I was talking to a social-media expert over the weekend, complaining to her that my Facebook feed had become totally worthless. She suggested it was partially my fault, because I haven’t been managing it well (unfollowing but not unfriending some people, setting it to receive only important updates from others, etc.), but it’s not entirely. And why should it be so much work? Here’s what’s on my feed right now: an ad (ugh) for something I’ll never buy, a photo I don’t care about, three videos I don’t want to watch, a link to something I don’t care about, an invite to an event I won’t attend, etc. My Facebook feed wasn’t always this way; I used to see funny status updates, links to interesting articles that sparked smart conversations. But it feels like everybody stopped trying. And now it’s become too popular: meet people at a party who you’ll never see again, and next thing you know what their grandmothers look like.
Compare it to Twitter: there’s no social pressure to follow people on Twitter you don’t want to follow, no shame in dropping people you don’t want to hear from anymore, and if you curate it carefully (shit you actually care about!) there are so many interesting people talking about interesting things!
And, apparently, fewer old people: “Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner,” the Post reports—”too many adults and too much drama.” So they’re increasingly moving to Twitter.
The Great GoogaMooga perfectly illustrated the divide: my Facebook feed was full of people talking about how it was cool to see a band they liked; my Twitter feed was full of thoughtful and funny people railing against the Prospect Park Alliance, using facts and figures and links to make their arguments against allowing the festival to take over the park. Facebook has become the virtual equivalent of your aunt’s slides from her trip to the Pencil Museum. It’s the boringest place on Earth.
Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart