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Is Facebook's Novelty Wearing Off?
By: Caitlin Quarles
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Note: Some of the content in this post is disturbing and may be upsetting to those with feelings.
 
Think back to when you joined Facebook. Were you in college (with your fancy .edu address) looking to connect with fellow students and keep in touch with friends who were scattered all over the country? Or maybe you were a parent intent upon staying in contact with a child and monitoring how your former classmates aged over the years since high school. If you didn't recently join Facebook, then what are your reasons for staying on it?
 
Lately, some are hard-pressed to find reasons to remain a part of the ubiquitous social network. Sure, it's a great way to share pictures and posts to a larger group of people, and to stay in contact with friends and family members that you may not see or speak to on a daily basis. But there's a fine line regarding where to communicate with these people. More often than not, it's more practical to call, text, or email them, rather than posting on their Facebook wall. And sure, it's handy for keeping tabs on the latest news and deals from companies or artists, but you could sign up for their email lists and bypass the headache of the News Feed. 
 
Nowadays, Facebook seems less like a social media platform and more like a soapbox. Upon logging in, users are assaulted with absurd photographs with captions that read, "Like if you think dogs/children/soldiers dying is awful!" or even more recently, long diatribes from "average Americans" who just happened to be at Chik-fil-A when they were handing out bottled water/free food to the poor/a million dollars. Since the backlash Dan Cathy's comments about his support of the "biblical definition of marriage," the masses have taken to Facebook to either malign him or defend him. Is the Facebook minifeed the new town hall?
 
The newest Facebook trend, however, is the most appalling. Button pushers taking to the Internet to make inflammatory claims or bully others is nothing new, but groups such as this one are sickening. Free speech is fantastic, but these groups (and from the writing, the photos, and the spelling — becouse? Sigh. — they are teenagers) exist just to upset and denigrate others. Is this what Facebook has become? 
 
So why do we remain a part of this (un)social network? The fear of being "left out" of something? Is it the burdensome task of "monitoring" our social presence, so we can put the kibosh on the Facebook-obsessed friend's photo upload of us the last time we were in Atlantic City and eating pasta with our bare hands in a bikini at four in the morning? 
 
We can certainly unfriend, block, or unsubscribe from those people whose posts we'd rather not see, but again, what's the point of doing all of that work for something that's supposed to be modern and fun, not stressful and depressing? At the risk of being a few sandwiches short of a picnic, what will it take for Facebook's novelty to wear off for you?


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About the Author
Caitlin Quarles is the founder and owner of CEQ Consulting, a freelance editorial company based in Pennsylvania. Traveling, cheese, and dogs make her happy. Find her online here.
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