Rolling Back The Years, Facebook Style

I don’t use Facebook too much anymore.

I’m actually trying to remember when I used to use it more regularly, what I actually used it for.  It was primarily a chat app, with Messenger being its most useful feature for when physically talking was too much hassle and typing on a non-tactile keyboard seemed too much like hard work.

However, I think Facebook first began to turn me off when it started messing about with the order of the timeline and introducing advertising and gaming and the like.

It is also the content that is being posted that annoyed me.  Original content is sparse on my Facebook Timeline.  It is all shares and likes, usually of memes.  They are periodically punctured by pictures of people’s kids or holidays and the odd keyboard warrior who wants to broadcast their opinion only to people that they actually know and who probably have similar thoughts anyway.

I kind of miss the days of the mundane.  Witnessing how the subject of fish goujons can bring 20 minutes of amusement to a WhatsApp group that I’m in makes me long for those days that formed my father’s only opinion on social media – “it’s all people telling others what they’ve had for dinner”.  Those days felt far more conversational to me because they were more personal.

That’s why I started to prefer other social networks.  Twitter makes news easy to read and Instagram has had a far more limited foray in to advertising.  The latter I feel also promotes original content however much people hate selfies or pictures of other people’s breakfast.

Instagram’s requirement for pictures means that its efforts to completely rip-off Snapchat make sense and make it possible to better organise what you share.  Artistic pictures can go on the main feed, (culinary) asides can go in Stories and Live for when (and this sounds like a cop out) it’s just right to do so!

Considering that Mark Zuckerberg wants to make all his products look the same, it’s no real surprise that Facebook now contains the same Stories feature.  However, on this platform, I can’t see the point.

The original bringer of Stories was Snapchat which is used by a much younger demographic and part of its success has been driven by it recording the number of consecutive days the user has uploaded.  Facebook doesn’t have this.  For me, though, Facebook bringing Stories is just an admission that it’s got its main development wrong.

Stories used to be what Facebook was for.  It used to be personal and original whether or not that was mundane, and it was more fun for it.  Now all Zuckerberg has to do is convince people to use it.

High school seemed like such a blur,
I didn’t have much interest in sports or school elections.
And in class I dreamed all day,
Of a rock ‘n’ roll weekend

And the girl in the front of the room,
So close yet so far y’know she never seemed to notice
That this silly schoolboy crush
Wasn’t just pretend.

Life goes by so fast
You only want to do what you think is right.
Close your eyes and then it’s past;
Story of my life

And I went down my old neighborhood
The faces have all changed there’s no one left to talk to
And the pool hall I loved as a kid
Is now a Seven Eleven

I went downtown to look for a job
I had no training, no experience to speak of.
I looked at the holes in my jeans
And turned and headed back.

Good times come and good times go,
I only wish the good times would last a little longer.
I think about the good times we had
And why they had to end.

So I sit at the edge of my bed
I strum my guitar and I sing an outlaw love song.
Thinkin’ ’bout what you’re doin’ now
And when you’re comin’ back.

Story Of My Life by Social Distortion

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