Hello, my name is Fiona and I’m a Facebook user.
I’m willing to admit that at one time I was rather hooked to the social media website, continually checking to see what friends and acquaintances were up to (yes, okay, some might say spying or stalking).
At one time I was a regular status poster, and so I’m reminded through the ‘on this day’ notifications.
I’ll also confess to going through a phase of bombarding people with requests to play games like Candy Crush and Farmville (remember that?).
It’s not something I’m proud of, but I now realise how annoying it can be to others.
However I’d like to think that in more recent years as I’ve become older – wouldn’t necessarily say wiser – my reliance on the website to keep up to date with what is happening in my friends’ worlds is waning.
I’m perfectly capable of going for hours and days without having to look at the site, or to post some sort of status update.
My change in attitude to the site has come about in recent years I think primarily because of the way that the website now seems to work on trends and things that people seem to enjoy being seen to do.
For example, last week (or maybe it was the last two weeks, I can’t be sure as it seemed to go on for ever) there was a surge of old photographs of friends and acquaintances as children being shown on my timeline. Apparently according to a myriad of posts and hashtags it was #waybackweek.
And now everyone seems to be posting things about a stick man called Bill.
Bill seems to do numerous things that are considered smart and the cartoon image prompts you to “Be like Bill”.
The Bill effect has spread and it’s now a case of people making posts that are “Be like (insert friend’s name here)”.
It’s strange that all these trends seem to kick off on Facebook and become something that everyone is doing worldwide.
What exactly is it about them that makes people pick up the ball and keep on running with it – posting either the same or similar, or carrying out some sort of challenge?
Last summer we had the same thing with the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ when it seems that everyone took a turn at filming themselves having a bucket of freezing cold water poured over their heads, although I do appreciate that it originally started as a way of fundraising for charity.
But what I’d really like to know is how do these trends get started and how long does it take for them to go viral?
My reason for asking – I’d really like a new trend to be started on Facebook.
It would be the trend of stopping the trends.
Let’s get back to a place where Facebook once was where there’s not the compulsion to jump on the latest ‘thing’ whatever it may be and repost or post your version of whatever it is.
Also, cutting down on the number of memes being posted too would be very welcome.
So can we please kick start this new trend?