"Having spent an hour going through the overnight stuff before I go to work, and finding about three things where people actually SAID anything, instead of sharing inane pictures in the hope of winning a competition, or 'clever' and 'funny' links, I can feel a new blog coming on."
That was my (probably ill-advised) post this morning on Facebook after spending an hour sifting through all the crap that now fills up my news feed overnight. It certainly got a few people offside, caused some offence, but there were more positive comments than negative ones, so that's okay. When I joined Facebook it was awesome. Suddenly being back in touch with friends I hadn't seen or heard from for years, from all over the world, was, quite simply, amazing. I'd log on probably twice a day, and have conversations with people in the UK, or leave comments if they weren't logged on. Back then it was simply a way of catching up on gossip, hearing good news and bad, and also suddenly realising you could even swap and share photos.
Of course it was great to be able to show off where I now live too, though that probably got a few people offside as well. I seem to be good at that. Doesn't matter. What mattered was that there was this awesome communication tool, and, of course, the more old friends you tracked down, led to more, and still more. It's clever stuff, it really is. Or was.
My friends could also see that I was in a better state of mind and body than I had been for a long time. (I referred to that at length in my previous post, we won't go back there now.) I was back playing music, and (how good is this?), I even ended up playing bass for an old friend in the UK on one of his tracks. Here's a photo (by Eric Lehtonen) and the T-Shirt (thanks to Ian Bannister) to prove it. I digress of course, I'll get back on track. The point I'm trying to make is that back then FB was a great communication tool. I remember when some of us actually set up a "group" of selected members to swap stories. That was pretty groundbreaking stuff at the time, at least we thought so. Now I'm busy extricating myself from groups as fast as I can. I keep getting added to them without consent. I hate that.
There's a lot to dislike about Facebook now, not least the fact that a lot of people don't actually say anything at all. Nothing. Rien. Nowt. They obviously think that by sharing stupid pictures (like this one) they're looking clever. They're not. Because that's actually all they do. They don't say anything. They leave comments maybe, lol, ROTFL, IMHO, and stuff, but they aren't conversing. When I post something, probably once a day, I want it to actually mean something, to commemorate a birth or death of a famous musician perhaps, or to prompt conversation. That still happens, but the majority of posts are just memes like this.
How offensive is this? It's meant to be funny, but when you've seen it a thousand times it's just horrible. I've had so many friends die of cancer how can this be considered remotely amusing? And my news feed is full of this shit. So... I'm busily "unliking" as many things as possible, despite the almost hourly requests to "like" this page or that, and clear my news feed of any distractions. I'm trying to get it back to how it was, where I just see posts from friends without any of the other stuff. It's an interesting exercise, but it has to be done.
Finally, I can't actually do without Facebook. It's too useful as a communication tool still, and I use it to fix gigs, and keep in touch with family and friends. It's still awesome, but it's out of control. I somehow doubt that this will be one of my more popular blogs, but it's my bit of the internet and I'll do what I want with it. I'll finish with a little gallery of crap. Is this really what you want to see, or would you rather talk to people? No contest.