Facebook on the Decline

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by GadgetBen, Mar 2, 2016.


Have you seen a decline in Facebook activity?

Poll closed Oct 2, 2016.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Don't Use Facebook

  1. GadgetBen, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

    GadgetBen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2015
    Attempting to explore the psychology of Facebook and how it messes with your head. (I have a BSc in Psychology, UCL)

    So I've been using Facebook socially since 2007. The first stage was to get as many friends as possible, get a digital camera and catch up with my friends who were sharing their photos online. Back then it involved a digital camera and USB cable, time and effort. You had to be skilled and willing to contribute online. At times, the uploads could take quite a few minutes, especially with Albums.

    Back then I had over 300 friends because I made friends with everyone and anybody that I kind of knew. Sometimes I would meet people at Uni and add them because I had spoken to them for 10 minutes. It was all about gaining friends and sharing for popularity. Everyone was publicly available on Facebook and there were no adverts or Corporations. No clutter and a simple timeline.

    Over time, I got tired of the public display of acclaim and I got tired of the people commenting on my posts that I would never speak to or ever see in person. So I unfriended many people and I'm now down to around 90 people.

    90 Facebook friends, but at least 30 I wouldn't text or meet up with. So again, I'm starting to wonder why am I sharing my life with people that I still wouldn't meet up with? For recognition or sympathy outside my inner circle? Maybe. It’s always nice to get a like or two sometimes for an opinion or feeling.

    But here's the thing: Recently I have seen that my friends and I are posting once a day at most. (It used to be two or three times a day). One of these posts is normally personal and the other posts are the same crap that we always used to share by email. Spam posts if you like.

    But now, things are changing. Where before we would all like each others posts, now we are all receiving or contributing less to 'likes'. That means that most of the time, my friends and I are posting topics and no one is liking or responding to them.

    This for me makes me wonder what the point is for Facebook anymore? I get more responses if I text my mates directly. More responses from text than from using WhatsApp and FB messenger. So what is the point of Facebook anymore? It has become so much more corporate related. Dozens of news corporations are trying to get your reaction to adverse stories to create a stir and drum up the emotions. Gone are the days of the simple timeline. Now you can scroll either down or up it doesn't matter, the so called ‘timeline’ becomes a random feed from a complex algorithm spying on you. Try it yourself; I see a story I like but then and I scroll the other way (down) for a moment, only to scroll back up and find that the story has been replaced with something else that I might find interesting.

    So the reality now is that all of my friends are still sharing posts, but only rarely do many people like them. Counting likes, most of the 90 friends I know used to get an average of 4-5 likes last year - per original post. This year, its down to 1-2. That has to mean something on the grander scale?

    Please share your own thoughts and experiences of Facebook. Just Facebook for the purposes of this thread.
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    I barely post on Facebook anymore. And my friends who still do, I Barely read what they do post. How can adults still think it's fun to post pictures of food or check in five times a day on your vacation? We get it, you're on vacation. The younger coworkers I have use Facebook not nearly as much as we did and have moved on to other social apps, some of which I haven't even heard of.
  3. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    What good is it for? Messenger and Groups. The free for all that is the timeline and all of that other silly **** is just useless noise.
  4. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    I'm friends with a married couple who post everything they do together. I think to get the likes and the gushing comments: "oh, you two are so happy together," etc. There is something desperately sad about it, like they're trying to convince the world (or themselves) that their lives are perfect, which makes me wonder what sort of marital issues they're really having. It's also really boring to read about people making cookies.
  5. The Clark macrumors regular

    The Clark

    Dec 11, 2013
    Victoria, BC
    Closed my account over a year ago, and once you get passed all of the "Omg why did you close your account?" BS life is so much better hahah. I'm no longer worried about what people are up to, and how I should be spending my time. I just do what makes me happy like I did in the good ol' MSN days.
  6. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    I didn't realize how stupid my family and friends were until I had a Facebook. That's why I stopped using it.

    I LOVE reading about that!
  7. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I don't use it as much. Mostly I'm on Instagram because it's just a simpler and more specific experience.

    The majority of Facebook experience, and my 400+ so called friends, is mostly irrelevant noise and musings from the insipid. Lots of pseudo intellectualism and simplistic and immature world views coated in layers of confirmation bias.

    Why would I want that in my life?
  8. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    FB is like the Internet itself. It's a platform that people use to gain access to something. Most of the Internet goes unseen, people don't care about it. They go to the same 20 or so pages and ignore most of the rest unless it's a new story or something of interest.

    Same with FB. Of the 1+ billion people, how many has anyone ever had contact with? It's what 0.001%?

    It's information overload, it's a whole bunch of 'who cares'. It's the 'we did that' of a generation.

    Ask yourself a question: What does FB do today that is fundamentally different from what it did 10 years ago?

    Much like the Internet, what does the Internet do today that is fundamentally different form what it did 10 years ago?

    It's become a platform that's been around for a long time. We used to post to message boards in the 80's and discussion groups (like this one) now.

    FB is like all these message boards (forums) but MUCH less effective. Who reads your posts? Your friends (and the NSA :D). How many reply in a meaningful way?

    FB has value because it's a very large platform. It's like the Internet is to forums. Imagine if all the forums were on the same system where everyone went, that would have HUGE economic value for advertising.

    One interesting take is that FB became popular because it was free of cost and spam. Now, to make the money to justify their value, they have to spam their people on a platform that hasn't changed for 10 years.

    Ask yourself, how many people respond in a meaningful way to your FB posts?

    FB could become the cassette tape player of yesteryear, people then had one, most don't use them anymore.
  9. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I love Facebook as a newsfeed from numerous sources. Posting? No. Not really.
  10. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I have flip board, Google news and Apple News and it's without the moronic commentary people swear is poignant.

    I've unfollowed so many feeds because I don't want to hear it. It just validates my Suspicions that most people are vapid, uninteresting, and poorly informed. At one time I at least got cool vacation pics. Now it's a link to some ****** blog that someone thinks is news.
  11. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    When Facebook launched I took a wait and see approach. A few months later as most of my friends joined I decided to take a look at the site. The first requirement before you were allowed to enter, was to give your name and email before one could see anything behind its nondescript greeting screen.

    I thought What? They won't even allow me to look around before I join? So I happily navigated to another site ignoring Facebook altogether. One of the only people that passed on the experience, I'm so glad I did.

    Over the past year I've read many articles about the detrimental effects of Facebook on a good portion of its users. These all make sense and combined with a shrinking subscriber base as young people leave it for Snapchat and other popular social apps the long term prediction has Facebook fading, shrinking slowly but surely.
  12. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2014
    Facebook: The ultimate narcissist identification system.

    I signed up. Three days later this psycho chick I hadn't seen or heard from in some 20 years found me and tried to friend me. I deleted the account five minutes later. Haven't skipped a beat since.
  13. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I haven't logged into my facebook in over a year I got tired of the politics and complaining from friends and family. I do like G+ though as most of the FOSS community is on that and I can follow their public profiles and keep up with the highlights of whats going on without the detail of the mailing lists.
  14. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    I don't post very often on there but check it daily as I live a long way from most of my friends and family. It's a nice communication tool and helps you feel you are in contact with those far away.

    I think people need to remember that it isn't Facebook that is rubbish, it's only as good as the people you are friends with. You can tailor it to be as useful or interesting as you want it to be.

    Many outside a forum community also wonder why we waste our time chatting and arguing about mobile phones lol. This in itself is just another form of social media.
  15. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    I remember when FB freaked me out. Someone that emailed me on my web based email that I never allowed FB into, came up on my FB "people you may know"

    They took my email list without asking and they started coming up in FB. I wasn't at all happy with that.

    Remember, we give FB all the value that it has.
  16. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    An alternative I do enjoy is Reddit. Every topic is sectioned off into its own space. If you WANT to see topics about gaming, join that subreddit. If you WANT to talk politics, join that subreddit. If you want to SPECIFICALLY talk about politics pertaining to socialism, join that subreddit. etc etc

    It's fun because it's all about the discussion, without the baggage of the known identity.
  17. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    Haha great comments in this thread! I still have an account but my usage has declined tremendously. Main reason: I find I am a lot happier when I'm not on it.
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    I personally only use Facebook to accept invitations from friends that send me things on there.

    However, observing my friends last night, they scroll through any couple of seconds they have free. Constant stimulation is the name of the game now. The scary thing, they click on pretty much every ad dressed up as a article or listicle.

    So from a user's posting standpoint it doesn't matter, Facebook is serving it's purpose exactly as designed. It is nothing more than a convenient advertising and data collection platform.
  19. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    Agreed. Reddit is tremendously useful.
  20. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Santa Fe, TX
    I use Facebook as an advertising platform for my personal business and it has helped considerably with the sponsored post system.
  21. Ashka macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    With kids, step kids & grandkids plus family & friends scattered around the globe, Facebook is very handy for keeping in touch. We can all see the kids as they grow up and it keeps the oldies in the loop too.
  22. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I think Facebook got too big. It was too much.

    I like the separate social apps that have a built-in limitation that throttles the amount thrown at you. For example, on Instagram, there is a certain unwritten rule that you shouldn't post more than one or two pictures per event; so rather than posting an entire album, you have to pick the best one or make a collage of the best few. On SnapChat, the content is on a self-destruct timer, so it can't be that important. On Twitter, you are limited to 140 character that makes scrolling through a long feed quite quick. All of these mechanisms force the user to narrow down their content to only the elements they really want to share, without anything extra or superfluous.

    Contrast those with Facebook, where people post essays and albums with hundreds of photos.
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    I like Facebook. It's a handy tool for keeping in touch with friends and colleagues who are spread across the globe.

    I've muted the idiots and those who overshare, plus these days it seems like everyone has figured out how to post one good photo of an event or occasion and have stopped just dumping their entire SD card onto their page.

    On the other hand, I've found Twitter to be more trouble that it's worth. And, I'm too old for Snapchat.
  24. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    i use Facebook regularly. most of time it's about our kids and sharing with friends and family.
  25. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I love Twitter for news. Nice to get 140 character bytes from a wide variety of sources. Of course, you can't read it all. I also love it for breaking news. A great trick is to find local reporter feeds during breaking and follow them.

    I gave up on Facebook about 6 years ago.

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