Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
it’s about 9 years ago when you gave us Facebook to share news, events, love and fun with our friends. Unfortunately the tremendous growth of your network to more than one billion users has also led to a constant regression of content quality. Since more and more people have a smartphone with a camera-function, which can access the worldwide web wherever they go they seem to feel the constant need to share everything what happens to them (or the fact that nothing happens at all) with the whole world.
As a result our news feed is for 80 percent stuffed with dispensable, boring or annoying updates, which are neither fun nor love at all. The worst about this is, that we are very limited in our reactions to that kind of updates. There is only one option to express yourself: the Like-button. But simply ´not liking´ a post won’t get it out of my news feed. Additionally, the poor fellow who is posting bullshit all the time won’t get the necessary feedback that his updates suck! That’s why I plead for the introduction of these five Facebook buttons:
1. I don’t give a shit
For all these updates, which are no updates at all, because they are neither new nor relevant. Consider the following examples:
“Dinner was yummy! Now cuddling on the couch with my pumpkin…”
“If you buy our really brilliant (but useless) product now, you get 50 percent discount…”
“Here are 50 pictures of me and my friends on this really awesome party.”
“I’m going to sleep folks, good night!”
We need the ‘I don’t give a shit’ button to remind each other that our lives are not a daily soap show and that we are not interested in watching each other 24/7.
2. Get a life!
Since Facebook wants to share happiness and love, we won’t get the frequently requested ’Dislike’-button. But how can we handle friends who have the tendency to spread bad karma and insult? How can you hush those, who constantly emphasize that life sucks, the government sucks or the weather sucks? The easiest way out would be to unfriend them. But if you feel sympathy for them, because they obviously never see the bright side of life, you can send them a subtle message by hitting the ‘Get a life!’ button.
3. Tell your mother!
You passed your exam, got a new job or just got engaged? I definitely ‘Like’. But there is no need to share all the good news with the whole world. Your baby photo’s might be interesting for your family, but I am getting sick of them. I understand that your relationship anniversaries are very exciting for you and your sweetheart, but I really don’t care. And if your FarmVille cow has finally given birth… well, tell your FarmVille friends. Like a newspaper has sections for particular topics, Facebook has the brilliant feature to create groups for that kind of news. So please, be a little more selective, would you?
4. I don’t wanna know!
For many of us this might be the most crucial button. We often suffer from the illusion that Facebook is a big pub where we can meet for some private chit chat. Unfortunately this pub never forgets any conversation, so every personal detail you share has the potential to go around the world. Would you like to know if, how and when your parents have sex? Exactly! And I don’t want to see you drunk, naked or sitting on the loo. Trust me, I like you even more if you spare me such details.
5. I’m with you
After the Boston disaster many timelines are once more flooded by updates that move us but are actually not quite ‘likeable’. Certainly I want to show my support and sympathy for all the victims and their relatives but ‘Like’ does not seem the appropriate answer. I don’t like bombs, I don’t like attacks and I don’t like innocent victims. But what other options do we have to express my feelings? Time to introduce the ‘I’m with you button’ for showing support in serious matters.
6. Your request
I think that the five buttons above would improve the general quality of Facebook updates a lot. But certainly you can think of more buttons to express your thoughts about your friend’s updates. Which button would you recommend?