Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The socialness of social media

Our professor surveyed the class yesterday to see who produced content for their Facebook accounts. Only a few hands shot up. I didn't raise mine. I don't write Facebook status updates and rarely post pictures, and aside from sharing the occasional blog link and clicking "like," I rarely put content up there.

It's strange because I love reading and looking at content other people post. Facebook is my favorite social media to casually peruse, but for some reason, I just don't really like contributing to it. And I think many of my friends feel the same way.

My unofficial, purely conjectural reasoning for this is that A) we are lazy. Posting pictures and statuses to Facebook takes quite a bit of thought and work. It requires the skills of a writer and editor, lest you look stupid or silly in the eyes of 1,000 close friends. And B) I'd argue that Facebook feeds are becoming platforms for click bate articles, serious news discussions and political conversations.

Scrolling through my newsfeed, there's an announcement about a concert, an article a friend linked about police guns that can now spy inside people's homes and one about current events at Duke and UNC distracting students from their education.

Facebook isn't for posts like "got new glasses!! yay:)," which I wrote on November, 11 2009 as a sophomore in high school.

People are turning to social media, specifically Facebook, increasingly to learn something new--not to post about a new pair of totally rockin' spectacles.

In a way, maybe social media is becoming less social.


  1. I think social media has its place in society, in getting long-lost friends back together, but it takes some of the surprise-factor out of class reunions. Before Facebook (and others) you had to wait 5 or 10 years to see what your former classmates look like, or what had transpired in their lives. Now, you know what they had for dinner, what they bought at the grocery store, what time they go to bed, etc. etc etc.

  2. It's also very dependent on who your Facebook friends are and how they are using Facebook. Sure, I get some news articles coming across my newsfeed, as well as the "click bait" junk that I just ignore or hide. I also see a lot of photos come across my newsfeed as well: friends' children, grandchildren, etc. And if some friends are participating in what's making current news, I'll see their selfies come across my newsfeed as well. Facebook is, as in all things, a YMMV platform.

  3. Yeah definitely. I think the Facebook experience also varies based on age. My generalizations about Facebook may not be reflective of greater change in social media, but maybe it's just me that's changing. Maybe college is the time you "outgrow" posting pictures and statuses on Fbook. Thanks for your insight. It's a truly fascinating topic.