I’ve officially given up on facebook. There are several reasons for this. The most important reasons are mirror images of each other: I don’t see most posts by most of my friends and they don’t see most of mine. Facebook is the victim of its own success. It has become such a universal platform that regular users now have hundreds of facebook friends. Most of those post to facebook frequently, even when they have little of importance to say. It has deteriorated into a Twitter, that diarrhea of the small screen.
This has forced fb into a practice of prioritizing posts. For a long time I could assign to each friend one or more check marks to show “only important” posts or just “life events.” I don’t know how facebook determined these, but I seemed to get most of the stuff I was interested in. Some fb friends were prolific posters and I had to remove them from my feed because I just didn’t have the time or interest, but overall the system worked. Now I only have the choice to follow or not follow. Like Twitter. Even then fb doesn’t show every post by every person I am following. There are just too many, so it determines through some algorithm what is most interesting, based on how often people interact with a post.
When I post, they show me how many people have seen my post. I have over 100 fb friends, but most posts are typically seen by only 35 or so. So I don’t know who has seen my posts and who hasn’t. I have no problem with people choosing to not follow me as I do the same thing, but sometimes for some of the groups I’m in, I think it’s important that at least that group see the post, yet I am unable to be assured they have.
Yet another problem is the proliferation of pictures. Now with every mobile phone having a camera, people take snapshots everywhere they go. Sorry, but I am not interested in the photos of you standing with your neighbors, or yet another shot of the forest or a sunset, or your latest vacation, no matter who you are. Been there, done that.
Lastly, fb is now giving me 50 choices for my sexual identification? 50! Really?! Unreal – literally. It has become an exercise in surrealism – a theater of the absurd. It’s time to say goodbye.
So from now on I will post my comments in specific forums – the Nissan Leaf forum for electric vehicle related posts, theGBA.net for geocaching, or the mailing list for ex-FBI agents for FBI stuff. If you own facebook stock, I recommend you sell it. It is, ironically, too successful to do well.