Facebook is, for me, hard to use. Most of the time when I went on Facebook, I wanted to check notifications efficiently. I liked to do that a few times a day.
And once or twice a day I liked to see what a few friends were posting. Not all my Facebook friends, just a few. A dozen or so people whose posts are particularly interesting and enjoyable, or who I’m close to in real life, or both.
But Facebook isn’t designed to be used that way. it’s designed to pull you in for random browsing. And sometimes that’s what I want to do. But not often. But that’s what Facebook wants to do every time. So it throws up a lot of garbage notifications about “likes” and “reactions.” And it throws a lot of updates from random acquaintances in the News Feed.
Facebook’s latest trick is that it’s sending me notifications when some of my friends post comments on OTHER friends’ posts. And often these are friends who are barely acquaintances of mine in real life – people I barely know. That was the last straw for me. Notifications had just become overwhelming.
Facebook’s toxic politics and failure to oppose Trump didn’t make me love the company either. But if you live in the west and engage in the world you’re going to end up compromising your principles and do business with companies that have appalling practices. I’m reconciled with that. If Facebook was more pleasant to use I would have stuck with it.
The immediate change I made was to stop posting my running updates to Facebook. I post to social media a dozen or more times a day. Links to interesting things I’ve seen on the Internet, and random thoughts. I post the same things to Twitter, my blog, sometimes LinkedIn and – until two weeks ago – Facebook. Two weeks ago, I cut Facebook out of the feed.
And I started checking at most once a day, and often skipping days entirely.
And I instantly felt better. That surprised me. I liked it. It was like when the neighbors are running power tools all morning and you think it’s not bothering you but then they stop and you go, “Aaaaaaaahhh.” And that’s when you realize how much the incessant noise had been bothering you.
So I’m in no rush to get back to my regular Facebook habit. I’m enjoying the relative calm. I still check for a few minutes every few days. Sometimes two days in a row, but not often. Just to see what my friends and family have been up to.
I may be back at some point. This isn’t a life choice. If Facebook changes the news feed and notifications so that they’re easier and more pleasant to use, I’ll be back. But I don’t see that happening. Facebook is a monopoly and it is the nature of monopolies that they do not innovate or make significant changes in their core business. As long as they have the monopoly, they leave the core business alone. 📓🌞