You Won't Find Us on Facebook... Anymore.

1. Sep. 2018

Part 1 - Weird

You've been blocked.

You won't find us on Facebook anymore. That's a lie. You'll find some of us, but you won't find me. Facebook is not a safe or reliable platform for collaboration. 

I was recently very disappointed about 3 weeks ago. My friend and teacher, Ajan Udom, had posted a video with me and some others talking about Buddhist Dhamma. He even called out my name so that all my Facebook peeps could see me running my mouth. My wife even liked it!

A day or two later my wife says: "Where is that video Udom put of you? I don't see it. I wanted to show someone else and it was gone." 

I checked. Not only was it gone but I could no longer see Udom's profile. I thought, "Jees! did he block me? Maybe I said something wrong? Maybe I embarrassed him?"

Fortunately Udom had asked me to use the app Line to keep up with him. I contacted him via Line and I asked him if I had done something wrong and if he blocked me. He texted, no! He suggested maybe that maybe I was hacked because he could no longer see my profile. 

I panicked. I immediately changed my password and logged out of all devices connected with Facebook. I logged back in and checked. His profile was still unavailable to me. I used another browser and I checked his profile. I used the incognito mode. His profile was available and very public. I logged into Facebook and poof! His profile was gone.

Udom and Alex 2017
Udom and Alex 2017
I asked my wife and mutual friends if they could see Udom's profile. Answer... yes.

A few days later I visited Udom in person. He showed me his telephone. I checked his settings. I was not blocked on his side. He told me that he never unfriended or blocked anyone. He would unfollow if they were too busy, but he never unfriended or blocked anyone. I checked his settings. It was true.

He could not see my profile either. Still he could not see it. So this was really upsetting me and I was supposed to be learning meditation, compassion, patience and Buddhist Dhamma from this teacher and I was totally moving in the opposite direction due to my attachment of the Facebook medium.

Udom was one of the people I really liked to see what was going on with him. He would always post nice photographs and he would compose short poems in Thai that Facebook would translate conveniently and incorrectly but humorously.

Part 2 - Weirder 

You're very popular all of the sudden. 

At the same time that we were blocked suddenly I was getting a hundred or so requests for friendship from Thai people, Indian people, Myanmar folks, and Vietnamese. At first I thought this was nice. And guess who they were also friends with? Yep, Udom. But they, all of them, could no longer see that Udom and I were friends. The switch went on and then off quickly but the affect was like a wave.
My glorious ego was spinning out off control.

Facebook even offered me protection by enabling the Hollywood follow button. I could ignore people or decline friends requests but people could still follow my public posts. I started to feel sick inside. Too much.

As I checked some profiles I started feeling very uncomfortable. I did not like what I was seeing. I didn't know any of these other people. I still could not see what Udom was posting. I even complained to Facebook about this. Unlike Google, Facebook has no customer service. Zero! I complained three times. I even sent a picture to them with Udom and I beside each other after the block.

Alex and Udom after the Facebook Block -- Sent to Facebook!
Alex and Udom after the Facebook Block -- Sent to Facebook!

I received a canned response: "Thank you for helping to make Facebook better. " That was it. I could understand if I was harassing someone. Facebook would not want to endanger another user, but isn't it obvious when blocked? They could just state that I was blocked and that they were looking into the matter. They could contact Udom and ask him if he meant to block me. Or they could have contacted me and asked if I meant to block him.

So again I asked Udom if I said or did anything to hurt his feelings or make him upset. He responded with a puzzled look. He smiled. He reassured me that I was fine with him. After all, this is the person who performed the marriage ceremony for my wife and I. This man means a lot to me. We've gone on road trips. We've had many conversations. We are collaborators in the Dhamma.

Part 3 - Morebetterest!

Your unreliable platform for collaboration.

Collaboration is very important. Facebook helped Donald Trump get elected. Facebook helped me to connect with many people. Facebook works for those who have more money by getting the cattle together for each monumental push. Facebook is a business of 2 Billion people.

There are 7 Billion people on this planet. Give or take a few, that's a good guess. I am interested in real relationships. I am interested in creating and doing and living. Facebook is about Facebook. Facebook is an unreliable platform for collaboration. It's especially unreliable if you promote fearlessness.

If you like to push causes of fear, mistrust, distrust and us versus them then Facebook is there for you. This we know is how people spend money and work to get more money to spend it. Depressed people will spend hours on Facebook and they will spend money chasing happiness. People will work hard to earn enough money just to use Facebook.

If you are promoting self learning. Mindful training. Compassion for people. Love for all beings. Then this is a waste of time and money. In fact people who are happy are debt free, honest, creative, resourceful and able to due with very little. In a nutshell happy people don't by crap and waste time looking at it. 

I want to be happy. I want to be debt free. I want to have real relationships. I want to be able to collaborate with people who also want this same thing. So why am I upset at Facebook? I should just let it go.

I asked myself the question: Is Facebook good for collaboration? The answer was no. I closed and requested my account deleted. So you won't find Us (OgFOMK ArTS) officially on Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp anymore. If someone wants to share us, then we would be grateful.  

The reality is that none of our contributors have shared any of the posts we have. 99% of the sharing was done by me to promote us. Our contributors maybe 5% of the time shared something that he or she did and never what anyone else did. (Although my dear old friend Paco shared some of my work and I was very flattered.).

So the reality is that Facebook was what I used to get attention to us. It worked, kind of and sort of.  The real treasure to our 'zine has been Google.  The search engine giant has crawled all of our work and when people were looking for real content on real subjects we turned out on the pages they searched.

Collaboration with our editor Kim has been through Facebook but we use other channels too. I can imagine what would happen if Kim and I started a group and then we were blocked from each other! That would be a lot of wasted work. Udom and I have been and continue to collaborate on this: what if we had a group on Facebook? What would have happened?

A real vehicle for collaboration -- The Picnic Table with Umbrella
A real vehicle for collaboration -- The Picnic Table with Umbrella

Part 4 - Closing

You're tossing one out of the basket.

You won't find us officially using the unreliable platform of Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp. Something else could happen. Another platform could become a moot point too. As with any case there could be another platform that also goes down or becomes shaky. This is just impermanent reality. I think I'll go practice my meditation now. 

Alex Nuttall discusses the finer points of leaving Facebook behind as an unreliable platform for collaboration.

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Journal - "You Won't Find Us on Facebook... Anymore."

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Facebook #Instagram #Whatsapp #Collaboration

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