At least once a week, I think about opting out of Facebook. Yet with family members on the site posting photos and sharing on social media critical for a writer trying to build a public profile, Facebook has become a necessary evil in my life.
That doesn’t mean I have to love it, however. I don’t. Here are ten reasons I hate Facebook.
No, I’m not going to tell you here or on Facebook which candidate I’m supporting in this presidential election or in any election. Others, however, can’t seem to resist. Some of the messages are outright rants. Others start with: “If you disagree with me, feel free to unfriend me.” What does that say? That if we disagree we can’t be friends? Can we still have lunch?
Pop Up Ads
There is no privacy online. If you ever doubt that, then go to a shopping site and see what happens next on Facebook. Yesterday, I was looking at dresses on the Target site. When I went back on Facebook, those exact dresses popped up in my timeline with the words, “It’s all yours. Almost. Just one step to go.” I have so many problems with this. I resent that Facebook is spying on where I go online, then pressuring me to buy. And it prevents me from looking at anything online I wouldn’t want to turn up on my timeline. Toe nail fungus? I don’t think so.
Babies and Kids
I love baby photos. Keep them coming. And pictures of kids are fine, too. What bothers me is when parents brag about their children online. This is helicopter parenting to a high degree. A child’s achievements should be celebrated, but privately. Posting about your child on the honor roll or scoring that final goal sets off a competition. Think of the parent whose child is struggling in school or not a sports star. Think about why it’s important for you, the parent, to trumpet and take credit for your child’s accomplishments. Rethink before hitting that post button.
Dogs and Other Pets
I’m an animal lover. But I don’t want to see dozens of photos each day of pets doing tricks or pets needing to be adopted (usually dogs or cats that are thousands of miles from where I live).
Candy Crush and Other Games
At least once a week, I get an invitation to play Candy Crush or another online game. Those whose names are attached have told me they have nothing to do with sending out these invites. Another reason I don’t play these games. I don’t want an invitation sent to another person without my permission.
Which Disney princess are you? (What about what Disney villain are you?) What vegetable are you? (Or fruit.) Which state should you live in? (If you have to complete a quiz to decide, then good luck with that.) Who are your best road buddies? (Really?!) Which celebrity should you get drunk with? (This is just WRONG!)
Yes, we thought with the Internet these missives which tell you to send the letter onto a dozen people or risk having a house fall on you, would die. Not so. Now these are being shared on the Internet. Please stop! These posts are threatening and should not be permitted on Facebook.
This “Suggested Post” (really a paid ad) which turns up constantly on my timeline is for a company whose mission is developing “new strains of beneficial bacteria for cutting-edge probiotic supplements.” Which, I assume, they will then sell to all of us with belly problems. My problem with this post is that these videos are gross, not something you want to linger over. And judging from the comments these posts get, no one likes them. Come on, Facebook! Are you so hard up you have to accept these awful ads?
Cruising for Likes
Someone posts a photo of a person who truly is worthy of recognition, asking that you “like” his post. Or, someone asks you to “like” their page. Or their photo of a pet. Or someone asks you to comment “amen” to a post. There have been warnings online that some of these requests are from hackers and to post something could mean trouble. Amen to that.
The New Emojis
These are being rolled out with such fanfare one would think Facebook found a cure for cancer. Maybe I’m just a grouch (there should be an emoji for that), but all those silly faces and cartoons are annoying. And they allow us to convey our feelings quickly, avoiding actually writing words which, traditionally, was how people expressed their emotions. Rather than love letters, we now have the emoji with heart eyes. Imagine the great poets using lines of emojis to express their thoughts.
Sami Noto has covered the advertising industry for national publications.
Top photo: Bigstock