For myself and others one of the most unappealing parts of both Facebook and Twitter is the way they try to improve by being more like each other.
I have been shielded by the bulk of the effects of the Twitterverse by taking some specific steps to avoid the bulk of their “exciting innovations” like Lists and their official retweets. Though in truth Twitter’s own rejection of third party clients all the way back when I owned a Palm Pre is what officially made them Jump the Shark in my eyes, especially when their own efforts in the client space and the website avoided simple functionality that others provided like shrinkification….
Over the course of many months, I stopped FOLLOWing almost every celebrity I had been, including the ones I knew personally, for the simple but depressing reason that it turns out celebrities tend to be just like us, and maybe even a little worse when they don’t filter through their publicists.
I’d rather keep my illusions about celebrities as kinda heroes. It’s the same reason I unsubscribed from the Huffington Post and why I don’t watch TMZ.
For me, Twitter is pretty much only about announcing my blog posts, these days at least. As I unFOLLOW more, I might eventually find Twitter more generally useful again, though probably just the Windows Phone client and not the damn website.
Facebook, on the other hand, was much more insidious with its LIKEification, something I kinda realized but never paid enough attention to. But almost in the reverse of the Muddy Waters lesson of not missing your water until your well runs dry, you don’t realize how hard it is to unLIKE things on Facebook until you really try do it in earnest.
To be clear, I’m not talking about unLIKEing a comment or a status update that nobody ever sees again — I am talking about unLIKEing all the movies and books and television shows and bands and songs and so on and so forth.
I never realized it would be a challenge until I resolved to unLIKE almost everything the other day.
At first it was easy, as I could go to the Facebook website and see pages of things I LIKEd in each category, ripe to be unLIKEd, at the careful click of the left mouse button. But then something happened….
I unLIKEd all the books that were listed, and yet even the website claimed that I still LIKEd 40 books. And the same thing was happening in other categories, including one that were not as willing to be listed, especially.
In the end, I had to manually unLIKE the bulk of the groups and pages and so on whenever they popped up in the Facebook feed, whack-a-mole style, with just a few exceptions, such as
• Samantha Ronson, because she is such a truly amazing DJ/singer/songwriter that every time I saw her was an honor and a privilege, and
• Worlds Of Fun, the Kansas City amusement park where I met the young Naomi Dennis wearing an unforgettable red tube top.
I also started unFOLLOWing people who were no longer Facebook friends, and in a small number of cases unFRIENDing people who were basically not people.
Suddenly I am seeing more of my friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in a long time. It is almost a whole new Facebook. And it only took a ton of unLIKEs to get there….