Last night someone asked me why I don’t post as much on Facebook as I used to. It made me evaluate why I have become less enchanted with Facebook over the last few months.
I joined Facebook in 2007 and I admit I was totally addicted. I grew up having many penfriends, once I had a computer, we used to write emails not letters. Facebook was a revelation. It was a fantastic way to keep in touch with all my friends from Stafford (my hometown), Hong Kong (where I used to live) and other people far and wide. A few years later it became the main forum for communicating with people who live locally as well, Facebook is a great way of sharing photos, gossip news etc.
As well as my own feed, I do manage several pages, I administer many groups and therefore have quite a lot of Facebook experience.
But Facebook has changed.
1. Facebook ‘suggests’ things
Facebook now likes to suggest I follow people I may know, groups I may like, sponsored ads that have nothing to do with me. Believe it or not, if I wanted to find someone or something I do know where the search bar is and if I wanted to follow a brand it is very easy to click the Facebook button on it’s website. It is all very annoying.
2. My friend’s news is hard to find.
I like to use Facebook to find out about my friends and what they are up to. By the time you have finished wading through all the suggestions helpfully made by Facebook, Facebook then decides which are the TOP things you want to read about, so you toggle between ‘Top Stories’ and ‘Most Recent’ and miss the important stuff anyway. Some people post a lot, an awful lot and I miss snippets from people who rarely post.
3. Friends rarely post ‘news’ now anyway.
Unfortunately the nature of Facebook now is to share, not personal news but news stories, youtube videos, articles, jokes etc – eeek sorry people, there are so many posted that I rarely click on the links, am I missing out? I must admit I fell into this category last year when I posted updates of Occupy Central in Hong Kong as I felt quite passionate about the subject, I wonder how many of my 200+ FB friends clicked and read? I am guessing not many.
Another FB trend is to promote causes, ‘Make this your status for an hour’ ‘Do something and then nominate someone to do the same’. This is where I sound a real misery guts. I have worked for a charity for many years, awareness and publicity is of course worthwhile, but so is getting off your backside and doing something. How true this is I don’t know but I’ver read that half the people who did the Icebucket Challenge didn’t donate (hurrumph and it was an awful lot of water to waste in the summer). I also feel that it is the modern equivalent of a Chain Letter – people feel obliged to take on tasks that they don’t want to. Well nominate me all you like folks – it ain’t happening unless I want it to.
5. Are Facebook friends- friends?
Ouch, that sounds cynical doesn’t it? But face it, you know what I mean… I have had requests from people I have met once, and I feel bad for not accepting them. I have had my facebook friends walk past me in the street without saying Hi. People I knew reasonably well 6 or 7 years ago, have moved on (life does) and I now have nothing in common with them anymore – but you still put up with endless pictures of their dog/kids/articles they have read in the dailymail etc because it is really rude to ‘defriend’ them. I often have a cull of people I follow on Twitter but Facebook is different, a defriend is a snub. By the way – if you are one of my FB friends and are reading this blog, chances are you ARE interested in me and what I have to say so DO NOT GET PARANOID!!! I am not talking about you.
My daughter says Facebook and Twitter are for old people (cheeky wotsit) and young people don’t use it anymore – I can see why – peer pressure is a terrible thing, I see teenagers with 1000+ friends, how on earth do they keep up and why would they want to? No wonder they are stuck to their phones.
So why aren’t I on Facebook?
I am, I spend about 10 mins a day catching up with what my friends are up to. I read my notifications. I communicate with the people I want to via messaging or FB groups. Yes I am still online a lot. My two websites take up a lot of time, and yes…….I have gone back to emailing.
So I am sorry if you have posted something and I haven’t responded, I probably haven’t seen it. Please let me know what you are up to. Dear Friends, pick up the phone, send me an email or better yet, pop round for a cuppa, it’d be lovely to see you.