You Can Take Your “Like” and Shove It

I have never made it a secret that I hate Facebook.  I find it intrusive, obnoxious, they keep changing every damn thing, and their privacy policy is questionable at best.  Not to mention how I abhor that people can just add me to a group without even asking my permission.  I am not a fan of the “tis better to ask for forgiveness than permission” school of thought.

I hate that I get blasted with mass emails from every single person who was included on a mass message and that there’s no way to unsubscribe from that crap without unsubscribing from email notifications entirely (which is the only way I ever know anybody has said anything to me on FB because I don’t GO THERE without coersion).

But this propensity for people to “suggest” I “Like” this thing or the other

drives me batshit crazy.

I have never “Liked” anything as a result of one of these messages.  I have, in fact, unfollowed people for blasting me with them at all.

Here’s a newsflash people,

Likes on Facebook are utterly meaningless.

They are a shallow form of interaction.  They don’t give any real indication of popularity.  They don’t translate into book sales.  It takes someone three seconds (depending on the speed of their internet connection) to go in and click a damn button.  They don’t have to read anything to do it.  They don’t have to respond, think, or otherwise actually ENGAGE with the content.  It’s just a meaningless, socially reinforced click of a button.  That’s it.  There’s nothing about that experience to make the clicker remember anything about what they clicked.  And how often DOES ANYBODY ever go back to a page or something that they “Liked”?  Approximately never.

My only conclusion as to why the hell Facebook is so popular anyway is that people have voyeuristic tendencies to want to look in on the lives of people they know (I admit to occasionally FB stalking people from high school to see what they’re doing now), and they want lots of easy forms of alleged “action” to make them feel good and pat themselves on the back for “doing something” and “getting involved”, when they really haven’t done any such thing.  It’s a low effort substitute for actually taking some kind of action.

Take politics for example.  There are probably a zillion polls and pages about the current election, with probably hundreds of thousands of likes on both sides.  A scant fraction of those people are actually going to get their butts out to vote in the real election.  But they’re going to think “oh but I did something for the cause”.   No.  You didn’t.  You, at most, expressed an opinion.  You did nothing that could lead to actual change or action.

So yeah, all this is a rant to reiterate that I STILL HATE FACEBOOK and stop “suggesting” we “Like” crap!

 

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13 comments

  1. Uh oh, I hope I haven’t accidentally sent you something. I was forced to get on FB, initially, by family members and friends who stopped emailing photos and insisted on creating FB albums for every social event.
    Half a year ago I discovered that if you set someone as a “close friend” with a dinky star by their name, their updates come into your email. Now I can scroll through updates easily in my junk email address, save a few I want to reply to, and only have to log into FB once a week or so. And I can ignore the endless News Feed. Awesome!

  2. So I guess I shouldn’t ask you to “like” me on FB? ; ) JK! FB isn’t the greatest tool, that’s true, and I’d say Twitter is where I’ve built the most relationships (and sales). FB is more a “should” than “have to” for me…

  3. And it goes double for people inviting you to join a game… I haven’t given it up entirely, because it’s the way I stay in touch with family, but I’m definitely spending less time with it.

  4. I was going to “like” this post, but…
    I’ve always been bothered by facebook as well. I use it to send messages to a few people and for nothing else.

  5. OMG I LOVE YOU, KAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SOOOOO much! The only reason why I got onto FB in the first place was because I wanted to hunt down 2 old friends from childhood. One of them, sadly, we don’t really have a connection (despite the occasional “like” on each other’s pages and a rare, random comment here and there). The other one, we’ve been able to visit in person and reconnect, now use Skype near enough daily. It’s awesome. FB is just a quick means to see if the other person is online now! Until I got in touch with either of them, I think my status for months (if not over a year) was “I really hate Facebook”.

    I find nothing really social about social media and the retweets, likes, recommends, diggs, whatever, kills me. It’s so rare I get a *conversation* with someone. My usage of FB (even Twitter) feels self-centred: I’m just shouting myself hoarse on a street corner somewhere, hoping someone is listening.

    Incidentally, my husband just deleted his account (while we were talking about your post here) and it us 15 minutes of putting his in password and the CAPTCHA nonsense before they agreed he was correct!!! NIGHTMARE! (he had FB first and I’d normally play games on his account before I weakened and got one for myself) Thank you! (sorry for the winded response, but you touched a nerve – in a good way!) –C.E. Schwilk

  6. I, too, have been added to groups without my permission. Then I get an email every time someone posts to that group. Luckily, this one isn’t too bad, but I wish I had been asked first. I will have to say, though, that since I’ve been on FB just a little more lately, I’ve made some connections that might help me in the long run. But I do get tired of the suggestions and invitations to things I have no interest in, like games and such. And I hate the look of FB. It’s too busy. My biggest beef (I posted about this) is when you go to a website of a company to enter a contest, then find out you have to go to FB to enter. What are these people thinking? Why can’t they have the contest on their site? Okay, sorry, got off subject. *looks sheepish*.

  7. You’ve listed some of the reasons why I’ll never use Facebook. But I can’t understand why even people who hate the site and complain about it constantly still use it. Are the few legitimate services it provides *really* worth putting up with so much crap? How did everyone manage to survive before Facebook came along?

  8. I am not a fan of FB, and LIkes are meaningless, I agree. However, I will say that through it and Twitter, I have been able to interact with some of my favourite authors, filmmakers, and others whom I have long admired, wanted to ask questions of directly and found most of hem to be very approachable and kind. I think everyone can appreciate sincere interaction, and if someone who reads your work sends a sincere note of praise, or asks a good question that you hadn’t thought of before, is that such a bad thing?

    1. Legitimate interaction, absolutely. If it was set up in such a way that that was the only kind people could do, I’d be all about Facebook. But it’s people who don’t truly interact and just ANNOY that drive me bananas.

  9. I hate Facebook too. I think though, that there is a setting somewhere where you can tell it to stop sending you messages. (Although this may not include the messages which people intentionally send you. One of the things I hate is that it sends you messages even when the people involved don’t intend to send it.)

    The other option is to set up an email filter that sends all FB mail to a folder where you’ll never see it. However, you’ll have to be careful how you set it up, or you’ll miss “Important changes to our privacy policy” type messages too.

  10. Face it folks, FB is the Amazon of the social networks. Or so they’d like you to believe. Kait, awesome rant. The ability to rant effectively and coherently is rare indeed. I am impressed. Well done. I like yoyur post. Nooooo, don’t throw that…. ahhhhh

  11. You’re killing me, Kait! I’m beginning to feel like tossing Lamb’s books into the next bonfire we have behind the piggery! I DEMAND (beg, plead, bribe with gluten-free goodness) that write a book on platforming, branding and social media. It would be great if you could have that to me by…oh…Weds next. K? Considering this demand…I mean request is being made in Oct 2012 I think that’s plenty of time for you to get it me by Weds May 8, 2013. Hop to!

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