Monday, 12 December 2011

Low IQ on your Facebook news feed

There's an article on Time about the declining trend in Facebook usage.  That's a hugely debatable topic on its own and will be reserved for another day.  What's equally as interesting though were the comments people made.  As per usual for any article relating to Facebook, commentators derided it for being pointless and having disregard for privacy.

One commentator pasted a few of the comments his friends on Facebook had apparently made:

#1: "Look at the 437 I took of the same four people at the same party repeatedly in the same pose from slightly different angles! Feel free to tag yourself (whatever that means) and like and spam comment!

#2: "omg omg omg i'm on my way to beach! totes luv the car i'm in!" Gotta love the butchering of the English language don't you?

#3: I have photos of a Christmas tree! It looks like every other Christmas tree every other household and shop has but you should pay special attention to mine!

#4: "this girl is hot! I would do her!"

#5: "come to my party, it's gonna rock!"

The commentator then went on to complain that there is really no use to Facebook because of updates like this.  Hold on, aren't the above updates coming from your friends?  At some point either you sent them a friend request or they sent you one which you accepted.  These are not posts being made by Facebook.

In defense of the commentator, he probably accepted many friend invites so as not to appear rude and he probably never envisaged receiving this many pointless updates from people he thought he knew.  I am also perpetually annoyed at the pointless and dumb updates from many of my friends but hey, the silly updates your friends make is not Facebook's fault.  You chose to connect with them.

Don't be fooled however, that Facebook is just a neutral platform.  Your news feed is filtered for you according to Facebook's algorithm and often you do not get to see what's going on with many of your friends.  Facebook also encourages trivial communication and sharing in the form of many pointless and annoying apps like requests to go onto someone's birthday calendar app and incessant invitations to play CityVille.  

So the sharing of pointless information therefore comes from two sources: your friends themselves and these ridiculous apps that Facebook allows in an attempt to get people to spend more time on their site.  Then of course many people have some reason I have yet to understand to let others know where they are checking in.  There are three choices you have:

#1: Remove/block your friends that make pointless updates.  That in itself is a chore that will require you to take a three month sabbatical from work.

#2: Log on less, accept fewer friends and only use Facebook as a tool to connect.  Reject all invitations and solicitations.  In other words, limit the scope for what you use Facebook for and keep it pure.

#3: Don't use Facebook.  

The article by the way, can be found here:

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