The internet continues to massively overestimate my interest in people I don’t know, partly because it refuses to get to know me as an individual.
Guess what, Twitter? When I go to a menu called “Retweets”, the absolute last question on mind is the complicated and distant what-do-the-people-I-follow-think-is-worth-repeating. Let’s face it, I’m looking exclusively for what people think of MY output. And so are millions of other Twitter users – why make us feel bad about that? It feels like the imposition of some bizarro morality. The contrast with what we really want to use these things for just feels like a judgment.
Hey you, Facebook! I see you trying to sneak out the back there, but you’re just as bad. I don’t care what a load of strangers think of someone’s status who I barely know. I once ticked ‘like’ and what do I get in return? URGENT RED UPDATES every five seconds that SOMEONE I DON’T KNOW has left a COMMENT on some Facebook update written by SOMEONE I BARELY KNOW last month.
I don’t care if I can turn all this maddening rubbish off. The point is I shouldn’t have to.
And now WordPress is giving me all this ‘Be the first to like this post!’ shit. Here’s the thing. I just don’t care about what total strangers have to say about other total strangers. Strangers who have nothing in common with me other than that we both once looked at the same website. Why would anyone ever imagine that was useful information to me? Let alone IMPORTANT and URGENT?
Internet… you can drop your ‘recommendations’ and your ‘notifications’ and all your push pushing of the gurning faces of people I am at best not interested in and at worst deliberately avoid. It’s not your job to match me up with everyone else who has ever had any contact with everyone else in the world.
I like my existing friends, and they’re real friends too – not what the internet-brain imagines friends are. The internet-brain thinks my friends and I compete to “be the first to fave” things. And the internet’s approach to friendship is skewed by the relentless competition for money. How about we give this ridiculous trend a rest for a bit. How about letting people find their own contacts online? If you don’t build it, they will come. And build it.