A lot of people are upset about Facebook. I know because people post about it all the time on Facebook. And I could not agree more. Facebook needs to change.
Recently, I hosted a memorial for a friend who passed away this summer. He was a playwright and we wanted to share as many of his words as possible. I realized there was an untapped well of his writing on Facebook. So I read every update, every comment, every activity and relationship status that he had posted in the past three years. I compiled them into a sort of tone poem. A snapshot of his life. Reading the posts was a huge joy. It was like having my friend back for a few minutes.
And in the process I discovered Facebook used to be really cool. People used to talk about their actual lives.
But now my Facebook feed is mostly people reposting things: a picture of someone else's cat with a funny caption. An article exposing the shocking truth that a politician I already don't like said something else that I don't like. And my least favorite post: the inspirational quote dubiously attributed to a long-dead famous person.
Yes, Abraham Lincoln, life is what you make it. You're right, Oscar Wilde, I am the change I want to see. I should reach for the stars, Einstein, and I will! Right after I spend two hours reading 87 other posts reminding me that life is short so I shouldn't waste my time.
I want Facebook to be personal again. I can't believe that I'm saying this, but I want to know what you had for lunch. I want to see photos of your pets in the embarrassing holiday outfits that you crocheted for them. I even want to be invited to your poetry readings.
I want my Facebook feed to be a flood of the trivial and mundane. I want to hear about all the stuff that is so strange I couldn't possibly make it up. I want my friends to paint a portrait of themselves one description of their lunch at a time.
Because as Abraham Lincoln probably never said, "Life is short, but if you post a lot on Facebook, it can also be strangely deep."