I do not use facebook except to redirect to my own websites and galleries. Listed are the reasons I dislike it. I will update as necessary.
1. The type is too damn small. I have no problem reading Twitter. Facebook could learn something from them.
2. Ugly, boring, corporate-looking interface. No ability to customize, unlike one’s own blog or website. Even Twitter, for example, allows you to upload your own background and customize your colors, while still maintaining its unmistakable Twitter brand. Facebook could learn something from them.
3. Baffling sign-up process. I first tried to sign up for a site for my business, Silverbeadz, and was completely baffled by it. Then I tried to sign up for my own personal page and connect the two, and…geez…seriously, I’ve been online since 1996, designed, uploaded and maintained my own websites since then, and have navigated through difficult online processes before. Facebook takes the cake.
4. It all seems pointless to me. Why is it trying to be the internet within the internet? Why not just build your own website? Or get a free blog if you can’t do that for lack of technical or financial reasons?
5. Once an item rolls off the first page, it’s extremely hard to find it again. With websites, you can have a search within that website plus menus with topics and subtopics that can help you find an article.
6. Everything you put on facebook belongs to facebook. You cannot delete anything either, unlike your own website, blog or Twitter.
7. “Friending.” It trivializes the true meaning of friend. I get friend requests from people I’ve only dealt with because they’ve purchased something from me in the distant past, and whom I’ve never conversed with more than to write “thank you for your payment.” Are they a friend? No, they are a customer, albeit a happy customer, but not a friend. Maybe they’re not even a happy customer. Maybe they just dumped their entire address book from the past 8 years into some app that sends out friend requests. Maybe they are not even aware who I am, other than just an entry in their address book. I don’t want to have to sort out who I friend and who I do not, so I just don’t use facebook. I also do not want to get into “unfriending,” either as being unfriended or as doing the unfriending. This labeling is childish. I also get friend requests from people I’ve never even dealt with on a business level or even “met” online in some capacity. Who are these people, and why do they want to be my friend? It would be helpful if the person could add a comment, like “I met you at a party back in 1983…I said I liked your artwork…I was wearing the black lace shoulder length gloves and we were the only females there who liked the Sisters of Mercy…do you remember me?” or “I bought a bracelet from you in 2007…do you remember me?” or even “you don’t know me, but we both support Wisconsin’s progressive ideals.” Yeah, that could help (maybe) at least put a face or name or at least ideology to the friend request…
8. It’s really hard to be anonymous. I signed up with a fake account just so I could test certain things not with my “real” account. Now this “test person” is showing up as “a person I may know.” Why? Because “he” visited my site? Well that’s just creepy. That means every time I’m on facebook looking at something, that info is recorded and I may then show up on someone’s facebook page as someone they may know, when I don’t want them to know I’m looking at their page! Yet, at the same time, you can’t actually monitor your visits with a sitemeter counter, for example, like you can with your own website or blog. That way you don’t know where your hits are coming from so you can figure out who’s visiting…or stalking…you. Unless, of course, they show up on the sidebar with a “you may know this person” above their picture.
9. Bits of your DNA scattered throughout the universe. It’s sort of like a Star Trek horror made real. You know, like if the transporter malfunctioned? But this is real. Bits of your identity can show up on all sorts of places on facebook because you “liked” something. That “liking” is inextricably linked to your facebook profile. So if you want to “like” something about orchids, someone visiting the orchid page can click on your name, find your profile, and find you also “like” something about a very liberal hotbutton issue, and, if that person is a right-wing conservative, can then unfriend you or worse. On a traditional blog or website, if you leave a comment, you don’t have to leave your whole identity along with your comment, unless you choose to leave a link to your blog, which would be your choice and not required. Of course, if you create a fake persona, it wouldn’t matter. But most people use their real identities to “connect with friends and family.”
10. Multi-faceted identities. This ties in with #9. Everyone knows we act differently depending on the people we are with. We allow different parts of our personalities to come out depending on whether we are with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, casual acquaintances, whoever. Online, in non-facebook environments, you can choose to mingle with these people and they will never know about the other people in your life if you want it to be that way. Not so with facebook, unless you set your privacy settings on high, or don’t participate in certain facebook pages. But that is hard to do if you are part of the facebook culture. Whatever you say and whatever you like on facebook shows up on your facebook page! If you comment on The Green Bay Packers on someone’s non-facebook blog, it will NOT show up on your own non-facebook blog, so your elitist American football-hating friends will not think poorly of you for that. You can keep that secret cheddarhead part of your identity secret from your English soccer-loving online friends on a real blog. Not so with facebook. Everyone knows everything about you, what you like, what you say, who you friend (unless you know how to set privacy settings, and let’s face it, most people don’t.)
11. It is absurd. You know that “test person” I created to test out certain things on facebook without being logged in as “me?” He got a friend request! Yes, my fake person and the “friender” do share a last name. But he is fake! He cannot be the person’s relative! Oh look, that person shares a (fairly common) last name! Let’s friend them! Look, that person likes organic gardening! Let’s friend them! Hey, she also likes Trader Joe’s! Friend request! WTF.