Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Damned Irritating Aspect Of Facebook

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The slim options for dealing with Facebook notifications, none of which entail direct deletions. What the hell is the big deal?

I use FB infrequently: first, because the odds are high I'm liable to run into comments or images I don't like - so I won't be compelled to "like" them or be outraged by them enough to respond, and second, there's too little dimension for more complex expression of thought, which a blog post allows. Truth be told, for communication purposes - especially on important issues-  I actually find email much superior.

I originally signed on to Facebook some 6 years ago to keep in touch with far flung family including in Barbados, Trinidad and also Canada. I also signed on to keep up with the daily goings on to do with my mother - who I last visited in 2009 (and who already showed signs of dementia).   For a while the connections proved worthwhile and then I suddenly realized one's "friend" universe is often populated by radically different people and types. So, for example, how do you navigate your FB world if one half is made up of religious or very conservative family members, and the other half made up of very liberal and non-religious (other) family members, and friends?  Well, you have to tread carefully because it can be a literal minefield, especially when a hyper-liberal friend happens to see what s/he regards as an offensive comment from a conservative family member.  So you're constantly having to steer clear of 'oil mixing with water' situations or whatever.

The other aspect noticed were the major differences in political perspective, and how these could lead to conflicts. For this reason, and after getting into one brouhaha with my now deceased middle brother (which I now regret) I have avoided further political commentary or altercations.

But none of this relates to my present gripe about Facebook, which in a manner of speaking - is kind of like being stalked by a scad of digital "zombies" and not being able to kill them  I am referring, of course, to the constantly increasing supply of Facebook "notifications" - which now total 52. (If I had more "friends" the total would likely be 520, or 5200,  but because I've kept the maximum number to 15 I at least have them relatively limited).

Incredibly, when one opens up the notifications settings menu the most you get is the ability to turn "on" or "off" specific types, but you can't simply delete all of  them.  As I explored a number of sites before writing this post, I repeatedly beheld the same refrain  and complaint, usually posed as a question: "Why the fuck can't we just delete these notifications without a lot of fuss?"

Which is a good question indeed! Sure, you can "mark all read" but what is it about the damned notifications that causes them to approach the level of the sacrosanct? Why can't you just kill them as easily as deleting emails?

If one googles further one finds assorted "methods" claimed to do the job but most are arcane and one - at least- entails going into "inspect element". This delivers a page of code from which you are then supposed to select a line and do a backspace. This is to be done separately for each freaking notification.  Sorry, it's too damned much trouble!  I'd rather just let them pile up until the genii running Facebook get off their butts and incorporate a  simple delete mechanism.

What have they got against it? I'd be interested in seeing others' opinions of why Zuckerberg has this fetish about preventing  users from directly deleting notifications. (Don't bother to give me "tips". If it can't be done in less than a minute, I am not interested.)

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