Category Archives: Social Media

2 reasons I didn’t do what you wanted me to do on Facebook…

I often see posts on Facebook that express frustration that a friend didn’t follow through and meet the expectations of the person who is venting. A friend failed to ‘like’ a post. They didn’t reply, share, or re-post a status.

There are (at least) 2 possible reasons for this….

  1. Your friend simply didn’t see what you wanted them to see. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook does not show you every post from every friend or group that you are connected with. Facebook uses a complex and unpublished algorithm to decide which posts to show you, and which to filter out. It is entirely possible that your friend simply didn’t see your request.
  2. Your request was passive aggressive. There is a Facebook meme going around right now that starts with “I know that many of my friends will ignore this, but….”.
    Sorry, but to me, that’s insulting. The best way to get me to do something is NOT to tell me that I probably won’t.

Bottom line, misunderstandings and missed expectations are exponentially more likely in electronic communication than in person to person interaction, because of all the missing, subtle context cues. A suggestion: Give your friends the benefit of the doubt?

PS: If you are curious about how the Facebook news feed filters the posts that you see, this is an interesting article.

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It took me a while to warm up to Twitter. Like many people, I worry about the temptation to use it as daily nutrition to feed the appetite of narcissism. I was absolutely stunned by the power of these paragraphs, written by John Piper in his blog post titled “Why and How I Am Tweeting”.

Now what about Twitter? I find Twitter to be a kind of taunt: “Okay, truth-lover, see what you can do with 140 characters! You say your mission is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things! Well, this is one of those ‘all things.’ Can you magnify Christ with this thimble-full of letters?”
To which I respond:

The sovereign Lord of the earth and sky
Puts camels through a needle’s eye.
And if his wisdom see it mete,
He will put worlds inside a tweet.

So I am not inclined to tweet that at 10AM the cat pulled the curtains down. But it might remind me that the Lion of Judah will roll up the heavens like a garment, and blow out the sun like a candle, because he just turned the light on. That tweet might distract someone from pornography and make them look up.

Photo Copyright © 2009, Jon McDermott
Location: Newberg, OR

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