Facebook Groups and Fan pages are ways to exchange information to multiple people, but not really. Here are some examples of what your Facebook group says about you:
Just The Facts
- Facebook groups and fan pages were designed for organizing clubs, helping you connect with people with similar interests, and giving you updates about the thing that you are a fan of.
- Now their purpose is to attract attention to a cause, whine about Facebook, show other people every inane detail of your life, and make other people question why they are friends with someone that has such an in depth knowledge of cartoons from the past decade
- We hope that the original purpose is lost and that future friendships and romances are not based on a mutual experience of "riding on the side of the shopping cart as a child."
The Pros and Cons of Groups and Fan Pages
These pages are good ways of getting information. Say you become a fan of Cracked.com. By adding this fan page, posts can show up in your newsfeed, along with every other fan of Cracked.com and tell you what new content's going to be on the site. Or maybe you're in a club at school. Many of these clubs now use facebook groups as a tool for sending mass emails informing members of changes in routine, such as a meeting cancellation or location change due to, let's say, bee infestation.
Do you want to be the loser in that club with the swollen face who didn't join the "English Club" group and therefore never got the email entitled "Alas! Bees!" and showed up anyways? (You do not.)
Another benefit is that some pages and groups are owned by businesses and will send coupons or free downloads to the group members. iTunes is one of these, and every once in awhile, they will give you a code to download a package of songs, most of which you do not want, but will download because, hell... free.
Literally everything else about Facebook groups and Facebook group culture. There's always that one guy that you're friends with that joins every single group and becomes a fan of every single page that he sees. So while you're looking at your news feed, checking up on old friends, laughing about how fat your old classmates have gotten, or stalking an ex, you find yourself constantly scrolling down because of the constant reminders that Joe Smith is feeling nostalgic in a more terrifying way, and has joined over fifty groups and became a fan of several dozen minute aspects of Spongebob Squarepants because he needs everyone he knows to know that being aware of a children's cartoon isn't enough- He also needs to express his love for quotes, minor characters, and sound effects from the series.
Facebook groups are also, you must remember, only the illusion of a group. All of the legitimate reasons for joining a group --making friends, bonding over a common interest, leaving your dorm and actually doing something-- are replaced by a computer screen and a series of meaningless Like buttons. Facebook has, somewhat amazingly, strengthened alienation under the guise of creating communities.
Reasons for Joining a Facebook Group
The Legitimate Reason
You are in a club or like a band or television show enough that you want updates about concerts or a new season. This is a perfectly normal reason to join a page.
A Friend Created the Page and You Feel Obligated
Since Facebook is for networking, a lot of people use it to promote businesses, candidacies, or other causes. You might not actually support a cause, but clicking "join" is a whole lot easier than explaining to your friend (who clearly is more passionate about this cause than you) why you didn't join.
You Believe It Will Make a Difference Somehow
Despite being on Facebook constantly, a number of users find fault with every minor aspect of the site and decide to start and join numerous petitions because the internet needs to know when they dislike something, god dammit. And also there needs to be a button that specifically says "dislike" because they're too busy disliking things to actually type out the full word.
Are you getting annoyed by the horrible grammar people leave on your profile, but don't want to look like an asshole for calling them out? Well, thanks to groups, you can do this subtly by joining existing groups dedicated to reflecting your hatred of this action. If your friends are better at taking hints than they are at spelling out words, maybe they'll learn to proofread.
Maybe you just got out of a bad relationship and want to make your ex and everyone else aware that the world is crashing down around you, that love is only an illusion, and we all die alone in this world so we might as well get started now.
[Note: Remember to leave this group if you two ever get back together.]
Somebody Fucked Up Their Phone
Ten years ago if someone was dumb enough to drop an expensive piece of electronics down a toilet, it wasn't your problem.
This is progress??
You Join Every Group You See
You are that guy. Associating yourself with interesting things, (no matter how numerous), does not make you interesting. You are marked as hidden in a lot of newsfeeds. You are a bad person.
"Should I join this group?"
There are many things to consider when joining a group. Well, actually, there's just one: "Will people think I'm a loser for joining this?"
This can be broken down easily by analyzing several things.
Is this something I would normally share with someone?
On Facebook, everyone who sees your page knows you, so you can't hide behind your wall of anonymity. Therefore, you should treat Facebook actions as though you were doing it in person with your friends.
So, if you're on a date or with a friend, which of these would you bring up in conversation?
The thing about pillows, whether it's true or not, is plain old shit boring. You'd never tell that to someone on a date. Likewise, you wouldn't boast about your terrible memory or your tired pretend-fear of stairs. You'd talk about yourself, and things that matter, things for which, incidentally, there are no Facebook groups. In fact, if you narrow down the list of groups you would theoretically join to those that only reference topics you'd comfortably discuss in real life, you'll find that there is no overlap in those two categories. (It's because real life is important, and Facebook is retarded.) Use this principle to guide your group-joining decision process.