Facebook Not Social

Today I would like to rant a bit about the way people use Facebook. I started using Facebook a couple of years ago, rather reluctantly. I had heard as many bad things as good about it and I felt that it had no application to me. Anyway, I did join eventually because it seemed to be a good way to keep in touch with my grown children. They grew up in the Internet age and were Facebook users. When I was traveling etc. it was a great way to inform family and friends where I was and what I was doing. I could keep up with important events in their life. After all, we know kids don’t call home anymore once they are out on their own. I intended to keep my Facebook friend list to less than 10, just immediate family. Well as time went on, I accepted friend requests from neighbors, co-workers from the past etc. Now my Facebook friend list is much too long at 49.

Facebook being labeled a “social network” I naively assumed it was used for traditional social purposes. My view of what you do on a social network would be the modern day equivalent of the conversations that you would have with a friend or neighbor over the back fence or when you meet at the mall etc. i.e. “how is your day going?” “did your son come to visit this weekend?” “where did you go on vacation this summer?” However, what I see is 95% of the posts are people “sharing” something that they saw on line or was on someone else’s “share” list. Almost no one shares their own, original “social” comments. And, of course, there are all the commercial messages forced on you in the process. Facebook is not social anymore. There are several people on my friend list that have never posted anything original or any personal thoughts and opinions. They just share several things a day (cute videos, political commentary from someone else, clever quotes and sayings etc.).

I really do not want to see what someone else thinks is a cute cat video or a novel DIY tip. In a way I think this is a bit arrogant. Do they think their Facebook friends are too stupid to find useful, cute, or funny content on the Internet? Personally, I will never search out cat videos on line but if I want some other type of video or quote I can search for and find it myself. Do they think I do not know how to use the Internet? Let’s make Facebook a social network again. Ether post original or personal comments that you think your friends may be interested in but avoid sharing the viral stuff. Facebook is not for deep thoughts but for sharing things like how the lawn is doing, the new tools you bought at Home Depot, you daughter that graduated from university; you know, conversational stuff. Don’t constantly share crap!!

I guess I will have to start un-friending the un-social posters. But, some people take that as a bit of an insult. I do not want to insult my friends, that would not be social. Such a dilemma.