Saturday, November 5, 2022

What I have never understood about Facebook.

As we all question the future of Twitter, with its quirky new egomaniac in charge, one can't help but look to Facebook as an alternative social platform, that old place full of old folks and those who just never got Twitter. But, to tell you the truth, I've never gotten Facebook.

For example, Facebook tells everyone its your birthday. A hundred people are motivated to type the words "Happy Birthday!" almost like it was a button they were voting with. It could just as well be a button they are voting with. Similarly, someone posts a selfie of one of their better looks and it gets a hundred "How cute!" or something similar repeated, making you think it could have been a button. And a part of me, sounding very "Scrooge McFacebook," goes "Why bother to express exactly the same thought someone already expressed? That's not very interesting." 

I don't type those reactions, of course, because that would be mean.

But, it's a stormy Saturday morning, and I'm feeling a little argumentative today, because I actually saw a Sherlockian question answered in that same way on Facebook, and I didn't believe everyone who repeated the most common answer was telling the truth. In fact, I wondered if they were influenced by the preceding answers to join the crowd, expressing enthusiasm for that particular answer, rather than actually thinking about the question.

Here's the other thing I hate about Facebook, though: It's organization is so messy, its algorithms so wacky, that I often cannot find something again once I leave the site and go back. I've learned to screenshot anything of importance that I really want to revisit the details of, which is hella crude and pretty stupid, but at least I can be sure of being able to see the thing again.

So I can't really quote the thread I'm mentioning above because I have lost it already, and I don't want to be imprecise in making a point that's apt to irritate a few folks. And, really, why irritate them anyway? Being a troll isn't any fun, and my opinions aren't that precious that they have to all be expressed.

But as we await the culture changes of Twitter, we're probably all going to be reconsidering our likes and dislikes of our online spaces. Sherlockiana is its own headspace, and the fans of Sherlock Holmes have built communities on places not all of us visit in the last decade or two, even as the core leadership of traditional old-school American Sherlockiana was purposefully avoiding all online spaces. "Victorian values" or something like that, even though e-mail replaced actual letters in the post. 

Where do we go from here? On a blustery Saturday morning, I sure don't know.


  1. I've been hoping that something would create an opening for a new, less shit platform than Facebook or Twitter. Maybe this is it. Former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey announced a beta program of a new social platform, Blue sky...I'm not super-hopeful that this will fix anything, but at least there's a new player on the field.

    Also, I noticed the same thing and felt bad subverting the innocent question with a silly pun, so I answered honestly.

  2. Oh shoot, that was me. Don't know why it defaulted to anonymous.