Is Facebook & It’s Marketing Tricks Getting Old

by on January 27, 2017

in consumer

facebook

I don’t know about you but I am very slowly getting tired of Facebook, the antics they pull with your feed and the things they allow to happen in and around your own account. From security settings of other users impacting my own feed, to memes that trick you into commenting or sharing, to FB making it so everyone can see everything you post and like. If you think about it, if everything you saw posted on FB was an email from a friend, would you only reply with an emoticon or a big thumb? Or would you actually engage in conversation? Then again, this is the era of Twitter, where 140 characters very well seems to be our digestible tolerance on the web these days. No one wants to commit any time to things any more.

Facebook…  You used to be able to log in, look around, say hi to folks here and there, post a few things to your feed or your page ( or to pages, if you run pages) and the like. But of late, it’s become more the chore to log in and navigate the bullshit that is Facebook.

Facebook is a communication tool, laced with so much advertising and marketing lures that it has over 1 billion users daily, and it makes about $35 million a day off these various practices. And here I thought Pokemon Go’s million a day was good money for an app!!!

If you step back and look at it, we step right in it with everything that goes on within Facebook, and the other day, I had some inspiration, stepped back to look at what I was doing on or with FB and made a choice, for now, to step away from my personal feed.

FB lures users into a kind of “see me” mentality, as we get carried away or lured by the psych of FB.  If you think about it, users get baited into reposting and responding to memes or “digital dares,” that “test your knowledge.” Users get baited with “National Enquirer-like” headlines that are open questions or unfinished sentences. And we’re sucked in by these social media distractions and tricks. And OMG, have you seen the crap they call “math” these days in the FB memes?

And as we post about our day-to-day lives, users also find themselves empowered by the likes and comments of our digital friends. Or, become digitally empowered.

When you dwell on it, to some degree, posting is like writing letters to friends to let them know how we’re doing. Every day. But then why don’t we just fire up the email app, put in a few dozen email addresses, (or in some cases, about a thousand emails) then start going on and on about what we did today, with pictures!!!??? And send that instead.  And do that every day!

Facebook can be a very useful communication tool. It’s like live email.

The one thing I reflect on is that with all this sharing of your friends friends friends post, that your security settings are only as good as the people you are connected to and a lot of people out there do not take the necessary steps to protect their own profiles. And thus, your own profile can be at risk to some degree.

Which is one good reason to lock down your profile or keep it updated with bare minimum content. For one, I’ve discovered using lists to keep your posts to only the folks you want to chat with!

Psst: Then there’s the potentially scary aspect of where people tell the world when they’re not going to be home. The potential is minimal, but still, why not say something AFTER the event. Not before or during?

I’m not sure if the continual posting mode is good or bad. If you lock down all your permissions to just family, and don’t find yourself hopelessly scrolling through Facebook like’s it’s your TV remote, then FB becomes useful. And stops being a time sink. But when we start surfing FB in search of things that we’re not sure what it is, well, it worried me when I noticed myself doing it. It almost feels like an addiction of sorts.

And I started wondering if everyone out there in FB-land wants to keep seeing my day-to-day crap. The crap I think is funny to me, or as I started noticing, the crap I thought was important that my friends “should” know, well, is just noise. And most of this stuff isn’t stuff you really sit down and talk about with everyone. But my first guess, considering most people don’t get my sardonic sense of humor, is NO, they may not care enough. They’re just being polite when they click the ‘FB like’ button.

Hell, my sense of humor is such that I’m constantly getting my intent misinterpreted by people around me. Or used to.

A while back someone once posted on FB an interesting aspect:  Why just click like? Why not add an engaging comment instead? With that in mind, I found it hard to add engaging commentary with everything I was ‘liking.’ That had me thinking about what I was liking and what other people were liking on my feed. Think about it… what do we all have in common? If it’s only FB, then all we have is just a digital social connection and nothing much more.

Think about it this way: If you sent out an email talking about events in your day, (like a post), and the only thing you got back was an emoticon for a reply, does that seem right? Nope…  no one has noticed but my friends list is now half of what it used to be.

But we are all caught up in the cycle. And Facebook loves it.

Of Course There’s The Facebook Angle Itself:

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of my news feed getting switched to “Top News” multiple times a day. You would think they know, after I keep resetting it over and over and over, (about 150 times a year… yes, I kept track for a year) that they would get the idea. Nah, they don’t care.

Then there’s the volume on videos, where they always start out, being set to 100% volume in the app. Take a clue from YouTube FB… leave the volume where the user set it to the last time they interacted with a video. It’s obviously an easy task to program. Well, at least for YouTube.

I am tired of commenting or liking comments or events or posts and having everyone in my friends list see my activity. To be honest, I don’t want you seeing that I liked or commented on an ‘Underwater Basket Weaving’ page. It’s none of your business. If I wanted it to be your business, we would have talked about it.  But when I comment on something then have another “FB friend” that has no business involving themselves in MY conversation, it gets frustrating and distracting. It also feels intrusive and now a days, I’ve not commented on many things because I don’t want others from different circles injecting themselves in a particular different circle of my FB life.

But we’ve become accustomed to interacting with everything on FB. And FB does not provide the functionality to keep some online interactions private. What I comment on or what comments I like is public record, whether I like it or not.

Because of how FB handles my interactions, I’ve started private groups so it can’t only be seen by everyone on my ‘friend’ list what I’m doing.  So thanks for that FB.

I can’t stand the numerous nudges in my feed that say, hey, you might know these totally unrelated, giant boobed, tight bootied, unknown people. Seriously FB, if I wanted to be friends with them, I would be. If I even know them. And 99.9% of the time, I don’t.

I keep saying (Clicking on an empty promise) that I want to see less of these suggestions… so I have taken it upon myself to decrease my exposure to them. But I keep getting nudged.

Even though we’ve managed to turn off the “top news” crap a few times a day, it seems to have been replaced by “Sponsored posts” of crap I don’t subscribe to. Sure, I can click on the ‘I want to see less’ option of this crap. But the reduction of these posts just are not happening.

Facebook marketing tactics on page owners

And I am NOT EVEN going to go into all the noise and bulls* they hit you with if you run a Facebook Page. Holy crap! It’s never ending to the point of digital harassment. As soon as you post something like the example above, they start nagging you to ‘boost’ your post. And unless you’re a big business entity, your page wont get too much traction otherwise. It’s been proven time and time again that after enough time, only about 10-20% of your subscribers actually continue to see your page updates. (Unless they interact with it or you.)

Friends of mine may or may not have taken note that I’ve been silent on my own personal feed of late, only commenting on things I’ve seen out there on other people’s news feeds when I cruise the ‘Book! I’ve been surfing but not posting. I’m sparing my connected peeps. But I have been living it up on my FB page for this site. Like I used to on my personal feed.

Others have taken note that I’ve been paring down my friends list. By quite a bit. But between friending folks in the heat of a common moment or by an outside mutual interest, you have to be real about this. Some folks have a thousand friends out there. And as FB culls your feed’s availability, it seems senseless. So I started paring down folks who never engage my feed, that we never chat, or those one-offs that we really have nothing in common with each other.

Then there are those who are prolific in posting memes or play games. There are a few ways to minimize their content on your feed. At one point I had about five friends that populated 70% of my feed with their online posting.

To minimize this content, you could unfriend the crazy poster. But that’s extreme. Unless you never talk to them. Or you could bring up their profile and stop following them. And for game updates, you can block ALL FB GAMES. Clue: You have to do it one game at a time, but it is so worth it.

Yep, FaceBook knows best, and culls your feed of page posts and friends updates if you don’t interact with them as often as they think you should. Interacting means liking, sharing or commenting. So if you have 1,000 friends, or like 1,000 pages,your feed will minimize your content and you probably won’t see more than 5 or 10% of what you’ve liked or who you are fiends with. You will stop getting updates. Thanks FB.

Every now and then I’ll open up my friends list and click on each and every one of them to see what I’ve missed. But I don’t do that as often as I could or should. Again, paring down the friend count is good for this too.

Account Security

Another good reason for paring down your friends list is your security.

Since a user’s online presence is only as secure as their FB friends and friends of my friends, well, then a profile isn’t that secure. Again, a feature from FB and not a ding on my ‘digital’ friends.

And remember those FB games? Have you ever used one of those games/apps, whether it be a game or some kind of utility? I don’t subscribe to any of these on FB because they all ask for access to my profile and my friends profiles. But when you have a few hundred friends and some of them jump on board all these games and apps, well, there goes your information, off into FB lala land.

I’ve taken to hiding my birthday. 

curline

I’ve locked down my profile so you can’t see what pages I like or when my birthday is. (Remember, a birthday is great little detail in the steps to identity theft.) Also locking down what I like helps keep things to a minimum for personal data scrapers.  It is none of their business that I like basket weaving pages, what sports I might be following (Curling can be a very suspenseful sport!!!) and the like.

Aaand I keep my profile fairly barren of extremely personal data.

Yea… I hit a threshold and I have my Sister-in-law (SIL) to thank for that. She made an interesting move just after the holidays that said,

My New Year’s gift to myself will be taking a break from Facebook. I have already deleted it off my phone, which I have with me most often. We’ll see how long it lasts! If you want to get in touch, I will still check Messenger. Or text me. Thank you!

Because you see, friends will have your number and friends will communicate with text, messenger, email or heaven forbid, in a call.  (Do phones still make calls these days?)

And I’m done hoping my friends will help support my own FB pages with a like or a share here and there. It’s not their focus or concern what I’m trying to accomplish and I get that.

Then there’s the disappointment of FB and the web in general.

The logic of meme’s is a scary thing. When two celebrity women unfriend each other on Instagram and it gets millions of hits in FB posts while something to do with science or nature gets nary a look, well, that’ can be a bit disheartening. But that’s human nature.

So that’s that. I’ve been hanging out, saying hi on other posts and running my websites and pages. I’ll start looking into other platforms… seeing how Google Plus looks. Twitter might be going away, which is a shame. (It’s been for sale for a long time and no one is biting. And they’ve been reducing their staff.) Instagram might have been an option, but Facebook owns that now. So they’ll eff that up beyond useful sooner or later.

I’ll keep looking around. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll start posting again. For now, I’ll keep my pages going. Facebook has driven me to this point. But maybe it’s for the better.  Thanks Facebook.

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