Tuesday, May 06, 2014
What's Not to "Like"?
The reason I'm seeing each of these photos is that one or another of my Facebook friends (who actually knows the people in the photo) clicked the "like" button on it, and Facebook, in its infinite quest to link us all together, has decided that each of us needs to know what our friends "like." Against my will--and probably yours--if you're my Facebook friend, my nose is all up in your business.
I'm not talking about status posts that friends wrote or photos they posted. I want to see those. Those are the reason I signed up for Facebook in the first place. Nor am I speaking of things friends decided to "share." If it meant enough to them that they wanted to call attention to it, then, by golly, I'll give it a look. I just don't want to have to search through a page full of random posts my friends have "liked" in order to find the things they intended for me to see.
Facebook shows those "liked" posts anyway. There is currently no way to opt out of seeing all the "likes" while leaving the status posts and "shares" intact.
Why is this a problem? Well, for example, one friend really likes cat pictures. I don't mind one or two cat pictures, but a news feed full of them is way too many. A male friend "likes" photos of swimsuit models, so those show up in my news feed, too, even though swimsuit models are definitely not my thing. Some of my friends are talented artists and craftspeople, and I enjoy seeing photos of their work. Those friends, of course, "like" the images that their friends who share the same interests post of their own work, so I see those photos, too. Another friend (bless her heart) recently experienced a betrayal. When she sees a pre-made graphic or slogan related in any way to broken trust, it resonates with her, she clicks the "like" button, and voila! There it is on my news feed. Sometimes there's a long string of slogans and images on that topic, and, frankly, that's kind of a bummer. All those "liked" posts add up, and it takes a lot of time to filter through them. But wasted time isn't the biggest problem. It's the photos of "friends of friends" that bother me most. I feel as if I'm invading people's privacy when I see those pictures, yet there isn't a doggone thing I can do about it.
The flip side of this hasn't escaped me: I realize that posts I've "liked" (mostly because I really did like them but occasionally just to be polite) must have contributed to the clutter on my friends' news feeds, too. I sincerely apologize for that, but this time the buck stops with Facebook.