Why does facebook make you hate people you know?
I do generally find that most people I'm not actively great friends with at the moment tend to annoy the shit out of me with either bragging, illogical nonsense about things like politics, or just passive-aggressive teenager posts. I see friends post good content sometime, but honestly it seems more and more rare. I'm not sure if people are worse at posting or if its that these type of posts have worn on me and I've gotten more and more annoyed by them over time. What has it been like for everyone else?
Well, people are like that. Our brains kinda blur the world together and, without realizing it, our brains map other people onto our own experiences so we think people are kinda like us. Except they really aren't. Really, really, really aren't. In every day interactions, we gloss over, ignore, and excuse little things that don't gel with us (without even knowing we do it). But being presented with their innermost inconsistent idiocracy in writing, in our face, and in our pockets -- it's too much. We start to realize they aren't us. They are them. Them ain't us. And we can't stand it.
It's the same reason sharing an office with someone possessing your exact anti-personality will enrage you daily. It's the same reason visiting a highly population dense foreign land where people live by their own customs will begin grating on you quickly. "Stop exploding fireworks on my front door you irredeemable kids! I don't care if it is your yearly festival of annoying neighbors into threatening you with axes!"
Two solutions: get much better (more complete, more self-actualized, more authentic) friends or tune them out. They're the same they've always been, but being exposed to every one of their inner most thoughts will drive you batshit insane.
Reading your whole post, I think you mean 'more exactly like your favorite part of yourself', but otherwise, spot on. On FB you have to listen to everything everyone says to everyone, not just what they would choose to say to you to accommodate your sensibilities.
What I find really interesting is that this communication model is a totally novel one. Clay Shirky observed that before the internet, all communication mediated by technology was either one-to-one (telephone, telegraph) or one-to-many (newspaper publishing). Only now with Facebook can we type up casual remarks that are instantly seen by potentially 100 or more of our real-world acquaintances. I can't think of any form of offline conversation that's analogous.
This is exciting to me because it suggests that how Facebook works is not the final form of online communication. There's still plenty of room to discover new forms of interaction that more closely model what humans find comfortable. Maybe the secret groups discussed in the OP (which I'd never heard of until now) are an example of that.
[90s Valley Girl] ... [Richard Dawkins]
I'm sure people cluster around ranges on the line. The stereotypical self-obsesed pinhead probably wants more people to reinforce his or her introspection and less talk about the world. They want celebrities, gossip, sales at stores, and shoes, shoes, shoes. The other end of the line probably doesn't want those things.
I think the opposite is more likely to be problematic. People who aren't like myself are more interesting.
I think on some level the narcissism that Facebook encourages (look at me, I was here! My new shoes! A car we rented in Vegas! Look how drunk we are! On a plane to Hawaii!) especially for those that are not our close friends (and there's various debate about what our cortex is designed to handle in terms of social group siZe, and we all exceed it on Facebook) triggers jealousy, or perhaps just disgust at what we consider an over share.
However for people closer in our social scene, we don't experience the same level of turn-off, especially if we were involved in some of their activities etx.
That being said in my feed I rarely get people posting links or political issues, it is mostly banter between friends and photos which reflects my social circles really.
I don't know if I like the twitter-ification that is being suggested as something 'better', but personally I dislike the 140chr soundbite because I think it kind of encourages dumbing down of issues and in many ways for social activities is even more narcissistic. But this is just my take on it, clearly millions of people think differently.
Which brings up another point- if so many of us dislike these services, why do we continue to use them?
I don't even know where to start on that one.
1. Pseudonyms (or first-names only) are allowed and widely used. So there's less expectation that your Twitter social life has to match your offline social life.
2. The asymmetric follow model. You can follow someone without them following you. You can unfollow someone and then change your mind and follow again without them even noticing.
Combined, the dynamic of Twitter is that you follow based on interest, whereas on Facebook you friend based on acquaintanceship. That produces a pressure to be interesting.
I'm not a particularly heavy user of either Twitter or Facebook, so please weigh in if anyone thinks I got this wrong. But this is why they feel different to me.
Personally I think Facebook - and similar services - are a manifestation of Mob Think, and little else. Its an 'associative' function, building associations. Unfortunately, association is not the only form of reason - differentiation, identification too - and where these "beams get crossed" is where Facebook tries to sit.
If Facebook died, all I would have to do is send an email to the important folks in my life informing them "Please use email. This is the cc:, this is what its for. This is the bcc:, this is what its for. Here is how to add an X-header in case there is something special we need. Also, GPG." Probably it would cost me a week of question-answering, but I'd sure love to be rid of Facebook forever, personally.
People are noisy, especially when they 'think' that folks are listening. Facebook is a proxy for friends who don't normally pay as much attention as we'd all like, and the sad fact of the matter is that most of us don't ever get as much attention as we need from our social sphere ..
But if I check email right now, I can come back and see the same emails that I haven't read yet, a week later, sitting in the same approximate location.
Also, umm .. really, this: "Unlike e-mail, people can join the conversation without an explicit invitation."
.. just doesn't seem quite right. Ever been on a proper listserv?
Actually, your observation - and don't take it wrong, but I think you got it .. not .. quite .. right - is fascinating. You actually have it completely inverted, in my opinion - is this because you learned to use Facebook before you learned to (properly) use email? Not trying to be offensive, but this inversion seems pretty obtuse ..
No, but it makes me despise people I used to know from my youth/school, because apart from one person who became a reporter in Africa with a strong eye for justice, ALL OF US have become such mediocre, boring squares. I now understand where the spineless adults I used to wonder about come from, and that is depressing. They're us! D:
Fb the way it is now distorts and influences interpersonal relationships in a bad way, and this is why I use it with moderation (or mostly for business or advertising-like activities), reserving meaningful social interaction for other channels.
Important issues in the world? I don't want to think about that because it will make me sad.
Oh look my friend is drinking on the beach? LIKE.
The best part is how predictable it is. I definitely refrain from posting "important" things if I know people would react poorly because they aren't just straight feel good garbage, whereas today I'm in Hawaii and posted a pic of the beach and it got a ton of likes. It makes me feel like people become accepting (read: ignorant) of sad stuff in the interest of liking every pretty, fun, positive thing they see.
The only difference was that G+ started with private circles, and later added circles which could be shared and public communities, whereas Facebook started with the "let it all hang out" model and then grafted privacy on later. The problem with this, though, as Randi Zuckerberg discovered to her discomfort, is that like security, grafting privacy onto a product design afterwards is fraught with peril and often doesn't work well (if at all).
That's not actually correct history. Facebook started with most data visible only to your friends, and gradually increased the visibility (given default settings) over time. You can track the changes here:
Also, when Facebook launched it was exclusive to Harvard, and then to Ivy League colleges, and then to all colleges, and even for a while after they opened it up it was still mostly young people. Your friends list was a closer match to your peer group. So it's possible that the audience people used to get with a friends-only post a few years ago isn't all that different from the audience you get with a secret group today. I remember when I was first finding out about Facebook around early 2009, it had the distinct feel of a private social club.
I think the reason people are not moving off of FB to G+ is because of the groups. These secret/closed groups are heavily organized and ingrained and it is practically impossible for people to make a move to anywhere else. These FB groups are like Yahoogroups (the old fashioned email listserv) which are still going strong as far as I know.
I am in a highly organized secret Facebook group mah-self. The thing is that this highly organized quality means that they could jump anywhere if they really wanted to. Perhaps you "semi-organized".
Basically, I think lock-in to any social networking pretty much has to come through a group disorganization, through the fact that a given setup works for some members of the group but these members are not so committed that they'd actually jump from one group to another.
But there are other factors, I think G+ only has traction with early adopters. By starting at Harvard, Facebook itself spread from high-social-prestige people to the rest of us. G+, for whatever reason, may be spreading the same way but that kind of effect only works with the tenuous connections you want to have with people who aren't wholly committed. The cohesive connection you with people in a set group don't require any given medium to happen.
Anyway, personally I'm not going to G+ due it's even-more-draconian-than-Facebook anonymity policy (Facebook's policy is pretty much that they only say they care).
The only thing I see here is the ability to add a nicknames - your "alternate names" - to your "real" name. That is not at all the same thing.
Edit: Comment on the page - "I'm sorry, but the only difference I see here is that you're now listing the nickname field on the hovercard and profile. I see no substantive policy change. Fame was already an obvious and hypocritical exception to the policy; now you're just open about it." That's what I read.
But that's not really a game changer. Whether you are at FB or G+, if you are using pseudo name to protect your identity, than you are rendering yourself useless because you can't be hiding and expect to be networking authentically with the people you know for real. What would make sense for FB/G+ to provide is the ability to have each person choose his/her self-identity based on different situations, i.e, provide complete autonomy to the people on how they wish to portray themselves to the different sets of people. I can be a real name in front of my family and co-workers, but at the same time, projecting and sharing different sets of updates based on who am I sharing with. At the same time, I can be a pseudo name in front of the strangers and/or people I may only know online.
It turns out this is extraordinarily difficult, and if users think they can maintain this separation using a single account, and then they get burned, they are very likely to blame the social network involved. Which is a pretty good reason why the architects at FB or G+ would probably think very, very carefully before implementing such a feature.
I've known a few groups which have survived / persisted across multiple platforms over the years. In one case, migrating first from one hosted forum to another, then self-hosting, then that imploded, a "temporary" forum was constructed (and persisted for years), and finally the original self-hosting platform was resurrected.
Bits of the group survived all of that.
What didn't survive were several members (death trumps all social stickyness), and some political and group-dynamics interactions, including a few fairly spectacular flame-outs. But a core element has survived.
If a group were, as a whole, to decide that FB was no longer where its interests were best served, then a migration elsewhere would be trivial to arrange. Despite my own interest in archives, it's not the depth of social media history that matters so much to most users as the breadth of now. Facebook is where "now" is for most people, though this could change (and has for all prior social network giants of the past: Geocities, Usenet, Orcutt, Xanga, The WELL, ...).
I joined this local car club group, and there's literally hundreds of people every day posting up pictures of their cars asking for... swaps. SWAPS?! This happens in the real world?!
On more investigation there's local groups like "Under $50"... to "Under $1000" - and my gods, they're soooo suspect.
I can understand why they're a big part of people's lives, because they've got a wealth of content!
I recently closed my FB account, and it was exactly because of: “Twitter makes me love people I've never met; Facebook makes me hate people I know.”
Not the Twitter bit as I don't use it, but the FB part was exactly what happened to me. I just ended up loathing almost every one I "knew". So, coupled with the constant rumblings about FB's privacy attitudes and all that, I closed my FB account. However, the reason I ended up loathing all my "friends" was because of the secret groups. It was in the groups where I began to really not like them. But it is true that the vast majority of my FB time was spent in those groups.
So, I go with the initial point, but also agree with the parts that are supposed to disprove it.
It's a bit like lucid dreaming. I don't know how often I've heard "what, other people can't control their dreams? Really?" :)
The classes are small (6-15 students) and we all get along really well.
On the first day of each class we create a secret group for the quarter so that we can discuss readings, assignments, and our opinion of the lecturer.
We all keep our laptops open during class and the group serves as a running commentary on the goings-on.
I can't imagine why you'd want a truly secret group otherwise. Not just closed, where non-members can't see the content, but secret, where non-members don't know the group exists.
// Edit: I'm also in a private group for computer-related majors at our school, kept private so we can talk about stuff we don't necessarily want getting back to administration. (Weak security, but better than public posts.)
It's not really secret in the sense that we try to keep extremely high levels of privacy on it, anybody can ask to join.
The secret group has a lock on its tab and says "Secret Group - Only members see the group, who's in it, and what members post". No one who I am friends with knows I'm in the group aside from people in the group. Not sure what more to say - it has a wall which is somewhat active, although content was better and more diverse when the group started, now it is mostly 1-2 boring friend-of-friend chatterboxes. It also had a chat room, although Facebook killed group chat rooms a few months ago.
There is actually no technical way possible for having a truly secret group.
Just don't go on when people are around.
BTW, the analogy of bank website isn't equally applicable because people don't hang out at their bank websites most of the time.
I created a FB page called "I Live Prograaming" and played with FB ads, which gave the page about 1000 likes in a short doace if time, a few years ago and the old format for pages worked quite well for a community, which timeline destroyed. We (three others were helping me at this point) discovered that groups are actually exactly what we needed.
We started creating groups and each turned into fairly active communities, seeded from our growing page. We found the demography of our groups matched that of our page, which seems obvious but found it interesting.
We have many that are secret with hundreds of members - past a certain member count you are unable to change this setting with your member's privacy as the reason against , which makes a lot of sense.
Our format is fairly simple: I Love X, where X is anything technical, which began with I Love Programming.
Some groups hold over 200 members each and there are groups for most common programming languages and platforms (I Love C is fairly popular).
I'm not trying to plug though, I've refrained from linking, but more to show a full picture of what the article refers to.
Facebook, for me, had been a great way to build a community based around my passions.