Recently I decided to calculate how much time I spent on Facebook in a normal day. It came out to be about an hour. This includes the time it took me to read articles from sources I follow. I then tried to decipher how much of that time was spent sifting through crap that wasn’t relevant to me but Facebook put it in my ‘News’ feed anyway. That was about 15 minutes. So one quarter of my time on Facebook is wasted sifting through ‘News’. I use the term News loosely. It should be named more accordingly to Tabloid Feed on some days.
A while back at some point, I realized Facebook was becoming more of a chore than an enjoyment. I hid a ton of people that didn’t contribute in a positive way to my day, I unfriended those that I really didn’t know that were negative contributors, and I sorted on Most Recent so I could quickly scroll until I saw something I recognized and knew immediately that I was up to date. This efficiency allowed me to return to Facebook, get what I was after and move on without wasting too much time.
Prior to Facebook, I used an RSS feed to get my updates from sources I like. RSS feeds come in sort of like email. I can quickly scan titles/subjects, decide if it is of interest and read or skip. About a month ago I decided to add the pages I liked on Facebook to my RSS feed and compare what I was shown in Facebook vs. what was being published on these websites. Sites like searchengineland.com, searchenginewatch.com, moz.com, etc. The articles published by these sites are important to me because of my job. I quickly learned that Facebook wasn’t showing me every article they published.
Sometime back, Facebook announced to Pages that Posts would no longer be seen by 100% of their ‘Likes’ unless the Page owner paid to boost the post. There was still a way for me to choose to see all posts published by certain pages. I did that so I wouldn’t miss any relevant updates. Facebook has recently taken this option away meaning they now control 100% of what I see….and they’ve stopped showing what’s important to me.
I’ve been off of Facebook for about a week now with the exception of going only to see if I’ve been tagged in any photos/posts, or have any messages. I’ve interacted only with those posts. I really thought I’d miss it but I don’t. Which is even more disappointing. So I’ve set Facebook up to email me when I’m tagged or have a message so I can be alerted when needed. Otherwise, I don’t really plan on going back nearly as often.
I uninstalled the app from my phone months ago when auto play videos came out and never updated the app on my ipad so I don’t get the auto play videos which will turn into auto play commercials if they haven’t already. I did install FB Purity within FireFox so I could disable auto play videos and other advertising crap within Facebook. I realize they’ve gotta make money to cover their costs but since they were forced to go public the user experience has gone down hill IMO. I just hope that someone is working on a better product.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook for being able to share photos with family and friends, reconnect with old friends, and stay connected with colleagues. And I probably will go check in on those groups from time to time. I’m not going to deactivate my account, since I will be checking back. And I’m sure when I go back to Facebook my Tabloid Feed will be sorted by Top Stories instead of Most Recent once again and showing me comments by people on things that are completely irrelevant to me.