How Your Annoying Friends Could Bring Down Facebook

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I’m on Facebook.  I’m not proud of that fact, but I own up to it.  It was a great tool to see what your distant friends and family are up to.  It is a fast, convenient way to let people know you care.  It is a technical marvel that has drastically changed the way people interact & share information.  It is also becoming…fucking terrible.

Don’t blame Team Zuckerberg.  While Facebook has done plenty of things to piss off its users, none of it has done as much damage to Facebook as your stupid-ass friends.  And my stupid-ass friends too.

Facebook knows this, and so they have allowed us to “unfollow” people from our newsfeeds while remaining their friends.  Your friends don’t know they are annoying you, & remain your friends.  Seems like a good idea, right?

Wrong.  My friends may be a particularly annoying anomaly, but I have had to unfollow what may be the majority of my friends.  My Newsfeed has become a barren wasteland of the two or three friends left on Facebook who post actual statuses or updates on their lives.  Some of them also post interesting articles, and that’s okay too.

But you know what’s not okay?   It’s not okay to spam your friends’ newsfeeds with the same crappy, recycled, unoriginal memes or incorrectly attributed quotes that you think says something about you but is so God damned universal that you’d have to be emotionally dead inside not to identify with them in some way.  It is particularly annoying when you post twenty of these memes/quotes in a row!  Yes, I’m yelling at you!!!  Why don’t you go on Facebook and post a sunset picture with a message about how the people criticizing you are really unhappy with themselves and how you won’t let it get you down?

So, hoping this behavior was just a stupid fad that would fade (like Farmville), I recently re-followed the people I unfollowed weeks ago.  That mistake lasted exactly three hours.  Unfollowed again.

The whole reason I’m on Facebook is to stay in touch with people.  That means knowing what’s going on in their lives.  It does not mean knowing that almost every single female friend I have, thinks the quote, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” is good, and is meaningful to them.  Beside the fact that it is basically excusing their bad behavior, it is shared multiple times by too many single women who must believe they’re offering some deep insight about themselves to potential suitors.  This has been going on for years.  The only things that have changed is who the quote is attributed to, the background it is written on, and sadly…the increased amount of people who do this kind of crap.

There are some hold-outs, those of us who still type out statuses of original content, or share news we want to talk about.  But we are a dying breed.  I recently announced my decision to quit posting statuses and to only post links to here.  I did it for two reasons:

  1. I usually have more to say than what will fit in the little box, & unlike many people, I don’t want to spam my friends’ feeds with all of my thoughts, although at least it would be MY thoughts.
  2. My text in the little white box gets lost by Relationship Quotes memes, the Some ECard that has been posted and shared 87 million times and was only mildly amusing when I first saw it last year, the various country lifestyle memes posted by people who are about as “country” as Donald Trump, & worst of all…debunked cancer cure memes.

“Okay, Josh, we get it.  You don’t like the way your friends use Facebook.  Big deal!”

Well, you’re right.  It isn’t a big deal.  …Yet.

How does Facebook make money?  They make money from our data.  How?  They collect and analyze our posts, likes, and statuses; identify trends; & sell the information to companies who use it to create, target, market ads and products to us.

Facebook put out a study just after Christmas that showed the top products by state in wish-list type statuses.  That type of study is Facebook’s bread and butter.  Companies use that data to target their marketing efforts.

But…our annoying friends don’t post statuses anymore.  They click “Like” on things everybody likes.  They share links to sites that make them laugh.  They post those ridiculous memes.  So what does this tell advertisers?  People like funny stuff?  People like inspirational quotes even if they’re contradictory?  People look to a Facebook page for messages to make them feel better about their awful relationships?  Most people dislike child abuse?  Many people think baby animals are cute?

Most of this shit is common knowledge.  The only real data left to gather from these types of posts is which individual person is depressed, lonely, or unhappy in their individual relationship.  The aggregate data doesn’t reveal anything new (you don’t need to buy a Facebook report to tell you some people have relationship troubles).  And it is the aggregate data Facebook’s clients want.  They don’t care if you’re stuck in a loveless marriage looking to the often contradictory advice dispensed by Relationship Quotes to keep trying for the sake of your children and your pride.  They care about what needs you and how many others have for their baking soda.

And, to me anyway, it seems like people are getting as annoyed with Facebook as I am.  Many people have deleted their pages.  Not as many as have threatened to, but some have.  I have.  Twice.  I did come back because I’m home sick most of the time and NEED some type of interaction, but I may do it again at some point.  If I do, I won’t come back.  Unless I do.  Forbes posted a story about Facebook in decline.  It was from 2013 so it may be totally irrelevant by this point, Facebook is clearly still here and may have rebounded, but it does show the mighty social network is not invincible.

So, with these annoying posts, comes muddled data and possibly less users.  With muddled data and smaller samples, the marketers who are Facebook’s customers may stop purchasing data from Facebook.  When that happens, Facebook may look for revenue elsewhere.  Perhaps they will inundate you with ads, further harming the popularity of their site.  Perhaps they will charge users for their services.  Or, quite possibly, they will fold to the next big site that pops up.

The moral of this blog-type-thing?  If you want to keep your Facebook, quit fucking posting shit that annoys me!

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

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