As you know (at least if you read my blog, as you should), I am constantly striving to become more productive and less distracted. In the latest move to improve my life, I have deleted the Facebook Messenger from my tablet and I won’t respond to messages on Facebook anymore.
Unfortunately, Facebook is obnoxious enough to not permit the disabling of the messaging function. That’s one reason for writing this article, because henceforth I can just copy and paste the link hereto in response to people who still think that the Facebook Messenger is a valid communication tool. It isn’t, and I will explain why.
Facebook Messenger is no substitute for e-mail
With e-mails, I can organize them in folders, I can forward them, I can print them. When you write more than “hi”, that’s actually useful at times. Also, I have more than a little ugly window to compose them.
When I have a long e-mail exchange, sometimes over years on one project, I can put everything in one folder, and I can order it by date, sender, subject, and I can search for keywords.
I also hate about the Facebook Messenger that I can only delete the whole thread or nothing. But often there is an interesting e-mail exchange with some useless e-mails in between (asking for updates or such silly stuff). In my e-mail program, I can delete the annoying e-mails, but keep the rest. When you e-mail a link or a photo that I want to keep, on Facebook Messenger I have to keep all the other messages dating back to 1997. Completely unpractical.
Lastly, the Facebook Messenger doesn’t allow me to calibrate my own spam filter.
Who uses Facebook Messenger anyway?
Because of this limited functionality, it’s OK to be used by teenagers and by drug dealers.
When do people use Facebook Messenger?
With my type of phone, I wouldn’t know anything about this, but it seems that nowadays, a lot of people have internet in their phone. Amazing, but amazingly distracting.
Many messages I receive show that people use the Facebook Messenger while they are sitting on the bus, in the bathroom, eating or waiting for something. I really don’t have time for, nor am I intellectually stimulated by all the “how are you?“, “hello!”, “what are you doing?”, “is it raining there too?” semi-sentences.
Just because you have a lot of time on your hands doesn’t mean that I have too. I don’t.
E-mails require more thought
I know that sending a proper e-mail, fax or letter requires you to go to the office or your home, open your computer and really think about what you write. That’s exactly what I want!
You take time to write. I take time to read it and respond. Eventually. If I haven’t responded yet, it’s for a good reason. Taking time for communication shows respect. When we don’t have the time, we don’t bother each other.
Facebook is trying to make me feel bad by arguing that I could “improve my reputation” by replying to more messages.
I am smart, funny, helpful, thoughtful and I can write stories that melt your heart. My “reputation” really doesn’t depend on when I take the time to sit in front of a computer. In any case, I am not sure I am too interested in having a “reputation”.
Don’t trust Facebook with everything!
It’s quite dangerous to use only Facebook to communicate. If Facebook decides to delete your account, everything is gone. Everything. From one second to the next.
Now, you think “why should Facebook delete my account?” I don’t know, but they already deleted my account twice. Why? I don’t know because they didn’t tell me. Actually, once Facebook claimed that I was impersonating Andreas Moser. Well, I am Andreas Moser, and always have been and I always use genuine photos and my real name online. I e-mailed them a scan of my passport and they kept my account deleted anyway. What can you do about it? Nothing. It’s a free service.
That’s another reason why I prefer to use an e-mail provider with whom I have a contract and whom I pay. It doesn’t cost much, but it gives me rights as a consumer and a client. More importantly, it gives me access to real people when I have a question, not some bots in a some server in some cloud.
It’s not urgent
Another thing that bothers me with Facebook Messenger and similar “instant messaging” services is the implication of instantaneousness and the disruption and intrusion. All this bleeping and beeping suggests that something urgent is being communicated. It hardly ever is.
A very annoying feature is the one that shows messages as read to the sender once I click on them. But clicking is not the same as reading. Often, I just click on your messages to delete them, so don’t jump for joy, thinking that I read anything that you wrote.
I will use the time saved to read my e-mails once a day, to delete most of them, to reply to those that deserve a reply, and then I won’t open my e-mail program for another day. Or two days. Or a week. Because I have other things to do, hundreds of them.
“But what if it’s urgent?” I always hear from people, and nobody could ever give me a realistic example of when something would be urgent and important that I wouldn’t also learn from watching CNN. If there is a war in a country where I currently am, I honestly don’t need you to call me and tell me about it. Also, just in case, here is my phone number. Not that I ever answer.
Honestly, I always find it preposterous when people who are not doctors and who don’t work at NASA Mission Control claim that anything in their life is urgent (except using the toilet, of course).
So how can I communicate with you?
You find my e-mail address here.
And if you have a comment, information or a question that you think may be interesting for others as well, why not post it on my blog? That’s what it is for. Preferably below an article that fits the subject of your comment. Or you can go to the FAQ about my life if you have general questions.