A Facebook post about posting on Facebook

Dave Gutteridge
3 min readAug 20, 2020

I come by Facebook maybe once a day, and I click “Like” on various things friends have posted, because I just want them to feel heard.

I don’t really dive into friend’s profiles, so usually I only see what the Facebook algorithm decides to present to me. Are there friends doing and saying things that I’d “like”, except that Facebook has decided I shouldn’t see it?

Maybe, though I kind of doubt it. Not because I think Facebook’s algorithms are effective in any way. Their goals aren’t to enhance my friendships, their goals are to keep me coming back to Facebook, so Facebook and I will probably never agree on what a compelling post is.

But I know what’s a compelling post to me. I like it when I can just see something that feels like an honest and unfiltered window into the lives of the people I know. It doesn’t have to be good news, or bad news, or accomplishments, or even anything “important”, however that might be measured. In some ways, the more mundane the better, because the less constructed it is for consumption.

I think part of the problem is that we’re all informing each other, when really all we want is to be mutually present. Telling each other about ourselves is all about deciding what to say, and those decisions distort the raw signal we’re listening for. I just like knowing you’re there, you don’t need to convince me of anything. I wonder about all the people I know, I want to be a fly on everyone’s wall for the moments they think are so normal they’re beneath mention.

I don’t mind when people make political assertions or instructions on what they think everyone should believe or inspirational phrases or things like that. To be honest, though, I do wish they weren’t passing along received memes from elsewhere. I’d rather see the big topics expressed in your own words.

The one type of information I can’t get anywhere else is about you, whether you’re the person I met one time or hang out with often. I don’t measure the value of what you say in terms of how it compares with a world of memes and promotions and marketing. It’s special because only you have it, no matter how mundane it might be. And it matters to me even if it doesn’t matter to the world at large because I know you and like you.

I’m just as guilty as anyone else of feeling like anything I post has to wow people with how amusing, informative, creative, or interesting it is. Facebook feels…

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Dave Gutteridge

I don't post often because I think about what I write. Topics include ethics, relationships, and philosophy.