Sunday, January 17, 2010

Facebook Fatigue

"I got dozens of friends and the fun never ends
that is, as long as I'm buying ....
Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?
and it's ticking away with my sanity
I've got too much time on my hands
it's hard to believe such a calamity ..."
"Too Much Time on My Hands" ~ Styx

You know the old saying that it only takes one person to ruin something good for everyone?

That's starting to be the case for Facebook. It only takes ... oh, I don't know, around 350 gazillion (or however many members they're up to now) to ruin what was something good for the rest of us sane people.

Now, I'm just as much of a Facebook addict as the next yahoo. I admit that and I own up to spending way more time there than I should. That's because I love being in touch on a daily basis with relatives I only see at funerals, with my college roommates, my best friend from kindergarten. Truly, I do. I also like being Friends with my blogging buddies.

I can deal with the annoyance of getting Friend requests from wackos who remember verbal zingers I hurled back in 1986. From my childhood friends' parents and my kids' teachers, for God sakes. I can even deal with the requests to become a farmer, a mob boss, a wizard, or a chef. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Defriend, defriend, defriend. Block, block, block.

But within the past week or so, my annoyance has reached a new high. And now that Facebook is the social media equivalent of the junk fax (remember those, from when the fax was the kick-ass thing?) the chain letter, and the forwarded to a million people e-mail, it's losing its appeal.

I think it started with all these ridiculous fan pages and "groups." You know what I'm talking about, because like me, you also have that Friend who joins groups like "I had someone talk to me about a facebook status I had last night" or "so-and-so became a fan of Give Mr. Hentz a Raise."

Even all that was tolerable. So was the bra color thing. Cute, funny for a few minutes, and I'll even go so far as to say well-intended but slightly misguided.

But now, I can't even keep up with the absurdity. When they're not shuffling statuses, I have Friends doing odd things, posting them as statuses that I don't understand. I have people who are telling me what to repost as my status. Clearly, some people have way too much time on their hands.

Frankly, it's just becoming juvenile. And I'm no social media expert (although, no one is more surprised than me that I am going to be paid a decent sum in a few weeks to talk to a group of nonprofit directors about exactly that ... so maybe I do know a thing or two) but mark my words: this crap is going to be the end of Facebook. I think I am probably very much a Facebook fuddy-duddy, very much in the minority who doesn't care about this crap and wants the substantive Facebook of old back.

Maybe this is the natural trajectory, the logical evolution of such things. Maybe Facebook is only a fad at best or at its worst, an illusion that brings us all together before the end of time.

Too much time on my hands, too much time on my hands
Too much time on my hands, too much time on my ....

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Facebook reminds me of a rocket. At first its all powerful and interesting but as it gets higher and higher its gets less fun and then finally runs out of fuel.

Its interesting to see the cycles that people go through with Facebook (including me) at first get as many friends as possible, join the food flings etc, and become fans of this that and whatever.

Now, I have a stable group of "friends" and don't mess with it too much. It's been nice reconnecting with long lost high school friends.

But, yep, as FB tries to figure out how to make money off us I think it will collapse of its own weight.

Laura said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months, but haven't commented...till now. I agree with you 100%! I love facebook. I don't have many facebook friends, but found that it's a good way to stay in touch with family and friends who live far from me.
The little status games were fun, at first, but not every day. This status re-post thing is really bugging me. I will not post a status and send it to my friends who are mothers telling them what great mothers they are, when I have others who desperately want to be mothers and are unable. This morning, I read a status about the poster having a wonderful husband, etc. and to re-post if I have a wonderful husband. I do have a wonderful husband, but I will not rub it in the faces of those who are in relationships that aren't so great. I just don't want to be told what to post as my status anymore.
Wow! Sorry. I'll get off of my soapbox now!

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Yogi and Laura ~ See, you're the type of people I need to hang out with on FB. :) Thanks so much. I'm glad there are others that see this the way I do, and both of you make excellent points. It's absolutely maddening.

And Laura, thanks for the delurk. It's nice to "meet" you, and I'm off to check out your blog ....

SuziQoregon said...

I enjoy facebook for connecting with friends all over the country. However I do hide most games and even some friends' news feeds because they're just so darn needy or depressing.

Lately the 'post this in your status for an hour' is the new thing. I ignore them Makes facebook feel like lemmingland.

Florinda said...

I've never spent much time on Facebook, and I rarely regret that. (My preferred time-sucker is Twitter. I refuse to consider blogging a time-sucker.) It definitely seems to be turning into the new version of the chain e-mail, as I see memes and games turn up over there that I first encountered in my Inbox or on someone's blog. There's one going around right now - random status updates assembled from phrases keyed to your birthday and what you're wearing - that I actually posted on my own blog last year.

I know a lot of people still have fun with it, and I've probably missed re-connecting with a lot of people from my past because I don't use Facebook much, but I'll live. We'll have to see what it morphs into next, but I think you're right about it beginning to wear out its welcome with some folks.

Trisha said...

Here, here! I am so with you on this. I've actually almost eliminated my Facebook use because of these exact issues. I can no longer stand going to check out the Live Feed and seeing nothing but prescribed status updates and something or another to do with Mafia/Vampire/blah blah blah Wars or Farming..

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I know what you mean! I, too, love the fact that on Facebook I can connect with people I rarely see...relatives, even.

And I mainly go there because of Networked blogs.

I really hate it, though, when I get e-mails telling me about one of my friends' comments, and finding that it's not a comment to ME, but to another friend or group of friends. Do I care? No.

So I don't go there much.

the_laugh said...

Hence my tweet reply last night

Bored_D said...

I definitely agree... facebook was ruined for me a few years back when they added the news feed feature, and ever since then I just haven't been able to get into all of the games/apps/whatever... I still use it for keeping in touch and looking at my friends' photos, but otherwise I just don't have the patience for it. I guess it's a sign of how disconnected from facebook I am that I'm not even sure what reposting statuses is :P

Jessica said...

I went through facebook and uninstalled nearly every app (farmville, yoville, etc), and now i just ignore all the app requests. I'm there to conveniently connect with people and keep up on their lives. that's it. I like it for that and I liked it a lot more when I just got rid of all the other stuff.

Gershwoman said...

I knew there was a uncertain reason in my mind as to why I have been sooo reluctant to get started on Facebook (and Twitter) and you have just reinforced my reluctance to make a facebook page. I think I will wait for the next big thing.

Anonymous said...

I shut down my account because I got tired of all the requests and games and stuff...none of which interested me.