Matt Honan as an interesting article on Wired that illustrates exactly why I left Facebook a few months back. He spent two days “liking” everything he saw and the end result was that his entire newsfeed became a giant clutter of garbage. While that should come as no surprise, what is disconcerting is how Honan’s “likes” began cluttering the feeds of his Facebook friends:
While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behavior would have on my friends’ feeds. I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous. My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers.
That first night, a small little circle with a dog’s head popped up in the corner of my phone. A chat head, from Facebook’s Messenger software! The dog turned out to be my old WIRED editor, John Bradley. “Have you been hacked,” he wanted to know. The next morning, my friend Helena sent me a message. “My fb feed is literally full of articles you like, it’s kind of funny,” she says. “No friend stuff, just Honan likes.”
This is exactly what began happening to me. I “liked” almost nothing on Facebook, but my newsfeed was becoming increasingly cluttered with the detritus of what my friends liked. Less about their families and photos of their vacations, more and more about what band of the 70s they were and what shampoo they enjoyed.
I’d like to say I miss Facebook, but I don’t. I miss the real, personal updates that helped keep my finger on the pulse of my friend’s personal lives, but I don’t miss the trashed-up news feed at all. And I’m never going back…