Join the Madness

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Losing Face

Have you looked at Facebook lately?  What used to be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family has been distorted into a fine-tuned marketing, political machine. 

Some friends feel obligated to post their where abouts, no matter where they might be – the airport, church, a bar or restaurant, or even giving blood.  Do I really care that Cousin Claire is at Buffalo Wild Wings in Buffalo, NY?  Nope, can’t say that I do.  Do I care that Joe and Sally are donating plasma again this week?  Good for them, but my day was complete without that knowledge, thanks.

I’m not even going to touch on the ads. Well, okay, I kinda have to.  In theory, what they do is brilliant. Using your friends and family’s inclinations to market to you.  But I’m not likely to be swayed by what others do / do not like.  Especially when I know most of them just “liked” Honda in order to enter a contest or giveaway. 
Then there are the recipes, the quizzes, the games:  what's your gangster name? what state are you? what animal are you? who is your zombie apocalypse team?  Some of these are cute, but they really don't help me keep in touch with friends.

But what really bugs me about Facebook is  the stinking political / religious / cause posts.  Again, I get what’s going on.  You have a point of view or charity and want to reach as many people as you can with your message. Put it on Facebook and let the sheep pass it around for you. I get it, I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

My homepage is filled with people who repost some ridiculous political rants, usually with some equally inflammatory commentary of their own.  It happens on both sides, so I’m not picking on liberals or conservatives here.  I support your right to an opinion, but just because someone typed clever words on top of a cute / patriotic / tragic photo does not mean the message is valid.  Anyone who took English 101 recognizes the emotional and persuasive buzzwords in these pieces.  They are pure propaganda, not a balanced view of anything. 

Then there’s the annoying chain letters (Share this and Bill Gates will give you $1,000), or the guilty challenge (hit like if you love Jesus or I bet no one has the guts to repost this on their wall for an hour).

Actual (meaningful) updates from friends and family are few and far between.  Lots of cute and/or funny pictures and videos, but there’s precious little FACE left on Facebook these days, which is why all the cool kids have moved over to Tumblr and other sites...and while I'm not (nor have I ever been) one of the cool kids, I'm THIS close to giving up on Facebook altogether.  Who's with me?


shelly said...

Facebook is overcrowded. And overwhelms me horribly. Especially since I'm an author. I don't go on unless I have to and its not always to promote my book. In fact, I haven't done that in months.

Carolyn V said...

I have to admit, my activity on FB has been far less than when I first started. But I agree, there is too much on FB that I really don't care about.

Linda O'Connell said...

I echo your sentiments!

Deb said...

Totally agree with you on this, and those that try to bully us into sharing their shit (can I say that here?) are the worst. If they are correct, guess I hate Jesus and kittens and bacon and children, cause I'm not spreading that nonsense.