I really enjoy seeing what people are up to, what they’re excited about, what they’re curious about, what they’re thinking of, what they’re excited to share about their day and their lives, what they’re sad or happy about, etc.
But in recent months, a new thing seems to be taking over the Facebook feed.
No longer can you simply ‘take a look’ at Facebook to see what your friends are up to. No longer can you quickly browse ‘how things are going’ for the people that you care about.
Today’s Facebook seems to have us diving head-on into a stream of unoriginal content that was just “passed on”.
The span between actual genuine status updates written by your friends now seems so few and far between. Photos they actually took of a cool experience get lost in the quagmire of forwarded news clips, viral videos and promo ads. I admit I’m guilty – I’ve done it too.
But now seems to have gotten so much worse with the rapid increase in forwarded videos.
I mean – it seems to be an endless parade of videos… one after another. Each demanding – if you do choose to play them – that you now commit to a fixed amount of minutes and seconds of your day as they finish playing. And in the end – often giving us no new insight into the person who posted it (well, most of the time).
So it seems we’re faced with two choices:
(1) You go ahead and invest the gobs of time it takes to scroll through all these videos – one by one – sitting there for [whatever mm:ss video length], or
(2) You just quickly scroll past all the videos – skipping them, all the while hoping you’re not missing something important from your friends.
Neither option feels very fulfilling. Nor do they feel like an effective use of time and attention.
It might be different if people were commenting on why it meant something to them, or why they are sharing it. But more often than not it’s simply “a forward” with no context.
Facebook has changed. It has gone from what was a fun way to keep up with the day-to-day of the people around you to a torrent of unoriginal content that was actually written or produced by someone else – someone other than your friend.
Don’t get me wrong – I think that some of the content my friends pass on is very cool, very informative, very interesting. It just seems that the ratio of this stuff has gotten way out of whack within the past few months. It’s like this kind of content has now become the majority of what’s on our Facebook feed.
I enjoy keeping up with my friends on Facebook.
But it would be sad to see this valuable social media channel devolve into the equivalent of a giant “Email Forward Fest”.