When greed killed Facebook- for me
I think greed is killing the Internet. Eight years ago when I joined Facebook they had not yet “tweeked” their “Algo” ie the programming they use to determine who can and cannot see your posts. So when you shared something on your Facebook page all of your friends and family saw it. Consequently there was a great deal more interaction from people and it created a real sense of community.
At one point Facebook decided despite the billions of dollars they were earning in ad revenues and investor money they needed more. So they changed/tweeked the algorithm. Most of us gradually started to notice that people who normally would engage us on our posts were suddenly ignoring us. We started to see more and more posts like “I want to see if anyone sees my post. If you do please post the first thing you remember about me…” or something like that.
Many people myself included assumed that suddenly people were not interested in what we were sharing or in maintaining a relationship with us when in fact it was Facebook playing with the code to squeeze more money out of us by asking us to pay to play. We were now seeing a “boost this post” button being asked to pay money so our friends could see our posts!
It apparently wasn’t enough that the billion or so daily Facebook users were creating free content every day to draw advertising to Facebook so we were being mined or squeezed for more money.
When will enough be enough for some people or companies?
What would I like to see? I’m glad you asked. I’d like to see a user owned social media network where ad revenues are shared by all users based on the hours they put into creating content on it. A network or site where users are not manipulated into paying to have their friends be able to see their posts or shown negative or positive news to see how they respond like Facebook did not too long ago.
All that said, while I met some wonderful people from around the country and the world, I spent too many years arguing politics and ranting about things with friends on Facebook over the last eight years. As many of you know from using it the site is designed to be addictive with its “likes” and beeps when people comment finely tuned to drip feed your brain pleasure inducing endorphin like Serotonin. However, I have discovered that mostly all I get from complaining is attracting other people who like to complain. Oh it’s okay to complain now and then and essential to do so when trying to expose life’s injustices! But life is about maintaining balance and moderation is very important.
It’s good to focus more on what you want and solutions in my experience rather than soaking in the sorrows of problems. People say life is what we make of it. Maybe that’s a meme I saw on Facebook? But if that’s the case why not focus on making it something positive, constructive, kind, respectful, and mutually prosperous.
So now use Facebook strictly for participating in business groups and as an advertising platform. I use Twitter to hone my ability to be more concise though from this piece I wrote you can see I’ve still got a ways to go on that score!
But if you use it for maintaining friendships and keeping up with family or even to vent about the world now and then I am not here to judge your choices or use of time. The world is full of great people and places and information and Facebook and other Social Media sites help us find and share them. This is just a personal reflection on eight years of my experience with Facebook. Happy posting!
Joseph Segal is a writer, web developer and Founder of Better World Advocates.