Why I don’t like Facebook

Those of you who have seen me speak have often heard me speak out against Facebook. I’m on Facebook, I participate on Facebook… but I don’t like it. There are quite a few things I don’t enjoy on Facebook:

  1. The navigation makes no sense to me. There are menus, side menus, navigation that appears… I get lost and don’t believe it’s intuitive at all.
  2. I joke that Facebook is simply AOL 10.0. It’s a closed system… it wants to own everything and doesn’t want you to leave. There are great sites all over the net, quit expecting me to do everything there!
  3. There are no options for personalization. I’m tired of Facebook blue (#3B5998). Let me put a style sheet on my page and customize it!
  4. Sponsored links are an endless supply of “Singles”… Single Moms, Single Christians, Singles… LEAVE ME ALONE! I’ve clicked X a hundred times, get the point!
  5. Facebook will fail (yes, I said it!) unless it can correct one universal weakness, though. The majority of my time in Facebook is spent managing Facebook… not using it. I have to ignore apps, ignore invitations, ignore events, ignore friend requests, ignore causes, ignore becoming a fan, and ignore advertisements. It’s not fun… it’s annoying.

The viral application framework within Facebook is its biggest flaw. Since I have a large network of friends, family and colleagues, I login and have an unending list of invitations. It’s ridiculous and never stops. I know there are some settings I can manage to help this… but I can’t figure out where they are. I just want to block all application requests to start.

This is just my opinion, of course! I’d like to hear yours…


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    Wow, thanks for adding to my list of why I am not even on Facebook, lol!

    I get invites from people I know, people I barely know and even people I have no idea who they are and why do they have my personal email address! Every time I get tempted (ie, nagged into making the effort), I get part way through the TOUS (doesn't anyone else read them?) and gag–"Why does anyone agree to these terms!?!"

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    I knew if I waited long enough that I'd find someone else that feels the same way I do about FB. It's just astounding that they should continue to enjoy such prolific growth. I think that there would be a lot of people that use FB under sufferance just because it's the standard icon in web2.0 property. I too would like to see it to either radically change or eventually suffer a similar demise to Internet Explorer. Whilst I'm on FB I'm continually asking myself the question "how could I do without FB and be just as effective?"

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    Doug, I agree with you. Facebook was very fun for me at first, and I loved the opportunity to reconnect with old friends. However, the newness of the "toy" has worn off at this point and I find the system has become tedious to use and manage. Like you, I have to balance where I put my time. Is it worth the time to wade through the endless "mafia wars" invitations and silly game requests? Often it is not. I still use the service (somewhat begrudgingly) but I share your feelings that they need a much more user-oriented approach. It seems to me FB has too many games and gadgets, and not enough real people connecting.

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    Progressive thoughts Doug. Even though I'm a fan of facebook I'd like to add one to the list. How about:

    #6 The lack of any sustainable business model makes me feel like FB will one day be gone in a puff of smoke.

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    I enjoy FB and have connected with a number of old friends that I'd lost track of. There's probably good reasons why I lost track of them in the first place. I especially agree with #5; it's the first thing I do when I log on: Ignore stuff. I don't want to play in a Mafia or be kidnapped and what's with the virtual farms and zoos? Why can't I sort friends by their last name?

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    I agree on all points except #3 — I consider it a blessing that people cannot MySpace-ify their profile pages. Otherwise we'd be subjected to all the gawdawful glittering backgrounds and annoying music that drove folks away from MySpace in the first place.

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    The answer is to be a paranoid android. I don't allow anyone to see my profile, only people who are already friends! Of course this works only until you want to link with someone who does the same thing. Then one of you has to temporarily undo this restriction, in order that the other can invite them…

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