Facebook has just inadvertently reminded me how much time I spend on Facebook by at least temporarily (hopefully temporarily?) destroying the service. Big social networks routinely test out new algorithms on small subsets of users. And I think that as of like an hour ago I’ve been selected to be one of those tests. As of right now, my entire Facebook feed is made up of pictures, comments, life events and more of people I’ve never heard of before – almost exclusively people I’ve never heard of or seen before. It seems to be an experiment where my entire feed is populated by posts by people who I do not know but ones that my Facebook friends have liked or commented on. This has always been part of the Facebook algorithm. But usually the majority of things you see are from people you know.
It sucks. But more than that it is eye-opening and a little jarring to me just how disconcerting and unpleasant it is. Sartre said that hell is other people; actually it turns out to be the life events of people you don’t know. By way of painful contrast it shows me just how affirming and comfortable my normal experience visiting the site is or at least how habituated I have become to it.
Is anyone else also in this test?