I am currently debating whether or not to cancel my Google Plus account. It feels like saying goodbye to an old friend, but G+ is a friend diagnosed with a terminal condition. I know that the end is coming, and I want to keep things just as they are, but that is impossible. Life goes on, and the choice is to either move on or waste away motionless.
I was one of the people who swore to stick it out until the very end on G+. The petitions to save the platform are noble efforts, but I believe that they are useless. I read an article from one of the G+ developers, and he made it very clear that there is no chance of saving. I am sad to think that the final result is determined, but I realize that the grand gesture of remaining on G+ is futile. The only thing stopping me is the memories I have made there, and the friends I interact with on a regular basis.
G+ has always been the anti-Facebook. It is difficult to explain this to everyone who fell into the Facebook trap. FB always made it a point to provide constant stimulus to keep people convinced that every little thing they did there mattered. In many ways, FB is like a drug that people need more and more to get through each day. G+ was never like that; it wasn’t designed to demand our attention 24/7. G+ provided a more thoughtful way to interact with other people.
The ability to select who you interacted with was a significant change from FB when G+ appeared. Conversations were encouraged, bonds formed, and the people on G+ quickly made it a special place for those willing to think differently about social media. We all laughed when FB would adopt a feature from G+ because we knew that G+ was the better platform. Sadly most people were not interested in leaving FB, which is a shame because there was never a demand that they do that. I left FB, but it was not due to the existence of G+. I based my decision on personal preferences about how I interacted with other people. Not providing a like to a photo or post promptly was seen by many as some type of personal statement on FB. FOr too many people, these perceived slights were cannon fodder for personal gossip and the dreaded “unfriend” feature.
I will not go back to FB after leaving G+. I have discovered another social media platform called MeWe that has incorporated many of the basic G+ features into their design. MeWe has also reached out to disillusioned G+ users who are seeking a new platform. I don’t expect every one of my G+ friends to follow me to MeWe, I see the change as a good thing. I will miss some of them, but I will use the opportunity to make new friends who share the same interests.
The abandonment of G+ has been rapid. In just over a week, my feed has slowed to a crawl. The most important people there are either on MeWe already, or they are moving on to some other platform if not leaving social media altogether. The benefit of staying on G+ diminishes each day, and I think it is time to walk away on my terms rather than wait for the inevitable end.