The Watchman

The Watchman

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let's Make a List

I don't know how I would function without my lists - To Do list, Shopping list, Important Numbers list, User Name and Password list, Packing list, Birthday list, Valentine's List and especially my Christmas list.  I've found as I am getting older, I am relying on my lists more and more to help me remember all those things running around in my head.  I even have a list for things I want to blog about.

There is nothing like a list to help me focus, remember what needs to be done and provide a sense of accomplishment when the last item is checked off.  Because of this, my lists are personal and meaningful to me and usually to me alone.  They are often written in shorthand that only I can understand and sometimes my husband if he is feeling especially in tune with me that day.  So I  have become very frustrated with the need Facebook has to assign my friends to a list.

I have been Facebooking for two and a half years now.  I know that is not as many as some, but it is longer than others.  When I first started, I created some basic lists with titles like Family, Ricks College, High School, South Ogden, etc.  While these categories may have been meaningless to anyone else, they readily allowed me to check in on specific groups of friends and receive or relate information that would only be pertinent to those in the category.  There were also those friends that were just that - friends; with no other connection than we had made a connection and wanted to keep in touch via social media.

So now Facebook has decided to "improve" on how the List feature works.  This doesn't bother me too much except for three little things:

1. Now when I assign a friend to a list, FB lets them know.  I have received feedback from friends asking why they were being added to a specific list and in one case the friend let me know that she had been able to delete themself from my list.

2. Facebook is randomly populating my already established lists with other friends.  One example is a list I had that were friends from high school.  This list consisted of those friends that I attended Clearfield High with.  Now this list contains anyone who used the words "High School" in their profile.

3. Facebook is generating lists for me based on my profile and then populating them with friends who have similar features in their profile.  The other night I added Stevens-Henager Business School to my profile.  Within just a few minutes there was a list category entitled Stevens-Henager and it had friends added to it.  While it is interesting to know that these friends attended the same business school I did, they did not attend with me.

While I have always enjoyed FB making suggestions for friends, since it has helped me locate individuals I may not have otherwise found, I do not appreciate the need it now appears to have to categorize my life.  To me a list is only meaningful to the person who makes it.  With these changes to the List feature on Facebook, the lists generated may have meaning to the company, but they are proving meaningless to me.

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