Saman Shad: Has Facebook Turned Us Into Boring ‘Oversharers’?

Saman Shad: Has Facebook Turned Us Into Boring ‘Oversharers’?

The social network has turned its users into marketable narcissists.

Saman Shad, The Guardian
  • 12 october 2012

Powered by
This article titled “Facebook, can I share something with you? It’s about our relationship” was written by Saman Shad, for Guardian Weekly on Thursday 4th October 2012 12.44 UTC

It’s getting complicated, Facebook. A billion of us use you, but we are getting increasingly frustrated with you. It’s us, not you. You’ve made us change, and not in a good way. It used to be that a status update and the occasional photo was the most we’d share, and now, well now there are like, so many likes. Our appetite for famous quotes in fancy fonts knows no bounds. We can’t get enough pictures of cats snuggling in blankets. Something else happened too. We now feel compelled to overshare. We log in on just to mention the random things our children say, the stuff we ate for dinner, how our dog snored in his sleep – myriad details of our infinitely boring lives, that we feel perhaps are worthy of attention. No wonder latest Australian research shows that using you bring out the narcissist in us.

And then there is you. Finding more and more ways to use information you collect about us to make money. Lots and lots of money.

Ah, who are we kidding? It’s not like you’re listening. You stopped listening a long time ago. It’s why your users are becoming frustrated. Not only are Australians turning away from you in increasing numbers, your American users are as well. And they are dissatisfied just like the rest of us. The kids too, the ones you hoped would join as soon as they turned 13 are just not that into you. They are a bit fickle, hanging out with the newer, cooler kids on the block like Tumblr and Twitter. It’s like, who wants to be friends with their mum, you know? Because once your mum, heck, your grandma joins something, it immediately loses its appeal.

Let’s be honest here, Facebook. It’s not just about us, your users, any more is it? There are your shareholders to think of as well. And at the end of the day, they’re most interested in profits. Post-IPO is when you changed the most. You thought you could act like it wouldn’t affect our relationship. But it has. We just don’t feel as loyal to you as before and we’re a bit weary of your use and abuse of things we thought were private. And really, how much do we want to know about other people’s lives? People we may have met once or twice now seem to be linked to us only through you.

So where does that leave us, Facebook? Maybe stop trying to squeeze money out of every piece of information you have on us? Think you could do that? Wait, what? You’re going to sell to marketers more access to us? So now we can be marketed to even when we aren’t on your site. Well, maybe, just stop bombarding us with ads then, at least? Please? No?

You’re making this hard. We’ve given you so many chances. Maybe we need to change. Maybe we should start going offline a bit. Not all the time. Just a bit. Reconnect with people IRL (In Real Life). Maybe we could start grabbing coffees rather than “poking” each other. Maybe we could pick up the phone rather than reeling off very long status updates …

It’s not going to happen though, is it? You know this. You know how “busy” we are. Busy trying to keep up with lives that somehow feel empty without the interferences of emails, tweets, status updates. In this globalised economy of ours, we are increasingly spread across the world too. Through you we manage to keep updated on the lives of friends and families far away. People who, without you, we may have lost contact with. And that would definitely be a sad thing. Some families are held together only through you. Which is, perhaps, a sadder thing.

There’s no denying it, we are hooked. There will be times when we flirt with leaving you, but we come back. Mostly because you help us feel connected to people in a uniquely intimate way. So maybe Facebook, we’re just not that into you like we once were. We may still use you, but not with the same ferocity we once did. Let’s just say the passion has died and we are openly looking for other suitors. Until something better comes along, guess we’ll just have to settle, with you. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Image via PCpress


DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Eric Davich

Technology, Music

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 29, 2016

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.