My Facebook-experience

It is the n-th day with the same experience: Lots of nice pictures showing happy people and their activities and places they have been to and forwarded words of wisdom on my Facebook-page. Thank you for all your contributions, my friends!

Some thoughts are coming up when I open my facebook-page. First is that I can’t cope with reading or at least viewing all that appears on that page. A few posts I can skim through and after that I have to stop. My time is up. Probably I missed the most interesting posts. Then the question why I can’t contribute as much as the others. Probably my life is a bit boring and without highlights. Who is interesting in the picture showing my family eating at a restaurant? Who is interesting reading my posting saying that I like the summer heat? A sad feeling after half an hour spent with facebook comes up.

As a consumer of Facebook I can compare it with the ordinary TV: I can spend all the time with it, getting many of the same things to see again and again, getting a lot of advertisments. And at the end of the day I’m still hungry and not satisfied. Although is it “Web 2.0”. And the producers of content – what do they want to express? Or has is become just a habit to forward things?

I found out that my life is not boring. Besides my professional life there is a family life an a community life. There is sport, there are interests, there are hobbies. There is music, tv and relaxation. There is too less time for sleep. There are thousands of unique pictures to be archieved every year, hundreds of articles to be read and reflected on and sometimes archieved. Many real talks instead of small talks have to be done, many ideas have to be evaluated and clothings need to be ironed.

The Facebook-idea is a great business idea: to make money with advertising and selling games. That’s why I’m not surprised to have a lot of my screen’s space occupied with those things. I’m not happy about this but as Facebook is a free service I have to accept it or look for an alternative. Well, I’d really be ready to pay for a good service, for the same reason I pay for a good software. Even I expect to get paid for my service, otherwise I would get starved and die.

In order to make these readable I summarized what I like on Facebook and what not.

Things I like:
(1)
Any contribution about oneself.
This could be just an info or a thought, a special picture or any other selfmade creative content.
I saw my friend’s picture with the Eiffel Tower in Paris and I (and many others) liked it. It considered it as a modern way of a greeting card from a trip.
Another friend usually expresses her thoughts in a philosophic and sometimes poetic way. These sound often like general words of wisdom but they reflect his or her personal situation and that’s why I appreciate them. Collecting these writings would be a good way to preserve all that effort. I think in old days somebody wrote notes in a notebook or diary and next generations could have cherished them or they could have been published as a book. Nowadays I fear that many of the things we create digitally will go lost one day.

(2)
Useful forwards.
It’s hard to say what is useful or not. Usually I think if somebody forwards something with his own comment then it is probably useful. The forwarder should explain why he is forwarding this, for example how he is concerned with this or his option about this.
I seldom see this kind of posting.
One example could be a cooking recipe that one tried and now want to share it with others.

Things I don’t like:
(3)
Advertisements or commercial activities.
These are things like:
o) Sharings that are actually advertisements.
o) Friendship requests from commerial oriented pages (“ThisPlacePropertyForSale” likes to be friends with you).
o) Advertisements with names of your friends
How does this come? Facebook places advertisements at the right-hand columns. That’s their business. But why are you people clicking on Facebook’s advertisements and “Like” it? Are you getting paid for this? Or are you proud of doing so? So you are an instrument for Facebook. It’s ok if it’s ok for you. On the other side, as a consequence, I and probably all your friends get an advertisment with the message “your friend xxx likes product yyy”. Would you like to get informed about all products I “like”? Probably not, because we have different interests. When I need information or recommendations about products I’d probably ask your directly at the right time.

(4)
Publishing picture of me or, still worse, tagging pictures showing me.
When I like to show something about me then I want to decide myself what, how and where to publish.
I regularly take pictures with the choir I’m a member of and at events of our community. And I know most people want to see their pictures on Facebook. They often jump before my camera and say “Facebook, Facebook”. When I take pictures with the choir or any group that voluntarely pose before my camera we have the understanding that those pictures probably are placed at Facebook. On the other hand I have friends who don’t want their pictures be shown on Facebook. When I take pictures at bigger events there are a lot of stolen shots or people in the background. Then I often hesitate to publish those pictures. As a compromize I select the good pictures, that are the pictures where all persons are shown in a positive way, or the ones that can be seen documentary… and the rest I put in a private place for example on Picasa and distribute the link for it.
Most people are not aware how public their contributions are.
And most don’t know that your personal pictures are protected by law. And it is not allowed to publish them without your consent.

(5)
Publishing pictures en mass.
It’s boring seeing dozens of pictures showing the same situation (like people at lunch).
Instead of dumping your camera’s memory-card select the few really good pictures and comment them.

(6)
Uncommented forwards.
Why are you forwarding a youtube-video showing a cut-out from a tv-show showing somebody playing piano?

(7)
Invitations for games or other applications
Example for games: Diamond Dash
Example for other applications: 60photos (creates posts like “YourFriend voted NICE on OtherFriends’s photo”)
Technically both are the same: applications or programms. Good things originally. But usually if you want to your them they request you to surrender your personal data stored in Facebook to them. What for? And I think many don’t know what is the consequence of first giving their personal data away and second to make mass invitations.

(8)
Automated friendship requests
Under the “friends”-icon Facebook offers an option “find friends”. There it “supports” you in making friendship request: you have to enter your user and password for your email-account and so you allow Facebook to read your address-book and Facebook generates a friendship request (invitation) for you. That’s nice, isn’t it? Would you allow me to read your address-book, too? Probably not, why would you like to see to whom (persons, companies, …) you are connected? Not enough, if I had access to your email-account I would be able to read your emails. Even if I had only an unintentional glance at the subjects of your emails I would know you a little bit better.

Things that I consider as neutral:
(9)
Facebook’s advertisements. It’s their business. If I don’t want any ads than I have to choose another service, probably one that needs to be payed. How much would it be worth for you?

Even writing this articles costs time and hence money.

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