Have you checked your “Other” Facebook messages?

I feel like Facebook is turning into that awkward cousin that never outgrew the awkward and now has more body hair, so it isn’t even cute awkward anymore.

That being said, I haven’t jumped on the “I’m too cool for Facebook” bandwagon and I don’t plan on it.

But some days I’m just surprised by little things I find to dislike about it.

Like when you send people you may not actually know or who you haven’t friended yet a message. I’m a journalist so let’s pretend I’m not just stalking random people and sending them messages.

This past week I was actually trying to contact sources through Facebook messages because that’s all I had to go on.

Sometimes people are quick to get back to you because they are so connected. But you don’t always hear back and you’re left wondering why.

  • Are they just really busy and haven’t gotten to it?
  • Do they not care to respond to me?
  • Did they take too long to respond and now they feel it would be weird to?
  • Did I creep them out? (psh, of course not.)
  • Did Facebook not send my message?

Or maybe…it was sent to their “other” Facebook messages so they haven’t seen it.

Yes, if you haven’t seen it yet, there is a section under messages for messages from people who aren’t your friends.

I had missed a lot of things. Messages from readers thanking us on coverage. Messages from old friends. A lot of spam, yes. But some messages were really touching and I’m sorry I missed them.

I debated answering people. Some messages were from 2008.

I’m idealistic about the internet. I feel that social media gives us the opportunity to connect more with more people. I don’t think these connections are lessened. This may be because I’m a sharer and writer by nature. It’s probably best that I write you a really long email than stand , fidgeting in front of you for 30 minutes and never manage to spit out what I’m trying to say.

But finding this made wonder what other things were being lost in the abyss of the Internet.

Some people will be quick to call for Facebook’s end because this is another thing we’re not pleased about. But it’s a learning experience for developers just as using Facebook is a learning experience for users. In my opinion, it would be unrealistic to expect a platform to give me something so great without it costing me anything at all.

Facebook is free, and according to Mark it will always be free. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about how it works and play around with it a bit to really reap all of it’s benefits.

Time and time again, I hear people say they don’t use a certain website or social media platform or app because it isn’t easy and they don’t have the time to sit and figure it out. Well then don’t expect any of the benefits.

I’m not saying Facebook is this social media king, because it isn’t. We don’t know what will happen to it next year or in five years or 10. But right now it is the best way for me to talk to my family members living in other countries. It’s a search engine when Google is giving me way too much information. It’s a tool for finding entertainment and sharing content.

It’s not perfect. But neither are the developers that built it and neither am I and neither are you.

So I hope this bit helps if you’re still on The Facebook.

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