Too much Facebook is not good

01 November 2016

Facebook is a great tool to keep contact with family and friends all around the world. It's also a good way to find somebody you just met at a party or an old friend with whom you lost contact some years ago. However, I find Facebook has a much worse impact than a good one and I think we should reduce our usage of it.

I went for some days in the mountains in France and as the Internet connection wasn't very good, I didn't use my computer. However, I was really fine not going on Facebook. After I came back, I got to see that Facebook has spammed my email box with emails informing about my contact's activity. But, only partial information like "John Doe has shared a picture" and that's all, I would have to connect on Facebook to see this picture. It is of course a way for Facebook to bring me back on the website as it had detected I haven't logged in since some days.

Actually, Facebook biggest revenue comes from advertising and for this to work the company needs people to see the adverts. So it is understandable that the social network is keeping on trying to get you on the platform, so you can use it and see the adverts. However, spending all our time on the platform is not necessarily good for us.

One issue I have with Facebook is that it allows too much interaction between users and the platform. It happened that someone of my contacts added me to a group, without asking me, which looks very much like some scam where cars are being sold for "free or very cheap". So, I got notifications about the Facebook group activity, even though I didn't ask anything. The problem here is that you can easily get submerged with useless and unwanted information and filtering everything takes time.

The previous point raises another point about people's behaviour. In the above case, it was one of my contacts which did the action of adding me to a scam group, not Facebook. Therefore, I think we should educate people about the Netiquette in order to allow us, users of social networks, to interact with healthy relationships and to not be overwhelmed by all these interactions which becomes unmanageable at a human level.

Even though I just pointed out that Facebook is especially a tool and that in fact it is us which are making a bad or a good use of it, the Facebook company has also its role. When Facebook sends email because a contact posted a link unrelated to you, because a friend has its birthday, because you may know some people and would like to add them as a contact, etc. the company is keeping on trying to make you interact with the platform. Facebook is stalking us because it wants us to keep using its services and interactions between contacts are a good way to retain its users.

Now that I have highlighted some issues with Facebook, I will not end my blog post like this. If you also have these issues or similar ones with Facebook and you can't just stop using it, I would recommend each of us to change our way of interacting on Facebook and to begin with some basic rules:

  1. Do not invite somebody to an event or a group before asking
  2. Avoid worthless information like cats, memes, "which Harry Potter character are you?", etc.
  3. Respect people's privacy: if someone is talking to you via private messages, you may not spread its messages to other people

PS: Words in bold in the blog post may explain you the idea behind Qowala