My Falling Out With Facebook: My Friends Are Boring
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed somewhat of a transformation of how I use and perceive social media. This should be no surprise–trends change and the social media scene is in constant flux. But something happened last night that made me really stop and think about my evolved opinions of Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
It’s a show about nothing
Late last night, my girlfriend was flipping through the Facebook app on her iPhone when she suddenly exclaimied, “I hate social media!” Now, this post isn’t about her, and I won’t presume to think that I can speak for her, but what followed was a short rant about how she thinks the majority of posts on Facebook are stupid. In not so many words, she told me how she’s tired of seeing people post about, well, nothing.
My first reaction was to challenge her. I love social media, and wanted to charge in its defense! Afterall, social media has revolutionized how we share information. What could be better? But after taking some time to think about it, I decided that I have my own qualms.
Go home, you’re drunk
I’m going to get straight to the point: Facebook has completely lost its appeal. Not Facebook the platform or Facebook the company, but Facebook the ecosystem. And it might not be Facebook’s fault–it might be mine. When I was in college, Facebook was great. I loved seeing the shenanigans that my peers got into over the weekend. It was a joy logging on throughout the day and receiving a constant stream of photos, party invitations, drunken stories, new relationships, expired relationships, and congruent complaints about class and assignments. But now that I’m out of school, none of that applies anymore. Almost all of my peers are living very different lives, and the social bubbles that we spent 4+ years building don’t make sense anymore. I’ve been out of college for about a year and a half, and I find that I have almost nothing to say to any of my Facebook friends. Before was college, and we were all in it together. Now is life, and we’re all in it on our own.
Enter Twitter. I’ll admit it: a few years ago I thought Twitter was stupid. I saw it as a platform that limited you to only posting status updates. Why would I want a dumbed-down Facebook? It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally started to get it. Where Facebook fails, Twitter soars. No longer am I limited by the mundane ennui that is my Facebook feed. On Twitter I can reach a range from superstars to pleabians in the various fields and topics that interest me. I like to discuss current events, politics, and software development (among other things). I can do this with a massive audience on Twitter. Very few of my friends tend to participate when I take those conversations to Facebook.
What’s more is that Twitter is very much a firehose. It doesn’t try to shape my experience, it just dumps everything on me. And I love it. Facebook thinks it knows which posts will interest me, but Facebook is usually wrong.
It’s me; it’s you
My Facebook friends are my real-life friends. But let’s be honest: my real-life friends are boring. Photos of your dog, inside jokes, cryptic song lyrics, “I fucking love science”, and hashtagged wedding engagements are a fine way to pass the time, but honestly, I’m not getting anything out of it anymore.