Fed Up with Facebook? Move Your Family to Slack

(Glenn Fleishman) #1

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2019/02/12/fed-up-with-facebook-move-your-family-to-slack/

Disgusted by Facebook’s behavior but feel stuck using it because it’s the only way you communicate with some family members? Try the free tier of the group-messaging system Slack instead. It’s great for families, doesn’t incorporate ads, and guarantees your privacy. A little training may be required.

(Tommy Weir) #2

I’ve tried to get groups of friends and family to move to Slack but to no avail. I train and give little workshops, but one or two do it and then the rest don’t and it fizzles out again.

They all join WhatsApp no problem so I really don’t know what it is that stops them.

(John Burt) #3

The things that make FB work, are the ease of use, the Newsfeed, and the people are already there. I tried Ello and never figured out the controls. They just were Not intuitive to me - FB is easy. But the Newsfeed is the most important. The user does not have to go to a specific group to see what is happening there, it mostly shows up in the Newsfeed as do the posts from individuals and other groups. It sort of operates like a Venn diagram with my diverse “friends” and groups circles overlapping my Newsfeed circle a small amount. Until something like comes along, where the user can check everything at once, FB will rule.

(Kevin Killion) #4

I agree with John Burt, above. Slack is WAY too complex to serve as an FB alternative. It’s a shame, because FB has plenty of user interface quirks on its own.

(Adam Engst) #5

I’m a little surprised to hear you say that, having set up my family on Slack. As a user, you just see that there are posts in a channel, you click or tap it to read them, and you reply as desired. And, even if you do make a mistake, you don’t have to worry about it being seen by the world, plus you can easily delete or edit anything you do.

Personally, I find Facebook horribly confusing, especially when trying to get to groups I’m in, or find specific comments on posts. And of course, Facebook intentionally makes the privacy settings as difficult to find and understand as possible so they can gull users into revealing as much information as they can.

(Ron Risley) #6

I find Slack challenging. I use it on iOS only very casually for a local DEF CON group that I participate in intermittently. It always has a badge showing 1 to 3 notifications, but the badging never goes away even when I think I’ve read everything. Whenever I open the app, it seems to be at a random scroll point with no easy way to figure out which messages I haven’t yet read. Scrolling isn’t smooth, so looking through a long list to try to find my place (by seeing which messages are familiar) is frustrating.

I occasionally get notifications, but I don’t know why I’m notified only occasionally but the vast majority of messages result neither in notifications nor badging.

I first installed Slack on the desktop when TidBITS created a Slack, and remember some of the same frustrations then and I quit following it.

I don’t (and won’t) use Facebook, so I can’t compare. It also hasn’t been anything like a priority for me to figure it out, so it’s possible that the answers are obvious but just not obvious enough for an only slightly motivated, casual user. But I can well see family members who are engaged with Facebook thinking Slack just doesn’t cut it.


(Phil) #7

Yes, “FB will rule”. That is the problem. Although people complain/etc. about FB leaking (or whatever) their private information, apparently these people don’t care enough about their privacy to stop using FB.

I don’t use FB for a variety of reasons, one being, I want my digital-footprint to be as small as possible.

(Richard Rettke) #8

I think the big issue is that people in general, resist change. I have tried 3 other FaceBook ‘replacements’, (MeWe, Freezoxee and Freetalk) some of which are pretty decent as replacements go. The problem as I see it is I have never been able to get anyone else (actual friends who are FaceBook Friends) to even attempt to use any of these. I have no clue as to how to make that happen, but for me I like to be in touch with these people so I am on FB, but I am reducing the amount of time I use FB. I expect that Slack, which I think would be an awesome tool for families and friends, to suffer the same fate as a FB replacement.