cloud

    The ‘room’ looks like my lounge here upon the Cloud, a touch of the ‘Sherlock Holmes’s Study of a winters evening’ going on. Real cosy *nods a lot*.

    “I spent five minutes on Facebook this morning, and I couldnโ€™t wait to leave.” – Yes that’s me too. I find it demanding, cold, and there’s a general feeling of having to eek yourself out to some whilst not managing to get around to others. People expect you to be on there all the time reading about their ingrowing toenails and Bonfire parties, and get somewhat indignant if you didn’t know about it all. I do point out that emails still exist and would seem to be a fine way to be sure people know about such things (the parties rather than the big toe business).

    WP is also a little demanding, but only a little for we’re all in the same boat here – only so much time to peruse and comment and sometimes that means we don’t get round to all the blogs we follow for a few weeks, but get there we do if we are truly interested. And that’s the nub of it I think – we’ve chosen to follow people we find interesting purely because of what they write and the manner in which they write it. It’s all about the words here, whilst on Facebook it’s all about moans concerning the wine stain on the rug and how annoying some chap in a soap opera is and the like. Everyone I follow on here can write as well, and reading is a particular pleasure of mine.

    That’s just me, I know many who are on there all day long and seem to love it. I find it useful for birthday reminders and occasional catch ups with folks who have given up the ghost as far as emailing goes. It’s useful for business purposes too. – *nods* – good post!

    – esme of Cloud fame curling up on the sofa in front of the fire with a good book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      -waves at Esme ‘pon Cloud-
      I have a feeling this post struck a nerve of sorts. Every single person who has commented, whether for, against or somewhere on the continuum in between, has added another dimension to this question. I agree with everything you’ve said but this struck a chord for me: ‘weโ€™ve chosen to follow people we find interesting purely because of what they write and the manner in which they write it…’
      You are so right. We do all write and it’s the writing that brings us together. It would be so obvious if writing were not so inextricably entwined with who we are. We write, therefore we take writing for granted.
      -does a happy dance before joining Esme ‘pon the sofa with a Kindle-

      Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    Interesting article, AC, Thanks. as you appear to have invited us to share (!) here’s my thinking….
    I started using Instagram, because an old college pal is Swedish, and that what she uses. For about 3 years that was the only social media I had, and it was just for Camia. Then our aussie pals went onto Facebook, so I signed up, just to keep in touch wiht Jane, and kept it super restrictive, in pat because I didn’t want to be publicly identifiable due to my job. Then in 2014 I opted for voluntary redundancy, somewhat reluctantly and decided to launch DGD as a business, so created a FB business profile, converted the Instagram account and opened a Twitter one. I realised that I was enjoying reading other people’s blogs and that if I wanted to pontificate, rant or simply share something I had learnt, or was learning that a blog might be a better way to do it rather than the FB account hence opening the WP account. I chose WP only because my favourite blogger (that’s you @coldfeetstudio!) used it.
    I still use all the other accounts, often a few times each week for a different purpose (and still have my personal FB really buttoned up!)
    That’s a top tip about your pal’s WP account crashing and backing up though. I should think about backing that up. At least once, onto my primary backup hard drive (as you know – I don’t trust the cloud!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Of course I wanted you guys to share! And like you, I have a stack of accounts – FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Wattpad and I think I even have a Tumblr account somewhere. But also like you, I don’t use any of those other accounts the way most people do – i.e. as a place to ‘live’.
      I suspect all of us take from social media the things we want and I have to say I’m thoroughly enjoying getting so many similar yet different perspectives. So keep talking! Oh and yes, I haven’t done a back up of WP yet…but I will!

      Liked by 1 person

  • D. Wallace Peach

    I agree. Facebook is tough for me. I really dislike the algorithms that decide who will and who won’t see posts. I agree that WordPress is much more transparent and intimate, and I like the relationships that develop with the less frenetic pace. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    I spend a good deal of time on facebook and very little on wordpress. I think it’s the interactive-ness (is that a word?) I like.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Okay, this is interesting coz I know Chris [James] uses FB a fair bit too. When you say interactiveness, what exactly do you mean?
      I know you and the other minions have your own group on FB, is it the ability to speak to each other all in one place? Or is it the ability to chat to someone in real time, i.e. via Messenger?
      Sorry to grill you, Yvonne but I really am curious.

      Like

    • acflory

      Yvonne! Chris the Story Reading Ape just gave me an idea. I know you have your own website. What are the main things you use it for? I’m just wondering if this has something to do with our different preferences?

      Like

      • Yvonne Hertzberger

        Yes, IU has a secret group, but that’s not what I was referring to. I use my profile page to engage with friends, mostly writers, but also others. It’s where I let them see who I am and where I share book announcements of other authors and other related events. I don’t use messenger a lot as I seem to miss messages there. I will use it occasionally to chat. For that I prefer e-mail. I actually ought to use my website more but never really got the hang of it. It’s much more techie, which I am not comfortable with. I use it only for writing related posts, reviews and such, not to share anything personal. Perhaps that needs to change.

        Like

        • acflory

          Ah…now that’s interesting. I wonder if you wouldn’t be more comfortable on say a WordPress blog? People seem to find blogs easier these days, although if you’re comfortable on FB then it’s a moot point. Bottomline, you have to live where you’re comfortable.

          Like

  • The Story Reading Ape

    I only use Facebook, Twitter, etc, to spread my blog posts and promote the authors articles Meeks – For interaction and community, I much prefer WordPress – it’s full of great people like you ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  • The Pink Agendist, nรฉe Mr. Merveilleux

    P.S. I just *love* the room. The colours, the books, everything about it is warm & gentle on the eye ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  • The Pink Agendist, nรฉe Mr. Merveilleux

    I’ve tried FB and Twitter, but neither really appeals to me. I think my biggest objection is they’re not about genuine communication. They’re monologues. People seem to use them to have pre-existing ideas confirmed. Of course some people try that around here, but it’s much harder to propagandise in this sort of forum. A soundbyte or even 30 consecutive soundbytes doesn’t/don’t make up for unsound reasoning.

    Liked by 1 person

  • metan

    As everyone else has, I completely agree. FB is like a flashy advertising platform with a bit of personal content, not comfortable at all.

    I always feel the comments that are made on WP are actually made by an interested group who are chatting, on FB it is just it’s like everyone is trying to be part of the cool group in high school! The majority of people are just putting their hand up and saying something in order to be noticed.

    I had to join FB as updates for some of the kids school things are only available through it, and I hate it. Haven’t commented, haven’t participated, just get my information and go on my way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      “itโ€™s like everyone is trying to be part of the cool group in high school!”…yes, yes, yes! I hope this doesn’t sound like sour grapes or something, but now that I’m wearing my big girl pants, I don’t want to be a part of the that group any more. ๐Ÿ™‚ -hugs-

      Liked by 1 person

      • metan

        Absolutely not sour grapes! Couldn’t stand the cool group when I was at high school, and nothing’s changed. No fake humans for me! ๐Ÿ˜€ All of those hollow platitudes and confected outrage in the FB comments annoy me incredibly.

        Like

      • metan

        Here it is, weeks later, and I have an addition to make to my last comment.

        Number 1 son is in Cambodia on a humanitarian trip with his school, and the regular updates posted by the teacher on FB mean I’ve had far more to do with it than ever before.

        I would love to be able to say I’ve been converted, but far from it. The family are getting used to my despairing cries of “STUPID FACEBOOK” on a regular basis when the stupid thing does stupid things and pisses me off.

        I expect it is the way they have the page(s) set up but it isn’t always chronological, or even logical at all!

        In conclusion, Facebook sucks, but I will tolerate it until he gets home. Hopefully I won’t have to touch it again until Number 2 wants to do the same trip in a few years. Grrrrr….

        Like

        • acflory

          lmao – I hear you. And those frustrations are doubly hard when I’m sure you’re worried about him all the time. Let’s hope that by the time No. 2 heads off, FB will either be improved or there’ll be something better to take it’s place. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Like

          • metan

            Actually not too worried about him, he’s a responsible, trouble-avoiding kind of person. The group is small and the kids all had to fundraise for donations to buy goods to share out over there, so it wasn’t a camp for ratbags looking for nothing more than an escape from school and parents for a few weeks!

            The FB pictures have put my mind at rest that he is having fun, and he messages me each night for a while to touch base and not feel so far away. Social media isn’t entirely horrible I guess…

            The FB interface still sucks though. ๐Ÿ˜€

            Like

          • acflory

            Ah. ๐Ÿ™‚ No. 1 sounds like a great kid. Another friend of mind kept in contact with her son via FB as well so I admit it has its uses. You are so right about the interface though. Don’t you wish there was something with the same reach as FB but not FB?

            Like

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post, Meeks. While I do agree with you about the sense of clutter, to me FB is “manageable” in a way other social media is not – I have made friends there through the private messaging feature. But Twitter is an absolutely horrible and deeply pointless place, imo.
    As a by-the-way, last week my WordPress got infected with malware and I had to dump my website and build a new one (still at the same address). It affected a few folks I know, so I’m glad to see you and your people are doing okay with it.
    But most importantly, thanks for being my friend. I love that picture of your room and one fine day I’m going to get there and you and me are going to have a really nice chinwag about all things sci-fi ๐Ÿ™‚ *hugs*

    Like

    • Chris James

      That’s me by the way *eye-rolling emoticon*

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory

        AAAAAAAAAAAAh! It was you! I was going through all my sci-fi friends and you were top of the list but then I thought…nah, can’t be Chris – I saw his website just the other day.
        I really am sorry your WP site was trashed. Are you getting it back up again?
        Oh and…you can be our token FB person. -runs-

        Like

    • acflory

      Oh this is going to keep me up tonight trying to work out who ‘someone’ is! The style is so familiar….-cries-
      I know you’re a friend so I’m really sorry your WP site was so badly affected. I’d be sorry even if you were a stranger but you know what I mean! -hugs back-

      Like

      • Chris James

        Yes, my old WP account normally signed me in automatically, but then it didn’t! So instead I signed in with…. my FB profile ๐Ÿ™‚
        But nope, I spoke to someone who knows about these things, and he said that to remove the malware would destroy the site anyway, and tbh a lot of internet stuff (like coding) is totally beyond me and I can’t spare the time to learn. As long as I ‘ve something out there, it will have to do ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          You couldn’t even retrieve any of the articles? Such a waste. You’ve suddenly made me think about backing up my WP articles. Trouble is, I’ve got close to 900 now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          Like

  • anne54

    You have put your finger on it, Meeks. WordPress is a delightful dinner with the most interesting guests, or even a latte in the local coffee shop, rather than a loud party. I have many ‘friends’ on Facebook, but I don’t feel nearly as connected to them as I do on WordPress. It’s probably the nature of blogging to, that we can just chat about the things we feel are important. That helps to build those connections.
    (Thanks for the mention in your blog ~ hugs)

    Liked by 2 people

  • Bun Karyudo

    I am probably a more typical introvert and tend to be rather shy with strangers. (I think the paper bag on my head is a bit of a giveaway.) I completely agree with you about Facebook. I find it difficult to use, confusing and the interactions on it too fleeting and insubstantial. I don’t like Twitter much either, and Pinterest is just a hundred billion photographs of kittens. WordPress is easily the best platform out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Frank Prem

    No Facebook for me. Makes me a bit nuts.

    Here is fine. Enough functionality to present reasonably, simple enough tech that a mug can master it without too many probs.

    Good enough.

    Cheers,

    Frank

    Liked by 1 person

  • cindy knoke

    I feel exactly the same way about FB! And I love my blogging community~

    Liked by 2 people

  • davidprosser

    Firstly thank you for the mention the cheque is in the post. Secondly, you’ve probably described me better than I could myself. Some years ago I felt the pressure was so intense whenever I was on Facebook I couldn’t cope and withdrew.
    As an author, and having friends there it wasn’t sensible to sty away so I went back but made myself invisible as long as I was there so no-one could approach. I was able to chat to friends through the private messaging, which method I still use there, or add comments to posts. Even now, having cut back on the people who don’t interact I still find the activity frenetic and virtually rely on just my blogs for interaction with the real friends I’ve made.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Gah, if even someone as friendly as you can have issues with it then it really isn’t just me. And yes, ‘rely on just my blogs for interaction with the real friends I’ve made’ says it all. -hugs back-

      Liked by 1 person

  • Josiah Kirton

    Completely agree. You nailed it. I was wondering why I always feel nervous and anxious when I am on Facebook especially on the desktop version.

    Liked by 1 person

  • HonieBriggs

    I’m with you on this, Meeks. I had to create a FB page for my study abroad, but it is not the forum for me. In real life is my preferred space for human interaction and WP is the next best thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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