Here we go again. It’s another post about what we don’t like about Facebook. It’s so cliche but everyone knows that it is true – there are some things that are terrible about the world’s largest social network. Let me preface this by saying that I like Facebook in general, and that I’m not about to turn into some snooty tech purist that will boycott it or something. In fact, I bet that you will be able to relate to most, if not all, of my reasoning. So put your rage cap on and check out our list after the break.
1. “Like or You Hate Puppies” Posts
Every time I see one of these, I immediately imagine a 13-year old girl sitting behind her parent’s laptop coming up with these all day long. They’re so ridiculous. For those that *somehow* haven’t seen these, someone will put up a picture of a sick puppy or something, and then as a caption, say “LIKE = POOR PUPPY….IGNORE = YOU’RE A SATANIC PUPPY HATER”. Of course, they get hundreds of thousands of likes, because there are enough people on Facebook who say “Well, gosh…I’m sure not a satanic puppy hater, so…I better like this post…” and next thing you know, it is viral and all over your news feed. I’m sorry, but I don’t like my news feed getting blown up with sad pictures all day.
2. The Detrimental Effect It Had on My College Grades
That is no exaggeration. It is no secret that Facebook is incredibly addicting, and this is especially true when you are trying to be productive. As a result, I honestly often wonder how much better my college grades would have been would it not have been for both Facebook and my incredibly lack of self-control when it comes to looking at it. Luckily, I’m not the only one – check out this infographic for some interesting statistics about Facebook usage. And yes…on most mornings, I am a part of the 28% that check their Facebook on their smartphone before they get out of bed.
3. Made-Up Inspirational Stories and Urban Legends
This one has been particularly annoying to me lately, basically because of one urban legend that keeps reappearing among my circles of friends. It concerns a racist airline passenger who complains about sitting next to black man, and after the passenger complains, the black man gets upgraded to first class. Read the short story here.
It is a great story and everything, but unfortunately, it isn’t true – at least not as written. First of all, the captain has nothing to do with seat inventory on an airplane; that is what the flight attendants do. Second, it claims that “airline policy is to never upgrade someone from coach to first class”; ridiculous, because it happens all the time. Third, the attendant talks about it being a “scandal to make a passenger sit next to an unpleasant person”…and I’m thinking, WHAT? Has nobody else flown on an airplane before? Half the people you sit next to are unpleasant! You pay for a seat on an airplane, not a gondola through a flowery garden. But I digress…
The thing that really bugs me about these stories are that whoever posts them must know they aren’t true. Then, if you read the comments, people are painfully gullible…for example, in the story above, comments like “Wow, what an awesome flight attendant!” or “You go, captain!” are very common. But in reality, every-day Facebookers who don’t know any better are being deceived so a post will go viral.
4. The Constant Innovation that Nobody Likes or Uses
In general, I would say that Facebook is moving in the right direction, but it has only took them 20 iterations to get there. In the past, new formats to the user profile have been made available every six months or so, and it can be extremely annoying. The new Timeline format is pretty slick and has gone without a major change since it was introduced about a year ago – and a lot of people were extremely resistant to even that.
Still, there are just too many things that Facebook tries to do that is either annoying, useless, or just plain ignored. For example: Facebook tried to literally become your new mail inbox when it introduced @facebook.com e-mail addresses. Not only did people not use them, but Facebook forced everyone to have one and now lists it as your default address on your profile. WTF Facebook! Another example: in the face of constant heckling over privacy issues (which I won’t even get started on), Facebook democratized itself and gave everyone the chance to vote on a policy that would have caused Facebook to have to put any future policy change to a vote. In order for the results to count, it wanted 30% of Facebook users to vote. Well, by the time the voting period ended, roughly 668,000 voted – .006% of Facebook’s population. To put that in perspective, that is like 1,800,000 Americans voting in the presidential elections.
Not that I can knock them for trying to give users a say, but requiring 30% of users to vote was so unrealistic that it not only made themselves look bad, but it was also kind of a slap in the face to those users that did care to vote.
5. When People Tell Me Not to Complain Because It’s Free
Forget that. And here’s why.
Facebook is now a publicly-owned company that had almost $4 billion in revenues last year. The vast majority of that revenue came from advertising. The only reason that advertising makes them so much money is because it is the second-most visited site on the internet. In other words, we are the reason that Facebook is still relevant.
Facebook does not provide a service to us as much as we provide it to them. If not for the countless hours we spend uploading pictures, commenting, liking, and playing FarmVille, Facebook would no longer be relevant (case study: Myspace) and therefore the company would not make any money. We don’t pay money to use the site, but we make the investment of time, which makes it valuable to everybody. For that reason alone, I will continue to rant and rave about Facebook as long as the interwebs still exist. Besides, how is the site supposed to improve if we don’t give feedback? Rant on my friends, rant on.