Recently I’ve re-posted several articles about Facebook and their recent efforts to impress both users and investors. Rather than persist with quietly headkicking Zuckerberg’s juggernaut, I thought I should explain myself. My personal opinion is that they are what’s wrong with the world – they suck.
I was one of the multitude who got caught up in the frenzy of the mid-2000’s and just had to get my own FB page and then expose myself to the world. We all did it: post photos, tag photos, make funny (and sometimes incriminating comments) about our status, tell everyone what we “like” and prop ourselves up for the world to judge us based on a selection on moments from our past.
What we’ve really done is to make ourselves look like a stupid, vain and egotistical race of slaves who have sold our privacy to the lowest bidder in an effort to make ourselves look better than all our friends.
FB has made us unusually competitve: how many friends you have, how many groups you belong to, how many games you currently play, how many “cool” photos you have of yourself. I doubt it was ever FB’s intent for users to see their product in this way, but surely they must have realised what this little snowball was doing to the mindset of their users as it tumbled down the mountain.
Maybe I’m a special case, but i’ve been drawn into strange conversations by my FB friends who have begun with “you’ve only got 100 friends; are you antisocial or something?” For someone like me this is a non-event and I can happily report that my list of FB friends was reduced by exactly the same number of idiots who posed that question. That was when i started questioning the whole FB psychology of their product.
In the spirit of adolescent competition, so many females on FB seem to think they need to post the sluttiest picture of themselves they can find. I know the amateur porn movie industry is thriving right now, but i had no idea so many of my friends were involved. In contrast, the males prefer to post profile snaps that make them look like “gangstas” or CK models. One of my friends even has a profile pic of him in a boxing pose with his girlfriend hanging off him dressed only in her underwear.
A prime example of the “Me Me Me” generation trying to copy the rich and famous and failing miserably (but giving me a laugh in the process, so that’s ok).
My biggest grievance is that they can’t get their privacy rules right, and when they change an aspect that my affect a user’s rights, they don’t announce it until it’s done. Everything about your FB page is up for sale by FB to the public and the recent email scandal proved this.
FB being used by corporates to advertise is a joke. As I’m sure you’re already aware, when you click on “like” for a product or service (for example Coke), apparently that is a revenue generator for FB. So FB are making money from your tastes, and from everytime you tell your friends that you like something. I understand that this may not bother too many of you, which is fine – each to their own. For me, I have a problem with this. Facebook advertising doesn’t work because they focus on showing you ads based on who you are, not what problem you are trying to solve. Did you know that a 1% click-through rate in online advertising is “great”?
(Speaking of poor targeted advertising – found this, but not sure if it’s reliable)
And finally, i just don’t like Mark Zuckerberg. I find nothing about him redeeming in any way. He appears to be a lonely young man who presides over a tool that allows him to have 900 million friends, and according to the privacy clauses contained within FB he owns your pictures. I’m sure he won’t be checking up on you and scrutinising your holiday snaps from 2009, but he can sell them to anyone he wants.
According to a recent poll by AP and CNBC held in May 2012, 46% of Americans think that Facebook will fade away as soon as new thing come up. Poll was held by Associated Press and CNBC on 1,004 people all over America on telephone.
Not to be counted as a hypocrite, i admit I still have an FB account. There are no photos, no list of my friends for others to see, no timeline, no status updates and no personal information that could be used by unsolicited people against me. I’ve read through the privacy laws and modified my account to be as secure as possible against any misuse by FB. But it’s still not enough and i need to take another step and delete my account completely. So before you drop your comments at my lack of conviction, remember that I’m using FB my way and not necessarily their way.
I predict the millions of users on FB will continue to invest time and effort on their FB pages, and spend money on the games that keep them logged into FB. But I also predict that FB will fall from grace in the next 12-24 months as the growing user-base scream for the next big thing.
Looking forward to that.