The FB Challenge

This is my first blog post of the new year here at FR, and I’d like to take the chance to say that I hope everyone is having a great year so far, even having to deal with Snowstorm Ion. We were very lucky and didn’t get much fallout from the storm, but it did do one thing: It brought me back to my battle with Facebook’s news feed and posting issues.

I like to think that I am semi-intelligent, or at least functional, but at this point I’m beginning to wonder. I like using FB, but it does present a constant challenge to keep up with who can see what and where stuff is posted and how people can friend you and all that jazz. It has allowed me to connect with people I would have never met otherwise and also with people from my past that I would have lost track of if not for FB, so I’m not one of those people who says F-U FB and who complains about people posting what they eat for lunch or pictures of their kids winning yet another award or those reposts of ridiculous urban legends that debunked years ago. These are the kinds of things people share with others, and it is, after all, a social network. I know I’ve posted my share of these kinds of updates, so I accept them for that without complaint or exception or I’d de-friend the posters.

However, I noticed a while back that I kept seeing status updates of about five friends and that was it. These were not necessarily people I wanted to check in with. Then one friend I’ve known forever sort of disappeared completely, and I thought she’d de-friended me. However, she hadn’t. Like many of my other friends’ status updates, hers no longer appeared in my news feed until I went in and clicked something—Heaven knows that I can’t remember what it was now—and her updates started showing up again.

This is important to me because in addition to the people from my past I’m glad to reconnect with, I’ve also connected with some people who became my friends in moments of nostalgia for the good old days or because even though they may have been obnoxious or snooty or whatever, they seemed to have really changed and truly had a desire to be friendly with me. Some of them truly had changed, but I’ve discovered some of them never will. Unfortunately, 90% of my news feed, when it’s not winnowed down to a select few by some FB gremlin, is these people, the people whose updates I could care less about because I know they’re BS. I keep asking myself how this keeps happening if I never interact with these particular friends—how in the world does FB’s algorithm actually work?

I’m still trying to figure out that problem, and by doing so, I discovered another problem. My most recent status updates have been visible only to a few people who are on a list—one of the lists that you can create to help manage your friends—that FB generated, not me. Therefore, everything I’ve been posting has been visible to only about three people who apparently attended WikiWaki High School. I’d begun to think I was so boring that no one wanted to comment on what I have to say. Turns out that only a few people even saw what I posted because somehow my default got changed by yet another FB gremlin, although probably one in a different department.

I’m still trying to get FB to do what I want it to do—aah, a challenge for the new year—so I’m signing off for now. Please do share your FB stories--good or bad--in the comments section. Next week I’m hoping to have some information on my latest re-release that I’m very excited to share. Until then, Happy Reading!

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