Likes and the abuse thereof
The first one encompasses so many things that it isn't funny. In fact, I'm certain I could write a whole freaking novel on the subject of "Like" abuse. I'm going to touch upon the current trends of likeness. The first is just liking too many random things. "Bob likes <3". "Bob likes Monkeys who throw poo". "Bob likes putting the cell phone on silent and losing it the next day is sooooo annoying". "Bob likes Justin Bieber". Its enough to send someone into a rage. Now, I am not opposed to someone liking a TV show or a band, but when its inane stuff, it just makes me lose my faith in humanity. Not a day goes by where I see less than five of these from people on my feed.
Then there are consequences of liking something. For instance, I liked the show "Glee", and now I get spammed on a daily basis on stupid polls, interviews, news articles, and contest announcements. The obvious choice is to just remove notifications from your feed, but the clincher is that once in a while there is something worthwhile in those feeds to keep you from removing the notifications. Its a cross between "Remove notifications for sake of annoyance" or "keeping for news you actually care about".
Also, there is the annoyance of liking someone's status, then getting notifications of every like and comment thereafter. Sometimes you do want to know when someone says something or when the original poster has pertinent news to post, but sometimes you just really don't care who likes or comments on a post, and you get reminded of that every other notification. There should be a way to opt out of it, but nothing has surfaced.
Farmville and Hacks
This is not an argument on whether Farmville is a fun app or not, and I will do my best to keep my personal opinion out of it, but let's face it: Farmville is the new World of Warcraft.
Just like how some people need to go to a rehab center to stop playing some MMORPGs, people need rehab for Farmville. I mean its bad when its parodied up and down on comedy shows, has 2,000+ knockoff applications that are variants of the application, and when Dr. Phil has to do a special on Farmville obsession and addiction. I will go farther than that. Farmville has created cults.
How else can you explain the 20+ invites to Farmville and its associated hack groups that you get daily? "Join me. You'll love it!" "Join this group so I can grow more corn" "Join this group to get specially shaped ponds for your Farmville Farm". I keep telling people that I refuse to get into that app, as well as countless others, but they don't listen, and that is why I have virtually blocked everyone from sending me invites for apps. Its sad. I may be missing out on some apps that I would enjoy, but I have to consider my sanity. I think everyone that is on Farmville more than 20 hours a week should be forced to work on a real farm for one week. I can guarantee that the number of total hours clocked on that app would be exponentially in decline.
Finally, there are the hack groups that promise you more gold or land or whatever, and before you know it, the person's account is hacked and they are forced to leave Facebook and start anew. I constantly warn people about the dangers, but it seems that people are falling like flies to these hack groups, and what's worse is that it can spread like a virus to other accounts and computers. I am pretty sure I contracted several viruses from Facebook and I wouldn't be surprised if it came from someone that joined a hack group.
Facebook != Twitter (Or, Facebook is not equal to Twitter for non-programmers)
I constantly see people who confuse their Facebook status for their Twitter feed. I am (proudly) not a Twitter user, but I can smell a Twit a mile away. Any statuses with the octothrop (a.k.a. #) or the AT symbol (c'mon, if you don't know that one then you're sad :( ) are pretty much certain to be from a Twit who wants to spread their bile on your main page. I have used the quote from a Supernews episode where Twitter is "Where people randomly brag about their unexceptional lives." and I have stuck to that. I grind my teeth every time I see a post to the point where the dentist has told me to stop grinding so much. Why...WHY do people do that? These two sites don't share the same group names or conventions, so what does it profit you to do this on Facebook. It honestly comes off as lazy. There is nothing wrong with linking someone's name or a group to your status update, but please take the two seconds to fix your post so I won't have to keep grinding my teeth.
Blurring the Line Between Professional and Personal Lives
Facebook is supposed to be a fun and social experience. While I rarely find myself doing either, I agree that it lets a person enjoy themselves outside of the pressures of responsibility. To break it down for you, I mean it is becoming harder and harder to keep it a fun experience when more people, especially bosses, from your work adds you on Facebook.
Yes, its true that I want to rag about work or certain people there sometimes, but when you have a superior or higher up add you, you suddenly become more self aware and stressed out that the slightest whiff of work grumblings will get you canned. Now true, this doesn't apply to all higher ups as some of them are harsher towards the company than you are, but it still causes you to censor your posts more than if you had the freedom of that burden.
"A simple solution is just by blocking these people!" you say. No, its not that simple. While true, it will help with your posting abilities on your page, it does not make you completely free. Say you have a good friend that is also a sociopath that you also work with on Facebook. You may block or not add these higher ups, but your friend embraces them. so when they say something and you comment "Well, its probably because our supervisor Mr. Smith SUCKS BUTT!", guess what, Mr. Smith is a friend of your friend and still sees your comment. Facebook also has a tendency to show your posts that your friend comments on. So say you make your status "WORKPLACE IS RAN BY SATAN, WHO IS MR. SMITH!" on impulse and your friend comments on it, if your friend is a friend of Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith will see that your friend commented on your post and your post will appear on Mr. Smith's main page.
I am not suggesting a ban on bosses or something, but they need to distinguish between personal life and the professional life. Trust me, as soon as you add someone from your workplace as a friend, consider it the beginning of the end, because then every co-worker and their mother will want to add you.
Too Many "Friends"
I believe I have made a post about how Facebook has ruined the meaning of the word "Friend". I find it hard to believe that someone can honestly say they have over 300 friends. I also find it disheartening that some of these people that rarely connect with a person will show up more on a main page than one of your closer friends would. I don't post that much, so I'm sure that I get lost in the shuffle more often than not on there, and that honestly depresses me greatly. In a perfect world, I would keep my list around 50, but because I may run into these people again sometime in my life, I am forced to keep my "friend" total high. In fact, I trimmed my list down to what I feel is a safe amount from where it was, cutting people I will probably or don't want to hear from again, or just aren't on Facebook anymore. Everyone needs to do this.
Again, the main gripe is that people, sometimes your true friends, will get overlooked or lost in the shuffle of people you may never be in contact with again, or people on the other side of the world who you will definitely never see in your life. I've found out the harsh truth from this and have reexamined who my real friends are, which is still a very small amount. People will come into and leave your lives. Its a fact of life.
Uh...Who Are You?
You know this person. Ok, maybe you don't know the person personally, but the person is a friend of a friend who you graduated with. The name certainly doesn't ring a bell and the person might actually be 20 years older than you. Oh, and they don't have any pictures of themselves. You look at their info, and see that you live approximately 100 miles apart and that you are certain that you have never seen this person of this description before in your life because you have to go by the description since the person only has pictures of oil wells.
What about person number two? What gender is this person? Why is their profile of the baby they had? The profile says you graduated with this person, but you don't have a freaking clue who this person is, as they don't post a picture of themselves on there. They went to your high school, graduated the same year as you, and your high school is relatively small so you have no excuse to not know this person, but the name eludes you, especially since there is no picture of the person in their profile. Its just the default silhouette.
The person you barely remember from the town you used to live in recommends you to add another person as a friend who loves to take pictures of cattle, but not themselves. Do you add said person just to see their profile to see if you know them, then cut them shortly afterwords? Does the person without a picture of themselves know you? You lived in the same neighborhood together so you should know this person, but the person without a picture just doesn't ring a bell, and you are stuck for three hours wondering if you should add the person or not.
Oh, and these "people you should know", they rarely have pictures of themselves.
Non Seriousness Takes Precedence Over Seriousness
I've conducted an experiment over the past week. I take a look at some statuses, and they can be categorized as Serious and Non-Serious. Here are some examples of non-serious posts:
- Quotes or Song Lyrics
- Funny Quips
- Nonsensical Stories
- Chains and Promotions
- Twitter Statuses
- Bieber Love
And here are some examples of more serious posts:
- Someone sad or depressed
- Death in the family
- Birth of a child
- Medical trauma
Based of off my statistics and fact gathering, Non-Serious posts get at least twice as much attention than the serious ones. No joke. I thought the reason we create personal networks is so we can have friends and shoulders to lean on. Sure, you can celebrate the good times, but people need support the most during the bad times too. Here is an actual conversation I had with one of my so-called "friends":
Friend: Hey, what's up? Everything good?
Me: Eh...not really. Been feeling down lately.
Friend: Oh yeah! I remember reading that on Facebook....so....are you OK?
I know some people genuinely care, but it helps to see someone say "I'm here for you" or "I'll listen, just talk to me", or something to that effect. People get wrapped up too much in their own posts or the non-serious ones that they are hurting the ones that need the love and support the most, and I find that really disenchanting with the human social network as a whole. Facebook is just a representation of that and I think it has caused more grief and depression than its worth. People are brought to this planet to help each other out.
And that is it for the Seven Main Sins, and there are many other minor offenses that I haven't yet touched on. There are ad problems. There are stupid status "to raise awareness" statuses. There are bugs. Some things are overly complicated. Too many people complain when the tiniest change comes to Facebook. People constantly reposting "share one memory" posts. The list goes on and on, but I find the seven listed above to be the worst offenses that Facebook and its users have to offer.
What are your peeves with Facebook, or social networking in general? I would love to hear some feedback from people. This may also slip where some people will never notice it. I just want to raise awareness that Facebook is its own beast and too many people misuse it to a shockingly high degree. I am not opposed to social networking, but I am opposed to the constant abuse of such a tool.
So comment below on your thoughts about the site and what you don't care for. Consider it a platform so other people can learn about what you see abused on a daily basis.