The world’s largest social network can be frivolous and sophomoric at best, and downright invasive and potentially dangerous at worse.
So what is it about Facebook that keeps me coming back?
According to the mighty F, the average user spends 20 hours a month on their site. That seems like a lot to me.
In the beginning, I’ll admit, I spent quite a bit of time looking at all the photos and comments from my newly-found Friends. And okay I posted my share of pictures. But NEVER a selfie. I’m not passing judgment; I’m just saying. But after a while, I got weary of all the emotional updates, the drama, the photos, the over-sharing, emoticons, and puffery.
Now when I log into Facebook, I mostly post entries from my blog. And who knows, maybe my Friends think my blog posts are worse than a selfie. Only my 216 Friends would be able to answer that.
And okay, I sometimes find some heartwarming and impactful videos and posts on Facebook. My favorites are the videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their loved ones. But there are also posts and videos that make me cringe. A lot.
Come on people. Stop with the parental and grandparent bragging already. Your kids and grandkids can’t be that perfect!
And how many photos of you, your children, your pets, your grandkids, yourself, yourself, yourself…There is no need to finish the sentence. You get the picture.
Just last week Mona invited me to play Candy Crush Saga. A couple days later Penny needed my help to uncover an extra clamshell.
But the worst are those hateful, borderline racist Friends who use Facebook to highlight their repugnant views on politics, race relations, sexual orientation, climate change, religious differences, and whatever other derogatories they feel like sharing. Amidst the thousands of puppy love posts and videos, I have to view this smut?
It’s true, Facebook gives me the option to Unfollow but really, who wants or needs a Friend like that? I’m not interested in muting their opinions. I would much prefer to Unfriend these miscreants, although I never take this option lightly.
And I have a unique idea for birthday wishes. Instead of a Happy Birthday emoji, pick up the phone and say the real deal. But admittedly it would be time-consuming to call all of your hundreds of Facebook friends and family.
Facebook curates our lives. According to some, a relationship is only real if it’s on Facebook. And if there is a breakup, a must on your list of things to do is “Unfollow,” “Unfriend” or in cases of severe heartbreak—“Block.” If you have added this person to your “Life Event,” this too needs to be updated. And, of course, you now need to switch your status to “Single.” I recently saw a post on my News Feed that Joe Blow was in a Complicated Relationship. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that missive.
And am I the only one who hates when people post photos of us without our permission? I recently logged onto my Facebook page and discovered a fill-my-computer-screen picture of me with someone I barely knew. Whatshername looked sensational, but I looked hideous. I mean really? Get my approval before you start posting UGLY Teri pictures! I tried to be as polite as possible when in a private Facebook message I asked her to remove the photo or cut me out of it. The next day I was relieved to see that it was down, only to resurface the next day with a bulldog face where mine had once been. I immediately unfriended the biatch. Yes, somewhere out there in the Cloud there is a picture of me as a bulldog.
Have you ever opened up Facebook to a huge photo of yourself that you didn’t post? As I prepared to post one of my blogs on my Facebook page I saw to my horror a picture of me in a white bikini bathing suit! What was more embarrassing than the photo itself (if that was possible), was that my Friends assumed I posted the picture myself, WHICH I DID NOT DO. The bikini pic had been taken five years earlier in Greece, and I didn’t even know it was in the Photos section of my Facebook account. The photo went viral with my Facebook peeps and God knows who else, with likes and comments from many of them wishing me good tidings in Greece. When I complained about it to my friend Robin, she reiterated my biggest fear: She was shocked that I would post a full page image of myself in a bikini; from five years ago. I was beyond humiliated and added a comment to the picture letting everyone know THE WHITE BIKINI PHOTO WAS NOT POSTED BY ME, after several failed attempts on my part to delete it altogether. I’m still trying to figure out how to get it off my home page and news feed.
Does anyone agree with me that the Like button is overused, and in many cases, used inappropriately? Someone posts a death, and everyone clicks Like. There’s something wrong about liking someone’s death or sickness. Facebook should think about adding RIP as a button option.
Sorry seems to be the hardest word, so I think Facebook should also consider adding a Sorry button. This button would make it super easy to undo all of your wrongs with a quick click.
And then there is the TMI danger of revealing too much about yourself and your family. Friends who are incessantly posting photos of their children including their names, what school they are picking them up from, what extra-curricular activities they are participating in, etc., etc. And how about those photos tagged with a geographical location that clearly identifies where they live. I mean seriously people? Don’t these Friends think this could be dangerous? Every time you post about your child or grandchild on social media, you are helping to create a data-rich, enduring and potentially problematic online profile for your little lovies. And it’s possible those lovies will be most unhappy when they discover that you exposed their lives to the world from birth.
Driving while doing anything social media related is dangerous, yet a recent study conducted by Braum Research found that 27 percent of drivers 16-65 reported using Facebook. Fourteen percent reported using Twitter.
The results of the AT&T survey were released last week, indicating that drivers who text are still the most prevalent of lawbreakers but are becoming so passé. These morons have graduated to using Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter. They take selfies, chat, and shoot videos—in alarmingly large percentages. The survey found that 22 percent of those who use social media while driving said they did so because they are addicted. Sorry, but I just don’t feel your pain.
Now let’s talk about the FBI-worthy collection and mining of our data and invasion of our privacy by Facebook. We all know that ad-financed Internet platforms like Facebook and Google collect vast amounts of data about us. Heck, they probably know more about us than we know about ourselves. Just this week, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, announced plans to open users’ feeds to even more advertisers.
And Facebook announced in April that it would be introducing changes to its News Feed, including ranking content and advertising based on what we Like.
You may think that you see everything your Friends post via your News Feed, but you don’t. To inject advertising into our stream, Facebook uses an algorithm to control the News Feed, and what we see.
I have multiple Facebook accounts and have experienced first-hand Facebook’s double standard when it comes to the Likes that I get on my pages. For example, my Facebook page for Our Romantic Getaway has 1,103 Likes, and yet if I want to reach those people with my posts, I have to pay Facebook to boost the update to them. Really? You’re selling my 1,013 Likes to others, and I can’t use them myself for free? Seems unseemly.
But for all my complaining, bad mouthing, and spewing, I still go back to Facebook for more.