Don’t get me wrong, I like social networks. At the very least, I like the social networks that I’ve already joined and still use, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Plaxo. Needless to say, each has it’s own unique annoyances that drive me nuts. Here are some of the biggest:
- Facebook- 3rd party application requests. I like the fact that Facebook has 3rd party APIs, that is, Application Programming Interfaces. It’s easy for somebody with a great idea to write a program that can then be integrated into Facebook. However, every single one of these programs feeds on constantly asking your friends to join (separate annoyance). Some of these programs are games which I don’t have time for, but I have one friend who does and every time I log onto Facebook I get tons of requests to participate. When I ignore them all, I get a text from my friend asking me to “join my tribe, man” from whatever game he’s playing now.
- Friend lists- I don’t mind so much on Facebook when every time I add a friend, I’m asked to go through my friend list to see which of my friends might know that person. A lot of people from my church have connected that way. Some programs won’t give it a rest though. I used to participate in one program that used to be called iThink. I know it’s changed names. I got so sick of every single day that I logged on it asked me to send requests to my friends list to join. If I didn’t want to do it yesterday, I surely don’t want to do it today.
- You have a message/One of your friends is having a birthday- This one annoys me the most. I have a few friends that no matter how many times I give them my email address or phone number, refuse to email or text me. They instead want to message me back and forth on Facebook. I get an email from Facebook telling me that I have a new message, but it won’t tell me what the message is. I have to log onto Facebook to see and reply to the message. Obviously, Facebook programmers (and my friends) have never read Getting Things Done. If I get these notices at work, I can’t deal with them unless I either tether my phone or wait until I get home. I’m not a big fan of the mobile implementations of either site.
- You have a friend on (fill in the blank with pointless imitation social network that you’ve never heard of and don’t care about) waiting for you- OK, I lied. This one annoys me the most. I know, the urge to out-Facebook Facebook is as strong as mobile phone OEM’s trying to make an “iPhone killer”. Until I find a good reason to join a new social network, I won’t. I’m not going to join just because I get a request from somebody I’ve never heard of on my Yahoo! account that I never check anyway. I’m also not enthusiastic about so called “specialized” social networks. I get a lot of spam on Yahoo! for Christian social networks. Right. Most of my church, including one of my pastors, is on Facebook. Why go to another medium? Besides, I’ve been part of Christian communities online before. Few have been very pleasant. Sooner or later, a battle of doctrines will break out and it gets very nasty. That or some self-appointed prophet will show up, or some idiots from other boards trying to cause trouble. I mostly gave up on Christian boards when I realized that Windows and Linux users were nicer to each other on technical forums. Even pretentious Mac users are far more kind than some of the Christians I’ve run across on “Christian” discussion forums. No, I’m not trying to disparage other Christians. I’m just saying that we don’t always do well within our own enclosed microcosms. It might have something to do with that “Go forth into all the world” commandment.
What are some of the things that annoy you about social networks? Let me know in the comments.