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Hey Facebook

Facebook logoHey Facebook,

You think you know me. Your “Top News” feed tries to display the posts from people I care about. But you don’t know me.

  • Just because I haven’t tagged my stepsisters as “Featured People” doesn’t mean I don’t love and care about them.
  • Just because I’m haven’t told you I’m “in a relationship” with someone doesn’t mean I don’t want to see everything about her.
  • Just because I’ve never appeared in the same photograph as someone doesn’t mean I don’t want to know when he gets married.
  • Just because it’s been a few months since I wrote on a friend’s Wall doesn’t mean I don’t want to know she has a new job.
  • Just because I have several friends in common with someone doesn’t mean I know who he is.
  • Just because I failed to click “Like” on something doesn’t mean I didn’t read it and find it interesting.

And finally: Just because some people are predictable doesn’t mean you can use metrics to measure everyone’s relationships. Some of our cherished friends are tied to us only by faint and distant bonds. Some of the people we love most, we don’t talk to much online. Life is complicated.

When you’re trying to learn about a group of people—in marketing, in business, in writing—metrics can help. But they don’t replace human intuition. And human intuition is missing from Facebook’s attempt to map the social graph using databases and software. There is no manual override.

Hey Facebook, all we really want is profiles, a calendar, a search box, a functioning iPhone app, and maybe a few games. Leave it there. We’ll handle the hard stuff ourselves.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Social Media

One comment

  1. Renee M Petrina Petrina says:

    Good point! I have had a slew of people suddenly saying “Oh wow, you’re engaged? I completely missed it.” Wish I could take back more of the feed controls.

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