Logging on to Facebook early this week, I was greeted with a personalized “Happy Friends Day” message, posted to mark the 12th birthday of the acknowledged leader in social media.
It came with a video clip flashing faces of my “friends” – including a couple of people I didn’t recognize – and heart-warming images reminding me of memorable moments captured over the years.
Beyond the warm fuzzy feelings it inspired, the Friends Day post prompted reflection on how Facebook has impacted my way of life and become a necessary evil in my line of work.
OK, it’s a great channel for keeping in touch with distant relatives, pals from childhood and school years, and even neighbors with whom one rarely crosses paths. And I admit to occasionally indulging in watching those videos of cutesy animal and baby behaviors, flash mob musicians performing at shopping malls and public squares and other mood-lightening stuff.
But in order to get to postings that really appeal, you have to wade through unsolicited commercial garbage, tips on applying make-up and fake nails, generic advice on personal improvement and spiritual advancement, all the other electronic equivalent of junk mail and myriad other stuff you don’t care a hoot about. Items pile up so fast that it can take hours to scroll down to something of interest that you let slip by for later look.
Is it my imagination or has Facebook become the ultimate time bandit for a lot of users? On the infrequent occasions I actually add something new to my page, it’s kind of disturbing to see how quickly some people respond with “likes” and comments. Are they glued to the screen 24/7? Don’t they have anything better to do?