Facebook is a strange phenomenon. There seems to be something for just about everyone — from the hardcore social networking addict to everyone’s mom. It’s fun to see what people are doing, and how much they feel like sharing. There is a voyeuristic element to Facebook that makes it fun. There are also the games like Mafia Wars, Farmville, Fishville, and I would guess about a hundred others. I don’t personally play any of them. I find different, but admittedly similar, ways to aimlessly waste my life. I do have friends that play these games, and they can become pretty obsessed. Honestly, isn’t that the mark of a good game? Games are by nature past times, and we could all use a distraction from the real world at times.
These games all, by default, post things to an individual’s Facebook wall. As I understand it, this is part of the games. You go out and ask other friends playing the games if they can share items with you. I know it is a weird concept — a social game on a social networking service. I also believe that as you play the game, you add friends to your network. This is good for the games themselves as it piques the interest of others. It grows the game memberships and makes game play better, and lines the pockets of the game sponsors. Nothing wrong with any of this.
Now that we’ve got the basic gameplay concepts down, let’s examine the backlash. I saw 2 posts tonight with people complaining about these posts. One person actually joined a group called:
The other person posted this:
Please stop playing farmville or any of those games OR just hide them from telling me you just harvested a crop or birthed a calf. Please.
I have to be honest with you. Posts like this drive me crazy. In fact, I removed both of these people from my friend list. I don’t like to see these kinds of posts. They are just seem whiny, and if I want to hear that I’ll turn on a tape recorder. I am fully stocked with cheese to go with my own whine. The funny part about this is that there’s a very simple solution. HIDE THE GAME
You can hide any posts from any application. All you have to do is mouse over just to the right of the post and click the “Hide Mafia Wars” button. That’s all there is to it.
What’s wrong with one of your friends doing something they enjoy? Would you not talk to a friend IRL (In Real Life for you non-hipsters) because they were playing Scrabble or Chess? The answer is no. I think a lot of people just don’t know, don’t take the time, or are too lazy to figure out the basics of something like Facebook. Do you need to pass a test to use Facebook? This scares me on a lot of different levels. If you can’t figure out how to hide a post on Facebook, what else can you not do? The possibilities are endless. They’re also a little scary.
Before you go on a public forum (especially those of you in technology and marketing) to bash something, you should at least know the basics. It shouldn’t bother me like it does, but Facebook is 100% voluntary. It’s okay to gripe about traffic or weather because it’s something you don’t have a choice about dealing with. If you don’t like Facebook, go somewhere else. I know how to hide Mafia Wars updates, and still actually keep up with my friends. The anti-games posts are much more annoying to me. My only choice is to hide or unfriend those people. Facebook hasn’t developed a “hide annoying comments” button yet.