I have to admit, when I first signed on to Facebook I was addicted. Not only did I friend every former colleague and school pal who requested me, I got sucked into that nasty ol’ Farmville. I would spend HOURS on the social media site, playing the silly little games, sending “hugs” to my friends and using the chat feature. Fast forward two years and I’m getting emails from pals asking me if I’m okay because they haven’t seen me around much lately.
The simple truth of it is that the novelty of Facebook has worn off for me. I still log in on a daily basis, but oftentimes it’s from my phone and it’s a quick “get in, get off.” The friend list that once exceeded 300 is about half that now, and the majority of those people are family members. If I eliminated everyone I don’t talk to more than once every couple of months my list would be made up of about a dozen folks. Most of my daily communication is taking place offline these days.
So why do I keep my account? Honestly, I use it as a spam filter. You see, I can “Like” a business page and get the updates that interest me on MY terms. I’m a heck of a lot more interested in the new Weight Watcher’s recipe or the latest HubSpot webinar than the fact that Suzie has the day off and she’s spending it laying by the pool.
Here’s a perfect example for what I mean about using Facebook as a spam filter. I shop at The Gap and GNC. And of course when you’re checking out they ask for your email address so they can send you info about their upcoming specials and savings. And that’s great. Until my inbox is overloaded with daily messages about their specials. Does Kohl’s have a sale EVERY day? It gets so annoying I find myself unsubscribing from their email lists. But once in a great while there may be a sale that does actually interest me. This is where Facebook comes into play. I can get that same info, unobtrusively, in my news feed. No longer do I have to take the time to open my email, read through it and delete it. If the headline doesn’t grab my attention in the news feed I simply skim on down the page until I see one that does. I also find Facebook to be a great source for news, as I follow my local news channel. From a business standpoint, there are some great company pages out there with interesting articles on marketing and advertising trends (hey, have you “Liked” the Linkmedia 360 page, by the way)?
I don’t believe I’m alone in this shift. In fact, I know I’m not. Let’s forget about my friends who are spending less time online. Last week I ran across an article put out by CBC News. It states that Facebook usage has dropped in the U.S. and Canada. Now if you read the article you may be confused as to whether or not people are actually cancelling their accounts or if the rate at which new users are signing up is declining.
Whatever the case may be, it does pose an interesting question: is Facebook losing its appeal for you? Please take a moment to answer the poll below. And as always, your comments are welcome!