In 2007, when I joined Facebook, I loved that I could connect with friends and family who lived in distant places. It was a simple social media platform, not many annoying ads, and it was simple to use.
Everything changes over time, including Facebook. What was once a simple platform has turned into a buzzing hive of activity, where businesses and people with all sorts of opinions and lifestyles come together for good or bad.
I’m usually someone who embraces change, but I have to say, I want the Facebook I joined in 2007 back. Facebook has evolved into a complex beast. Facebook provides users with the ability to share pretty much any online content they wish, with their Facebook ‘friends’ or the world. It sounds great, but some content I don’t care to see and some of the content and conversations are increasingly nasty, nonsense or quite frankly BS.
If you don’t share this post 9 times in the next five minutes you’ll have bad luck for the rest of your life.
While I still love what Facebook offers me, I’m not ‘in’ love anymore and I think our relationship may be over.
Why don’t I just ignore the BS posts? Well, its more than just having nonsense in your news feed.
In June 2014, an article written by Facebook and published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) discusses the findings of a research project that uses Facebook content.
In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred.
The experiment manipulated the extent to which people (N = 689,003) were exposed to emotional expressions in their News Feed.
They played with our content and our minds! Not cool Facebook.
There are a number of other things I don’t like about Facebook, but there was one thing this week that I particularly disliked.
CAUTION: This article includes detail about Trypophobia but does not contain images.
This week in my news feed was an article about an infectious disease that was present on the breast of a woman. It contained an image and a link to apparently more horrific detail (which I thankfully didn’t click). The image and associated story was convincing enough for some people to believe it as the truth and Facebook users shared it to the point it became viral.
The image had been created by merging a photo of a woman’s breast and a photo of a lotus pod. Sounds innocent doesn’t it. Not so much.
Images like the one mentioned above causes some people great mental discomfort. In fact, there is a phobia and it’s called Trypophobia.
I tried to find an accurate definition of what Trypophobia is for you, but unfortunately most information online provides images, which I can’t stomach. So you miss out. Feel free to Google (with caution), although I suggest you don’t.
My understanding of it, through a recent experience, is that it is a fear of multiple holes in ‘things’ which causes some people to have a general feeling of uneasiness, or worse. The most common cause of uneasiness for people is where there is a collection of holes in human flesh. This is what the the lotus pod and breast was portraying.
No doubt the person or people who created this breast/lotus pod image where targeting people with Trypophobia and I think they are evil.
Until the article landed in my Facebook news feed I had no idea Trypophobia was a thing. It is truly horrid.
@sssemester It’s not real. It’s just a lotus seed pod. It’s not real. It’s just a lotus seed pod. I cannot get this image out of my brain. #Trypophobia
So now I have even more reason to dislike Facebook and I think I’ve come to the end of our relationship.
So what is the next step? Well I’m not sure. If I leave Facebook I will lose the easy connection to my friends and family who don’t live near me. I’d like to think that there was a Facebook alternative that my friends would move to with me, but I doubt that will happen.
The problem is Facebook has such a strong hold on people’s lives now. To walk away is a big step. One big step that I’m prepared to take, but many people aren’t.
I need a platform that is much like Facebook was originally, before it got over crowded, complex and ugly.
If I find a solution I’ll let you know. How happy are you with Facebook?