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why facebook is trash
singapore sunset
amw
Man. I am so fucking done with Facebook. I was going to post a status update over there, but i figured it would come across as passive aggressive.

For years i have been unfollowing everyone on Facebook whose posts annoy me. Bigots are unfriended immediately, obviously, but i still have a fair few "friends" who just post too much crap: unfunny memes, blatant clickbait and attention-seeking nonsense. Unfollowing worked well until a few years ago when Facebook decided to bump up comments by your friends on people's posts who are not your friends. This is when i found out that a lot of my friends have friends of their own who are racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic deplorables. I don't tolerate that in my social circles, but thanks to Facebook it's shoved in my face every day. Out of principle i go through every single comment in those threads and report them, but that wastes a lot of my time and i'm realizing it's not a very effective protest.

Let's be real. Facebook doesn't give a shit about shutting down hate speech, fake news and other trash on their website. They don't even try to hide it from people who don't want to see it. They know that publishing trash results in their free users spending more time staring at their paid customers' ads. I am disappointed that many of my closest friends perpetuate the problem by engaging. Facebook today is little more than a sleazy tabloid that actively profits by misleading the general public, and the most insidious part is they wash their hands of the whole thing by pretending like they weren't the ones to promote the content in the first place. Bullshit. If my friend likes or comments some trash - or even someone's response to the trash - now that trash has been broadcast to my and all of their other friends' feeds. Facebook's greed has led them to cynically spread controversy and outrage as widely as possible.

Facebook is blocked in China along with several other media sites. Everyone who cares has a workaround. I care because i use Facebook to post photos and let my family know i am still alive. Yes, i pay a monthly fee just for that. But even with my paid-for workaround, Facebook is so poorly coded compared to other blocked sites that it is still almost unusable. So now it is especially annoying when a friend comments on trash and it spams up my feed. The site is too slow to even do a symbolic reporting of a couple of idiotic comments - much less the whole thread - and after watching loading spinners for five minutes i wonder why i bothered logging on in the first place. No one posts anything of real substance anyway.

When i first moved to Canada and then to Germany, Facebook was a savior because it helped me to network with people in the rave scene and find out when and where all the gigs were happening. In China no one really uses Facebook, so it's useless for that. And besides, i think the days of using Facebook for event promotion are coming to an end judging by the number of invites i get now vs 5 years ago. So what? I am sharing photos with my family and playing voyeur with a bunch of people who i never speak to. Is it really worth it? The funny thing is, most everyone i talk to says that they use Facebook exactly as little as i do. But i know better, because i see their "woke" comments on shitposts spamming up my feed every time i log on. Congratulations, friends, you have just contributed to the Facebook algorithm that realized deliberately pissing people off is a good way to keep their eyeballs on the site.

I am ready to kick the habit. As it is i only log in once every day or two, and usually only for a few minutes because trying to scroll through the updates is so painful. I was considering unfollowing my friends who engage politically, but to be honest that would leave no one active on my feed besides DJs and very old acquaintances who rarely update. Then there really would be no point.

This Sunday i am sitting HSK2. My teacher is pushing me to take HSK3 next month, though i am not sure if i will be able to memorize 600+ characters by then. But i definitely won't if i dick around on social media being annoyed at friends commenting on stuff that i am not even interested in. Occasionally i dive into a political conversation here on LJ, but that's on my terms and none of my friends are getting it shoved down their throats. I am already a notorious procrastinator. I spend a lot of time reading about politics and society. I don't want to waste more time scrolling through the drivel of the willfully ignorant. Learning my first tonal language - and a non-Latin language - is taking a lot of work. My savings are rapidly dwindling and there is a very real time limit on this sabbatical. I may have a job interview this week. In any case i need to continue the applications. I really have better things to do.

And so i will do them. Facebook is a dumb distraction from what really matters. Ranting on here has let off some steam. Hopefully i will come back and read this before i next turn on my VPN for yet another epic waste of time.

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Facebook serves a purpose for me - a means to an end. That's it, but - for me - it does mean something. Like you, I have friends and family I want to remain in touch with in various areas of the USA (and world, actually), and it's easier to do it through Facebook rather than individual emails or special communication. It's non personal, mass communication. Bottom line: I know I'd lose touch with these people if it wasn't for Facebook, because I wouldn't make the effort otherwise.

But -- it's generic communication: nature photos, stuff on our house damage, check ins, concert videos. But - I also appreciate seeing their generic stuff (like granddaughter photos!), and if I want to have a more in depth conversation - I PM or email them. I also participate in a few groups: camera club of HHI, in particular with their monthly photo challenges.

But - in the time you THINK you're saving, you spend perusing your newsfeed of things you never wanted to know to find out the few things you really want to know. It's a time eater. I think you need a timer and when it dings - go away. Priorities. Do not let Facebook eat into those.

I admit -- I don't quite understand Facebook's algorithms and what I'm doing to get sucked into them - and I might be. For me it's simply NO POLITICS. NO RELIGION. NONE. PERIOD!! If I find my stomach in a knot over some post, that's the message to immediately move on. I do not comment or "like" those posts - even ones I agree with, though it is tempting sometimes. So much (even the stuff I agree with) is questionable. I hide people who consistently flood the newsfeed with that shit. (I guess it's called unfollow now).

Priorities. Good luck on the HSK2 - and for memorizing 600 characters by next month. (Yikes!)

I understand. I also have a group of people with whom i would almost certainly lose touch without Facebook. I guess that's why some people consider them a monopoly - because it's hard to opt out when everyone else in your social circle is using it exclusively. I think your advice to just scroll past anything to do with politics or religion is sensible. It annoys me that Facebook's algorithm jams that unwanted stuff into my feed in the first place, but if i focus on it just being a means to an end - posting pictures to family and occasionally sending a message - then i can basically ignore the feed altogether.

I wanted to comment on your post a little while back where you were blocked by a friend on Facebook, but by the time i got around to it it was so old i thought my response wouldn't be worth it any more. I wanted to say i sympathize and i also find it disconcerting that some people choose to block rather than just unfollow or unfriend. Blocking seems to be some kind of weird Orwellian treatment where you can make people unpersons. I don't know if i have been blocked by anyone, but i think it would upset me more than "just" an unfriend. I guess at that point all you can do is shrug and move on.

I just read a fun article on the Graun that i thought you might appreciate, sweetmeow. It tries to link two of my interests - technology and theology - and announces a site that might be an interesting one to follow. Check it out: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/29/why-we-need-a-21st-century-martin-luther-to-challenge-church-of-technology-95-theses

I try to weed out the blantant fake stuff and the click baity headlines (I'll even post "More accurate headlines" above it). But I'm a political person - you can't help it if you're a liberal from Texas watching the whole nation drink the Kool-Aid that killed your home state.

That said, I try to liven it up a bit. Yeah, maybe the meme isn't funny, or the picture is goofy, but I need that these days. Life has become a bit dour.

I don't post the big long screeds like I used about my life mainly because my life is boring. And when it's not, this year has been full of personal tragedy I really don't think people need me to dwell on.

I do appreciate your engagement, though. I know I don't really always reciprocate in kind - but I do read.

I don't mind your Facebook updates. I like your balance of news and fluff. Also i think, given how much you post publicly, you have a remarkably "friendly" group of commenters. But i will say you are one of my friends who sometimes gets into it with other people which then yanks that whole thread of bigotry into my feed, and that is something that annoys me a lot.

I know it's not your fault that Facebook bumps other people's trash posts onto my feed, and i would never want to discourage you from fighting the good fight, but it's just not what i want to see. Ironically this feature has encouraged me to visit Facebook less and less, but i guess Facebook doesn't care very much about me because i never click on ads and report every promoted post as spam. Unfortunately i guess the biggest ad-clickers do end up spending more time if they are fed a steady drip of controversy, otherwise you can be sure Facebook wouldn't have bothered broadcasting it.

I miss you (and everyone else) on LJ to be honest. Something i can suggest... is there a way to make your private/protected Facebook posts appear as friends-only on LJ? Right now i think only your public posts come through over here, and those are usually not the most interesting ones to comment on.

Tell it like it is! and good luck on getting a job interview. I always admire your honesty, a breath of fresh air.

Thanks for the well wishes! The interview went well, but i still haven't heard back. They say they are still considering. I have another one tomorrow, but it's with a company i am not feeling too good about. It's all pretty hard on the ego, especially given that if i don't find something in the next month or two my whole life (including country of residence) is up in the air... but what can you do? I hope something works out.

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