I have been using email since year 1999, though I didn’t know people who could send me emails, but in those years I found it cool enough to say that – “Do send me an email” :). I guess it was year 2004 when Gmail came into the picture and for the first time, and I switched to it without any hassles or questions in my mind (afterall 1GB was lucrative enough in those days to leave everything aside and just switch). And so far I have been using Gmail everyday without any questions or doubts. I am too adjusted with Gmail now! (I have even stopped questioning any of the changes which Gmail makes every now and then. Simply put – I dependent on Gmail.)
2004 was also the year when I got the Orkut invite from one of my friends who had some first-hand connections in IIT Kanpur. I was blown away by the fact that I can connect to such amazing people and can actually interact with them. Power of Technology was, for the first time, crossing my naive imagination ambit. For the first time I was actually seeing the true meaning of ’6 degrees of separation’. I simply saluted the power of creativity mixed with technology! And then it took almost 5 years to switch to Facebook, all with-in a moment. Because all my friends were already there on Facebook, I had no hassles in moving-on and discarding Orkut. And since then, I have used Facebook each and every day when I had the internet connection (either on my laptop or my phone).
Now, while I am sitting in the Q2 of year 2013….I am getting a little bored with Facebook….not that I have stopped checking it everyday, or I am planning to delete my account, but I am no more enthused about Facebook’s ability to surprise me.
And going by the fact that I am an old chap now, I am sure I am late in realizing that Facebook has become boring to many millions folks by now…..but better late than never, I believe there are some points which are bothering me about Facebook…..and I would like to summarize why FB is no more cool to me….
#1. Facebook is getting into the email category – emails bore me, 99% (or more) are useless to me (unless you use your personal email for work as well). Email, in the current times, have become a tool which you can’t afford to skip, but 99% times you see them only to get disappointed and feel irritated. Such is the state of Facebook, you can’t afford to ignore it, but most of the times you simply get that ‘WTF’ feeling after logging-in. Nothing worthwhile happens here, but you need to stick to it!
#2. Overdose of marketing and emotional stuff – Call it human tendency, we all tend to fall for low hanging fruits. With emails becoming a must for everyone plugged into internet world, marketing folks simply misused this channel beyond the limits of sanity. And the same seems to be happening with social networking, including Facebook (which is no doubt the number 1 player in social networking). So, now when I log into my account I have some common trends to observe – a) some girl feeling happy over what she ate in some restaurant (with the picture of the food/restaurant). b) someone trying to sell me some product (Economic Times recently tried to tell me the price of Samsung Galaxy! in one of its afternoon post blast). c) Some political party worker telling me why it makes sense for me to hate Rahul Gandhi and love Arvind Kejriwal. d) Some girl is missing her mother so badly that she had to finally post it for the world to empathize with her state of mind. e) Almost all the brands trying to ask me a questions which is really a no-brainer, and by answering that no-brainer I would get ‘engaged’ with that brand! (really, WTF! Get a life guys). f) Some people asking me to share pics which would bring some huge luck and success in next 5 mins! (I can certainly feel a Deja-vu, all the old emails seem to have found a way into my Facebook). I am yet to get a wall post or inbox message from someone who wants to offer me $10 million in some lottery, Thank God!
#3. Social Pattern - Even when all of us use Facebook each and everyday at workplace, we simply hate the fact that other are using Facebook in office. And whats worse, we ourselves might be posting those useless posts everyday from office, but we all hate the fact that others in the team are posting similar useless posts from office computer. Our ‘use’ of facebook is always meaningful, and other’s (mis)use of facebook is just not acceptable to us! So, if my boss posts something utterly boring, I have to either ignore it, or forcibly ‘Like’ it. But when I post something equally useless, I have to remain open to the public dissection of the same
#4. Facebook Apps/Games – My hands are literally shaking when I type this – Guys you got to be really senseless and tasteless while playing Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Angry Birds, or whatever is the latest trend now-a-days. I played Farmville for 2-3 days, Mafia Wars for 1 day, and I didn’t touch Angry Birds ever! Neither do I get any sense of joy when Facebook sends me those automated invites for online games purported under some frined’s name. Facebook, trust me you really turn me off when you try to suggest/invite me your online games – They are a question mark on one’s IQ! (I have been trapped and relieved with Farmville and Mafia Wars, but thanks I dont want any of those now)
#5. Desperate Promotion and Selling attempts – It turns me off when you suggest services/products which are completely unrelated to me. Sometimes Facebook tries to sell me women’s undergarments, some times they try to sell me stuff which I already own, and on worst occasions you even try to sell me those obscene stuff, and on foolish moments you do attempt to sell me an MBA college even when you have my education data. Either Facebook’s Ad inventory is really poor, or its recommendation logic is too biased on the money pumped by the company, in both the cases – You suck! (Guys, you need a better Analytics team. Trust me on this).
So, how am I surviving Facebook? I have devised a way out for myself, and I keep perfecting it every day……
#1. Block people from your Feed - People with extreme emotional behavior who miss their mother or father or sister or dog, need to be blocked. Trust me, they are a cost while you are on a social network. You just don’t want to get any more updated on what happened in their life this morning when the dog was playing with her, or how much she misses her sister while she is away on her honeymoon. And having said all this, I encourage you to block me if I have been such a crying baby or an irreparable fool!
#2. Create Focused Groups – When you really want to talk about some specific stuff, and wish to give it some static focus (unlike our FB wall), create focused groups and have more meaningful and productive discussions.
#3. Create Mute Groups – One of the things which I like about Facebook is that almost every great article gets posted here. And the thing which I hate most is that – Those articles can’t be saved to be read later. I have created a way out – I did create a mute group where I keep posting all such article which I would love to read later, and ofcourse no one else is invited in those groups – I am the only member!
#4. Block anything and everything in Ads section – We all hate promotions via emails, and we all constantly keep marking them as spam, so why don’t we do the same with Facebook Ads? I encourage you all to block each and every Ad you see on the right panel. Even better, install Ad blocker for your browser.
#5. Switch to Twitter – Integrate your Facebook and Twitter accounts and use Twitter from your phone. Thats what I am doing since past few months. Trust me when I say this – Twitter is a more mature and advance platform. You have the freedom to write the bull-shit and still escape the bull-shit from the world!
[This post was inspired by Economic Times article on Facebook - 5 Reasons why Facebook is boring now. ]
- Facebook’s Home on Android (onthejoblearning.wordpress.com)
- Has Facebook Become Boring? (businessinsider.com)