So I may have lived to see the end of Facebook as a relevant social media outlet.
My friend The Viking lamented some days ago that he wished he could find a way on Facebook to screen out religious and political posts; he was just there for the throwing and family pictures. Turns out there is an app: Social Fixer by Google, which allows you (apparently) to identify and screen out posts for things that you do not want to see.
Huzzah, said the masses. Now I do not have to look at things that make me angry or sad or uncomfortable.
Oh no, said Facebook.
Why? Because if I have the ability to screen others out, others have the ability to screen me out. Part of the "sell" of Facebook was that one could connect with people: see what they saw, what they had to say. Suddenly one does not have to do that: I know that for certain things, I will now get screened out. More than likely, I will stop posting those things - after all, I no longer know if anyone is seeing what I am posting and it becomes a waste of time.
Suddenly, we have stopped sharing things. We have become no better than the bar or the workplace or our favorite organization, except with pictures. And do not kid yourself: self policing in social media becomes self policing in relationships. The term "friend" may, after many years of abuse, go back to meaning something far more than someone who accepted my request.
From what I recall at least a year ago, the cool kids (e.g. The Younger Generation) has already largely migrated off Facebook on to other sorts of mediums like SnapChat or Pintrest. Facebook is becoming the Myspace of 15 years ago, when the only people left were those invested in the process so much that moving was a pain.
I know not everyone has a Facebook account; I do, largely to keep in touch with throwing friends and family back home. But I must admit that even over this last week, I have found my interest starting to fade. People post the banal or cute pictures of pets and children (which, to be sure, are actually cute). But posting without the knowledge that someone will see?
Good heavens, I might as well be writing a blog...