Scrolling through a Facebook news feed can be a depressing experience. From the countless ads to the naive friends sharing links to Onion articles they think are real, it never feels safe to stay logged on for too long lest you lose your mind. But what if you dedicated two days of your life to liking everything on Facebook? How would your friends react and how would your account begin to morph?
That’s exactly what Mat Honan set out to discover in a piece for Wired, and the results are about as grim as you’d expect.
The first thing he liked was LivingSocial, the popular local deals website that operates similarly to Groupon. Next he liked two innocuous updates from friends, but the fourth thing on his news feed was some awful joke. Probably one of those jokes you ignore or snap a picture of and ironically send to one of your friends. He had to like it anyway.
Honan realized almost immediately that related items below certain posts were going to be a problem, so he limited himself to liking the first four related posts and then moving on. He also reluctantly had to like a picture of a friend’s child who had recently suffered a nasty encounter with the concrete, but he drew the line at an update that mentioned someone’s family member who had recently passed away.
As the hours stretched on, Honan’s feed quickly become dominated by brands, products and “content mills.”
“Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and The Huffington Post,” Honan said. “As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com.”
If there’s one takeaway from the piece, it’s that you should probably like with extreme prejudice if you don’t want to end up with a news feed even more worthless than the one you’ve got right now. Click the link in the source to read the whole article.