Monday, March 21, 2011

My Affair with Facebook

In late March or early April I celebrate my two-year anniversary on Facebook. I bet Hallmark or somebody makes a greeting card. Save your money--I'm not planning any parties or special events to mark the occasion.

Facebook has been a lot of fun. I've reconnected with old friends, become friends with old acquaintances, and made new friends who have no connection to my past. Facebook has brought me closer to some of my extended family, too. Not bad for a free service.

Over about the last year I've noticed a significant decline in the number of people who comment on posts. Because I tend to believe the entire world revolves around me, at first I took the absence of comments on my posts personally. I assumed my friends had hidden my posts because they were tired of hearing from me so much.

While some probably did hide my posts, I recently discovered the problem is more likely the result of a change to Facebook. They're always changing something. I don't know about you, but I liked the version we used two years ago a lot more than the Facebook of today.

There's an obscure "edit options" button at the bottom of the news feed. The default setting is "show posts from friends and pages you interact with most." Unless you change it to "show posts from all your friends and pages", you're probably missing posts from people you'd like to hear from.

To make matters worse, it's unclear exactly what Facebook means by "interact with the most." Since several of my regular chat buddies weren't seeing my feeds, chats must not count as interactions. Looks like commenting on each others' walls or posts is the only thing that counts.

I could set up a schedule and rotate my comments through all my friends. Even for me that seems a bit obsessive. For the last two weeks I've barely commented at all.

My affair with Facebook has about run its course. I'll continue to send birthday greetings to my friends and will keep an eye on the status updates that still show up on my wall. I may even comment now and then. But the thrill of using Facebook is gone for...

The Crotchety Old Man

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