Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Toward Better Social Networking
Recently, I read that Facebook will be getting rid of its Share button. Like will be the new Share. One less button doesn't seem like a good idea to me. In fact, I'd like to see many more buttons besides Like and Share.
I've been on Facebook for about a year or so. I've read posts of my friends and there are some common responses I've had, but rarely type. I'd like to have a button for each one. Here are just a few.
Bigoted button. People tend to say things on the internet and expose their hearts and minds in ways they never do in real life. It can be wonderful to read those thoughts. It can also be very disturbing. I think I've managed to get rid of all my Facebook friends who turned out to be bigots. But even the nicest people sometimes end up with nasty comments from their "friends". An official "that's a bigoted comment" button would help immensely.
Racist button. See the discussion on Bigoted button.
Very Cute button. Sometimes I'm in the mood for one of those "my dog/boy friend/cat/hippo/etc. is so cute" photos and comments. I just want to hit a button that says that.
Funny button. I don't want to type out haha. I'm too busy laughing. Just give me a button please.
Brilliant button. Brains should be lauded. It's too embarrassing to be gooey with praise in text. Just let me click on brilliant.
Unoriginal Left/Right Wing Tripe button. You get a lot of rants on Facebook. People type derivative thoughts whose origins come from Ayn Rand/Karl Marx/Frank Rich/Glenn Beck/wherever. Yuck. A simple click to call them out on it would be useful.
Boring button. No I don't care that you got your haircut or your car is in the shop. We need a little button to warn of clutter.
Congrats button. People do something good or get some award or have a kid or bowl 300. They deserve a quick huzzah huzzah click.
Enough With the Self Promotion button. Yes, you're trying to get ahead in this world. But I don't care. I'm not going to buy your book or see your movie or go to your show just because you ask me. We need a button to put these self promoters in their place.
I Wish I Had Your Brains button. Some people are just plain brilliant not only occasionally, but most of the time. They deserve their own button.
Off the Meds Again Are You button. When someone goes postal and pulls a Charlie Sheen, a flood of people hitting this button might bring them back to reality.
Now that I'm in the swing of things talking about improvements, there is also the issue of "friends". I'm having a hard time with this friends business. I have some real friends and relatives on Facebook. But most of the people aren't and never will be real friends. It's doubtful that I'll never meet them. Some, even though they are "friends", seem more than a little scary to me and I know, while they are interesting, I'd never want to meet them in person unless I had a flack jacket and a bodyguard. We ought to be able to make real distinctions.
Friends - these are people you know personally and like.
Enemies - these are people you know, don't like, but somehow ended up as a Facebook friend.
Frenemies - if you're on the fence about someone you know, you ought to be able to declare it.
I've Never Met You But You Seem Interesting - there is a supreme difference between knowing someone personally and having internet based exchanges with someone. This category is for someone who seems cool, but you've never met before.
I've Never Met You And Never Want To - sometimes you do wonder if this person you have as a Facebook friend is a potential axe murderer. It should be duly noted.
You're a Hero of Mine - I like this better than just Fan. Nelson Mandela deserves more than fandom, for instance.
I'm sure that if you've read this far you can think of your own improvements. I imagine that Facebook - given that it is not very versatile - will die in the next couple of years and be replaced by something else. Who knows, maybe you and I can work together and make the next Facebook. If our "new Facebook" takes off, I know just the person who should play me in the movie version, too.
No, not Jesse Eisenberg. We've been there, done that. Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up.