July 28, 2018
After yesterday’s article on Twitter and Facebook problems, we received an interesting comment from our good friend Wheatley on an issue inherently flawed in the Facebook design which necessarily increases exponentially as the use of the service continues over time.
Here’s another (not really political) problem Facebook has:
There was actually a kind of legitimate use for it in the beginning. I have family far away and it seriously was nice to be able to stay in touch with their day to day life.
I had some actual friends on there and it was fun to post stuff we were interested in and joke around.
Then lots of people from work friended me. Ok. Then people who had looked me up. Ok. Then relatives I didn’t care about, relatives of friends, etc.
That’s the problem. The longer Facebook exists, the more everyone’s friend list keeps getting bigger and bigger. You can break people into groups, but that’s precarious if you’re going to post something sensitive and Facebook never makes it feel secure. The bigger peoples friend list grows, the more Facebook becomes like trying to shout above a crowd, and the more the news feed is full of shit you don’t care about.
Then it even got so big that companies started watching peoples social media. It finally got to the point that my sister, the main member of the family I was originally trying to stay in touch with, couldn’t even interact with me because of my neon political views.
Last time I was there I saw normal people with like 2000 friends. Facebook can’t fix the problem without decreasing its user base and reducing the “network connectivity”. Without fixing the problem it just gets stupider and less usable for everyone every day.
This is something that always seemed like a type of nightmare to me, this idea of “adding friends” that I met at hostels or whatever, and mixing them with my family in a giant group communication situation. The idea of people I went to high school with contacting me – other than a few guys I was close with – is nightmarish to me.
So the entire “friends” system is probably flawed. A more sensible model would just have all individuals on a platform with their profiles, and they can directly message who they want, instead of building these friends circles where your family, friends, professional colleagues, et al are piled on top of each other.
There is also no real need for the “friends” model, other than for Facebook to make money by datamining connections between individuals.
I think it is a broken system.
I said yesterday – THOUGH THIS WAS NOT AND WILL NOT BE FINANCIAL ADVICE – that I think Facebook stock will stay down, several people I respect have mentioned that they think after the collapse earlier this week, it is currently devalued.
So, whatever. I shouldn’t be and didn’t mean to make a stock prediction. I honestly have no idea. My intuition is that this is a company that has become nonviable in the long term, but I have no real understanding of how that will play out in terms of stock rises and falls.
I’m predicting the downfall of the site on the longer term – not giving stock advice.