Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The thing I wish Facebook were

Facebook isn't one of my favorite things, but I think it could be. The reason it's not is because it doesn't do what it sets out to do: socialize. In order to really apply this concept to Facebook, each user has to constantly force every subject they find interesting into their friend's faces. I guess that's why it's Facebook. You take all of the things you like, put them in a book and mash everyone's faces with it.

What I wish Facebook were is a personal resource of my friends. I'd like to be able to put my hand in and come out with an idea, a conversation, an event, or anything. Instead, what it is just isn't that. Facebook is home of needless argument, jokes, senseless sharing, and apathy. Facebook doesn't simply allow you to communicate with the people you want to talk to. I'll explain.

Facebook doesn't want its users to see things that they don't 'like.' Overtime, not liking things causes them to disappear from your (nonlinear) feed. Facebook attempts to populate each user's page with things they'll most like, and generally the things that are most active. Sadly, this makes any user's feed useless, unless each user is liking each and every post they enjoy. In turn, liking a thing brings it forward to each friend of any user. The like button is a share button, it doesn't really accomplish anything besides that. Facebook wants you to share things so that they get promoted. The more promoted a thing is, the more likely someone is willing to pay for more people to see it because Facebook will start to limit the people who can actually see the item.

There is a cap to how many people can see a post without either seeking it out or the creator spending money. Normally, this sort of works out for the people who like each post a creator will make, but once that cap is reached, it will stop populating in any feed. This obviously doesn't apply to people who use the site to only communicate to their friends, but the principle issues are still there. Many people are like me; I really just like to see what's going on and I only really like to see what's been aggregated to my personal page. I don't comment often and I don't like anything.

I wish I could just dig my hand into Facebook and grab something that I wanted every time, but it's more along the line that this never happens. Reaching into Facebook finds nothing. Most of the people who I really like don't use Facebook, or don't use it often. Facebook also doesn't really facilitate a group of friends. Since everyone is your friend, the task of maintaining a group is a bit silly. Facebook ends up moderating groups on its own, without the user knowing, but it doesn't facilitate the group, it only works to break up a group.

Maybe Facebook isn't for me, but it seems like the only people who really benefit from Facebook's model is Facebook itself. They are the only ones who have much to gain.

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