Opinion: My Stalling Relationship With Facebook
I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can admit it: I’m starting to become less interested in Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I think it is an amazing platform for mass discussion. It’s just that the overall appeal of Facebook has become less and less, well, appealing.
It’s not entirely clear to me when we began to grow apart, and it’s hard to pinpoint any specific reason why. My affinity with Facebook can be likened to a relationship that has gone on simply because of convenience. There’s no real reason to end it, but there’s not even a hint of a spark left. We interact, share things, and see each other every day. But if you asked me why, I’d simply say it’s because it’s all I really know.
While it is true that Facebook hasn’t done anything to wrong me, I find myself turning to other outlets to fulfill my needs. The biggest issue is that Facebook–while being the largest social network on the planet–is very limiting in terms of “socialness.” After graduating from college, I went through a friend purge and brought my count down to roughly 200. In terms of the internet, that is an extremely small scope of interaction. Why post something on Facebook when I could turn to Twitter and broadcast it to anyone with a web browser? Facebook may be the largest platform in the world, but everyone’s network is relatively small.
More so, I find myself increasingly disinterested in what my Facebook friends have to say. The people on this service are people that I know in real life and the people I know in real life, frankly, make up a poor sampling of the world’s population. I want to hear the voices from people all over the country and all over the world! What are people in San Diego doing right now? How about in Italy, or South Africa? These are the types of social interactions that are simply not possible on Facebook.
The worst of it all is that my Facebook friends are boring. There are notable exceptions to this statement, but for the most part there’s nothing new. Most of the funny pictures, links, or videos were up on Reddit a couple of days earlier. Photos have been replaced by sepia-filtered images of food. And I spend more time worrying about my privacy settings than I do actually sharing anything. Overall, the landscape has become lame.
IBM says that we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. While Facebook, the company, may be consuming a large portion of that, it certainly isn’t delivering it to me. Stories on Reddit or HackerNews keep me informed. Discussions on Twitter fuel my need for a more “global” interaction. Browsing through Tumblr, SoundCloud, and YouTube keeps me entertained. What do I do on Facebook? Mostly stare at it intermittently throughout the day.
Does this mean that I’m leaving Facebook? No. It simply means that I’m hoping for something new. Something big. Something to change it up that will hopefully reignite the spark. And honestly, I don’t think that premium content is going to do it.
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