In a recent L.A. Times article, the author cites a report which estimates that Facebook lost nearly 6 million U.S. users in the month of May. The numbers were gotten from Inside Facebook, a site that tracks Facebook and the Facebook platform for developers and marketers. A spokesperson from Facebook, while not addressing the exact numbers, stated that the company is happy with its traffic.
Whether Facebook is growing by leaps and bounds or losing users faster than I’m losing my battle with gray hair makes no difference to me. My biggest concern with Facebook is why I keep seeing ads for wrinkle cream, walkers, AARP, and wine. Wait, actually, the wine one is good. I mean, I’m only thirty-eleven! Some of those ads are just insulting.
I, like most of my friends, have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Here’s why . . .
LOVE/HATE reading updates 1 of 9We LOVE to update our status with such exciting tidbits as "It's hot today", "I'm so bored I could watch Toddlers and Tiaras", and "You'll never guess what my precious baby did today". However, we HATE to read that same stuff from everyone else. We don't care what color your bra is, or that it's your cat's birthday , or that junior just went number two on the potty seat.
LOVE/HATE friend requests 2 of 9We LOVE how we're able to connect with that great friend we lost touch with after high school. But we HATE getting a friend request from the kid who sat next to us, eating paste in kindergarten. There's a reason we're not still friends with him, and his friend request hanging out there makes us uncomfortable. Do we accept it because we have eleven friends in common? Or do we reject it because, according to his profile, his hobbies still include eating paste.
LOVE/HATE stalking 3 of 9We LOVE being able to stalk our ex and see what idiocy he's up to now. Stalking people on Facebook is one of my friends' favorite pastimes. But we HATE wondering who's stalking us. It's disconcerting thinking about the people who are creeping on our wall even while we do the same thing to others.
LOVE/HATE advice 4 of 9We LOVE the ability to put a request on our wall and get responses from friends. I've asked my friends for the name of a reliable car mechanic, a good math website so I could learn enough about fractions to help my fourth grader with her homework, and their opinions about articles I've written. But we HATE getting unsolicited advice from busybodies who think they know it all. I don't need someone telling me I should cut my hair or that my outfit makes me look fat. If we wanted that much advice, we'd ask grandma!
LOVE/HATE the like button 5 of 9We LOVE that little blue "like" button that lets us acknowledge our friends' updates without taking too much time away from our pressing schedule of watching The Office reruns. But we HATE that everyone on the face of the earth is begging us to like their company, site, product, service, or update. And we feel obligated to like it because twenty-two of our friends just liked it and they can't be wrong. Besides, we feel sorry for the company pleading with us to like them. They're like the shy girl sitting on the sidelines at the school dance, just hoping someone will like her enough to talk to her (or click the little blue button).
LOVE/HATE pictures 6 of 9We LOVE being able to select only the very best photos of ourselves. You know, the ones where our hair and make-up are done and the kids are all strategically arranged in front of us to hide our fat hips. We HATE when someone digs up that old picture of us from high school with the 80s Aquanet hair and a unibrow, and tags it.
LOVE/HATE time 7 of 9We LOVE to login to Facebook, don't we? Every day, we're compelled to see what's new. Whenever I get stuck with something I'm working on, Facebook calls to me like a Siren and the procrastination begins. But with addictive games that suck you in, oftentimes 10 minutes on Facebook turns into 2 1/2 hours. And although we might enjoy a game now and then, we HATE to see our wall covered in announcements that you just bought a cow for your farm, or answered a question about us so we can waste more time unlocking the answer.
LOVE/HATE updates 8 of 9We LOVE writing updates that crack us up and showcase our awesome comedic talent. Updates like, "I walked outside and stepped on something cold and wet and squishy. Now I have to cut off my foot" and "Clay took a bite of dinner and said, "This tastes like a raccoon." Not sure where he's been eating, but I'm pretty certain raccoon's never been on my menu." But we HATE it when we write something stupid like, "I may have to make a chocolate run. I mean, go out to the store for chocolate. Not have the runs because of chocolate. That would be gross. Not that it would stop me from eating chocolate or anything. Okay, I'll stop talking now."
Facebook losing users? 9 of 9If Facebook is losing users, it's fine by me! That only means less boring updates to read, less friend requests from 30-year-old guys who live in their parents' basement and play video games all day, less advice, less tagged pictures of you from the 80s (I swear Hammer pants were in back then!), and more time to work. Wait, that last one doesn't sound like a positive; let me rephrase - less people will be sending you virtual flowers, throwing virtual milkshakes at you, and virtually poking you.
images: Flickr, morgueFile, stock xchng
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