Long ago before humans discovered computers and Internet and Facebook, relationships were maintained through dialogue and properly worded I miss you letters. Via pen and paper, lovers expressed how much they had missed each other by painstakingly and carefully crafting words on paper, folding up the paper in beautifully selected envelopes, walking long distances to deliver the envelopes to some post office, and pressing send.
Then the emails arrived.
The initial emails were not easy to access. Whoever wanted to write an email had to walk to a long distance cyber cafe or board a matatu to town, find a cyber, spend hundreds of shillings composing the message – a message that most probably had been drafted on a piece of paper, copy type the message in Yahoo compose box, and send. The reader, if not working on some big corporate or government office, wasn’t a lucky one either. S/he had to also walk a distance to a local town center to read a message in Yahoo Inbox. Messages filled with love and care and quality greetings most of the time asking for money.
Then we welcomed Facebook.
Facebook came at a time when the then early to mid twenty youth (today in their mid thirties) had started getting accustomed to instant chats, discussion boards, and SMSes. In Kenya, we were already getting addicted to Mashada and Life in Red and Yahoo Messenger and Kenyan List. Keeping in touch was already breaching the boundary of close friendships – people craved to get that instant chat from total strangers. I personally made friends and enemies a thousand times over, but I survived.
Facebook came to bring back the touch that the strangers platforms were eroding. Long lost and forgotten friends were united, and everyone wanted to tell everyone else what they were up to. They wanted to update them on the meals they took at lunch, where they slept the night before, and whether they were about to go into shower. And so Facebook grew, and became the new meeting point. It didn’t take long before people started adding strangers to their Facebook friendship lists, and that’s how I met my wife.
Then there was Twitter with its 140 characters. Twitter came to remind us that SMSes could be broadcast to hundreds and thousands of total strangers to give us the ability to feel like Jesus.
SMS and Twitter limited characters gave birth to a new crop of clueless teens with no discernment on matters of national importance except to replace s with x in every word, write in incoherent incomprehensible sentences, and spew venom of gibberish as an expression of love and lust. These clueless teens have most probably turned your Facebook Timeline to one hell of a nightmare. If you have 4,700 of them against 300 close friends, I bet you no longer see updates from those you care about, and most probably you have decided it’s time to quit Facebook and join Twitter. Trust me, Twitter is no better. And please don’t head to Instagram – it is the worst social media platform ever invented.
But you need not despair, there are ways you can regain the desired quality Interactions on Facebook – that type of interaction you’ve so much longed for. You simply have to follow these four simple steps:
- Unfollow the teen – By teen I don’t mean a teenager. I mean he who writes like a teenager – whether by typo or content. Go to their profile and click on the Follow button to unfollow. Since you want these teens to read your educative and informative updates, do not unfriend them. Personally I had to spend an entire month unfollowing every single teen-like friend. After that one month of painful ordeal, I realized how much I had missed reading important updates from people who matter and those close to me, updates that had been hidden in the thousands of gibberish childish innuendos.
- Follow back – You had unfollowed the clueless ones, now monitor your Facebook updates to spot any quality comment. If you receive an important comment from someone you currently do not follow, go through their Timeline. If their updates are those you would like to associate with, follow them back immediately.
- See First – See first is a feature that was introduced on Facebook in the past few months. It’s intention is to allow you to always see updates from your very own VIPs in your Facebook friendship list before you can see any other update. Since Facebook does not show you all updates from all friends, yet there are few friends you wouldn’t want to miss a thing from, this feature comes in handy. To ensure that you always receive every single update from these few VIPs, simply go to their Facebook Profile, place the cursor on Follow, then select See First.
- Interact. After you have done steps one to three – you surely won’t have any reason to complain about Facebook ever again. All updates from teens will be hidden and all updates from VIPs will be seen first. To improve the quality of your interaction, what’s left of you to do is to send quality comments on those quality updates, and your social life will be improved in quality.
After you have done steps one to 4 to enhance quality interactions on Facebook, I bet you won’t need any other social media, unless you are looking for fling and take aways – of which you can create a fake Facebook account for.