Memes Take The Fun Out Of Social Networks

Fellow Christian jason b. Huffman wrote a blog entry that used to be found at this link. The blog has since been deleted, unfortunately.

It was titled "The Demise Of Facebook, and is spot on about people needing to connect and wanting to be liked so much that they resort to memes, ultimately killing the fun, a consequence most don't intend or even think can happen.


Thoughts on Life, God, and Ministry These are thoughts I have about life, faith, and service of God and others. I hope you will share your thoughts, too.

Different Strokes for Different Folks-Maintaining Unity in Christ

The Demise of Facebook

Posted on April 10, 2012

by jason b. Huffman

I remember in 1997 when I first learned to navigate the Internet and set up my first email account. It’s been so long ago, that I don’t even remember the email address. But at first, for those of my friends who had email, it was a fantastic way to communicate and stay in touch. Then all of a sudden everyone had email. Not only did all my friends and family have email, but corporations with which I had done business, and causes I had supported, got email. And before long, my email was no longer authentic messages from friends and family, but it was promotional offers from parties in which I may or may not have even wanted. Then there was the “forward” button. Now it wasn’t spam from corporations, it was silly, sappy stuff from friends and family that was often funny, but also cumbersome to read and drudgery to sort through. Many times these forwards had some ultimatum that if you did not forward this to 10 people you would either have bad luck or somehow you were no longer in God’s good graces.

Fast forward fifteen years and the new email is Facebook. I don’t get as many email forwards with self-righteous threats any more because everyone posts these things to Facebook. The funny pictures that once came to my email account are “shared” on Facebook via the “share” button and shared from accounts that are simply storing houses for goofy content.

When I got on Facebook, it was about one thing…relationships. It was a way to find out what other people in my life were doing and a way for them to see what I was doing as well. Now, it is about “liking” corporations and having their fluff pop up in your stream. It’s about posting silly pics you acquired from people you’ve never met. It’s about posting song lyrics so people will “like” your post, or coming up with some witty way of saying something in hopes you will get a response.

I had a Facebook page long before I ever opened a Twitter account. I was reluctant to get on Twitter because it seemed like such a flood of information. However, what I’ve noticed over the last few years is that I have become quite close to Twitter friends I’ve never met in person, and I have drifted farther apart from some Facebook friends I once knew quite well. I guess what frustrates me most is that Facebook, an absolutely incredible social medium, is no longer about relationships.

We are hard-wired for connection. We need each other. We need interaction. None is an island. As Facebook has turned the corner from being less about relationships and more about information, I believe the clock is ticking. And this is no fault of Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook’s management group. I think this is what we want as a culture. People are wired to share things and post things that gratify the ego, which increases the capacity for humorous postings and unoriginal song lyrics that attain a bunch of “likes”.

So what is next?

Myspace was once a great social medium (I met my wife on Myspace), but as it became overrun with corny backgrounds and glittering icons, it was no longer about the very thing that made it great.

I believe, though, there is a lesson in this for all of us. Facebook has declined in my opinion, because the posts are mostly about “me”, and not about “you” or “us”. Biblically, we are taught to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourself. The nature of social media that is gratified by lots of “likes”, “shares” or “retweets” is one that focuses on me, not us. So what do you think the future holds in the cybernetic world of social media?


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