Why do we all still put up with Facebook?

I’m dipping back into one of those cycles where I’m disenfranchised with Facebook again. Why? Because so many people are just that awful.

Facebook is, by and large, an entertainment platform. Instead of watching TV or reading a book, some people cut into that time with Facebook. So much so the phrase “I have to check Facebook” has entered everyone’s vernacular. But why? Why on earth do you need to check Facebook? I also need to check my bank account from time to time, but I don’t do it twenty times a day. “But Justin, your bank account doesn’t change as fast as Facebook!” Maybe, but it sure doesn’t feel that way sometimes.

Facebook brought most of us into the social networking realm. A lot of us had MySpace pages, but I think most of us gawk at Facebook more — and that’s strictly because Facebook brought good design to social networking. Remember when you had to sit through a MySpace page with a green background, yellow text, two videos playing simultaneously and some shitty pop song you never heard of playing in the background? That offended my sensibilities, so I blocked it out.

Now, Facebook’s content is offending my sensibilities. I don’t block hardly anyone, but I unsubscribe or hide a lot of people. Play Facebook games? You’re gone. Post song lyrics all the time? You’re gone. Post sappy poems and bullshit “feelings”? You’re gone. Post vague nonsense like “That was fun!” or “Can’t wait until it happens!”? You’re gone.

You have to agree with one sentiment: none of that crap matters. Why does anyone want to see that? I certainly don’t.

Then there’s the other side of the coin, when people post things of some level of substance, but it’s completely and factually wrong. Particularly when someone posts crap they heard on FOX or MSNBC. This Occupy Wall Street stuff is overrunning my stream. The other day someone posted a photo of a woman complaining the bank is making her pay $300,000+ on a house she bought even though it’s only worth $91,000 now. Really? Maybe it’s because she bought a fucking house for $300,000 and the bank loaned her that money? Signatures and contracts were traded. Deals were made. You were there! But I digress.

But why anyone would want to consume this stuff at all hours of the day is beyond me. It’s all just stuff and people I’d mostly rather forget. I have just under 400 friends on Facebook and now that I’ve hidden so many people, I see, maybe, 70 or 80 of them. And a tier of 20 or 30 generally dominate the whole place.

“But Justin, why don’t you just close your account?” I’d kinda like to, but feel I need to keep it for some reasons. It’s good for keeping my name in front of clients and potential clients, and I get a lot of traffic to sites through Facebook. That pains me to say it, because it suddenly makes me feel like some crummy marketer.

I’ve hooked my Twitter account back into Facebook so I can just tweet and get it cross-posted to Facebook. I did that once before but disabled it because I thought it redundant for people who followed me in both places. But now I’ve reached a tipping point where the duplicate followers are in the minority. I have a highly curated list of about 100 Twitter followers who say things that are actually intelligent. They don’t necessarily follow me back, but Facebook missed the boat on being able to read things from people who haven’t “friended” you. They just now introduced the whole “Subscribe” gamut.

For me, Twitter shows me things that are likely to be true, useful, relatable to me. Not just how many imaginary beans you you pretended to faux-grown in your make believe farm or pictures of your kid. (I *really* hate that  — how would you like it if I posted photos of my cat all the time?)

Plus there’s that whole slew of privacy issues Facebook keeps bumbling over.

Aside from me commenting in responses to my cross-Twitter-posts on Facebook, don’t expect me to hang around here much. Or, just follow me over on Twitter.

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Photo of Justin Harter


Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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