Leigh Clark's article on Huffington Post today is interesting because it touches on something I mentioned earlier in a blog post: that Facebook users' content has declined over the years.
I think that's true. On any given day in 2006 and 2007, I could scour Facebook (MySpace too) and read lots of notes, blogs and bulletins by a wide variety of people. For a brief, shining moment, nearly everyone was a writer. Even when they shared pictures, lots of text went with them. These burgeoning sites had lots of room to fill, and people filled them. Even when they did so with videos, gaudy backgrounds and other frills, there was a unique, collage feel to it.
But as the years went by, as MySpace became a wasteland, Facebook became Like Status Central and Twitter shrunk attention spans, people wrote less and less about their lives. Photos became mostly standalone, one-liners prevailed and writing of any length became virtually nonexistent. Today, my Facebook feed is almost entirely shared graphics. They can be entertaining, but they tell me next to nothing about the person sharing them. There's little creativity, even bad creativity, anymore. And with Facebook now promoting posts from random companies, even the graphics have been diluted with ads.
It's not all Facebook's fault. Smartphones, busier lives, more to do online, more places to do things online and off ... all that and more continue to fragment the culture and discourage casual art and writing.
More is not always better.
These days, when someone has gone the extra mile, it feels all that more special. So I guess there's that.