Lest you think this is just a complicated revenge scheme against my mom (which, let’s be clear, it is), it’s this exact phenomenon that keeps driving Facebook’s user engagement numbers down. Far more than the fears about future employment, more than the creepy coworker who “likes” all your bikini pictures, it is the fear of awkward conversations with our relatives that keeps us from posting to Facebook.
This fear is also keeping Facebook from being interesting. We used to view Facebook for the exact same stuff that we are now told never to post: the “I’m so hung over” status messages; the “dancing on top of the bar” videos; and yes, the bikini photos.
By this point in Facebook’s existence, everyone is very much aware that you need to be exceptionally careful of what you post on Facebook. The clear-cut solution for Facebook has been to get its privacy settings perfected in such a way that no one is ever hurt by using the website. But this ignores the fundamental question of why we are on Facebook to begin with … or at least why we used to be.