Last Saturday, I was at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre taking in the fantastic play, “The Trip to Bountiful” , staring Cicely Tyson, who I am betting will get a TONY for her great performance, with Cuba Gooding Jr., and Vanessa Williams. (Check out my review in a different post!) Sitting in front of me was a twenty something glued to her Facebook page, checking it on her iPhone, during the intermission and into the second act. Had she not finally turned her iPhone off, during the second act, I would have told her to do so, as it was distracting and rude. Personally, I am losing interest in getting news feeds from people/entities (news/companies liked) I really don’t know, whereas I don’t seem to be seeing feeds from my family and friends back in Canada, which is why I signed up for Facebook. It was a great way to keep in touch with friends who live in other states and in other countries. Those who are in the same city, I try to actually socialize with “live” on a regular basis. I don’t need Facebook for this! I can also text, WhatsApp and BBM people much more directly, outside of all the in your face “noise” on Facebook. Is it any wonder that Facebook, with all of its attempts to be front and center in my life, by constantly changing its format and delivery, is failing miserably. I cannot imagine the intrusion on a Facebook phone, and I guess this is why so few people have deemed it necessary to go that route with only 1 million “Facebook” phones having been sold. I am glad that on my BlackBerry Hub, I can just ignore the Facebook messages and there does not appear to be the large volume of what must surely be intrusive “notifications”/”noise” on android and iPhone cell phones.
I’m not alone, according to Chris Silva, an analyst with the research firm Altimeter Group. As the frequency with which people check Facebook on their computers has dropped, the social network, eager to offset the decline with a bump on mobile use, has been making a non-stop pitch to get people hooked on Facebooking with their phones. Facebook hopes to show advertisers that their dollars will be well spent on mobile devices, even if their ads are smaller, Silva notes.
“There’s absolutely been an increase in frequency and perhaps even the number and type of notifications users are getting,” Silva said. “They’re trying to use these things as the Trojan Horse … to bring me into the app more frequently and for longer periods of time, which then sets the stage for having higher engagement numbers when advertisers are pushed more heavily toward mobile.”
“It’s very clear that in the last couple of months, Facebook has ratcheted up their engagement game,” Silva added.
Today, I got an unusual message from Facebook, indicating that somehow I was missed and that I should check-in to see what “so and so” was doing and look at the new “this and that” of “so and so”. I find this intrusive, I don’t recall asking Facebook to monitor my comings and goings on the site, but obviously they do, as well as no doubt check what I do on there and on other sites linked to my Facebook account.
My view is that in getting in my face (forgive the pun), by constantly changing its presence on line and on my cell phone, Facebook is like the friend that sometimes you would rather take a break from. Less can some times be so much more, quality time is more important than the quantity of time spent with people in real socialization and maybe this is a lesson that Facebook needs to re-learn, before it goes the way of MySpace. People want to use Facebook to stay in touch, and more-so with distant friends and family than those around the block from them. Uhm….Facebook, maybe you should look at a new map functionality linking friends further from each other more frequently on their Facebook page? I don’t like just always getting info on people I happen to “like” most recently. I just cannot be bothered to scroll down on the total/full miniature news feed now on the far right and look for people I really like, because it often gets stuck and seems like such a waste of my time to do so in “miniature”! So, I just don’t bother checking Facebook as often anymore.