What Does Being Connected On Facebook Messenger Mean
We live in a world where we are continuously assaulted with red dots pulsing on our phones, demanding our attention for the most insignificant of reasons. And, forget Cambridge Analytica and all that privacy nonsense, the “You are now linked on Messenger” notice is by far the worst thing Facebook has ever imposed on its 2 billion users.
When you accept a friend request or someone accepts yours, you receive a gratifying and thrilling red dot at the friend request location. Then you see it: a notification on the Messenger tab. Aha! Someone sent you a package! How wonderful, particularly considering you've probably added a TON of new pals lately! Perhaps it's your new buddy.
Nope! It's simply the dreaded “You are now connected on Messenger” notification.
When you're browsing Facebook on your desktop web browser and a notice appears in the Messenger window, it's very inconvenient. But it's much worse on your phone, since you receive a red dot notice on a whole other app (which CEO Mark Zuckerberg split from the Facebook app in the hopes of providing a “better experience”). This is especially annoying if you wear an Apple Watch that buzzes on your wrist when you get a Messenger message.
I'm going to quit accepting Facebook friend requests so I don't have to recognize that we're now linked on Messenger.
I despise those alerts that say, “You are now linked on Facebook Messenger.” You get all thrilled because you believe someone has slipped into your DMs, but it's simply a cruel prank.
I like receiving notifications that I'm now linked on Messenger with someone.
The problem is that Facebook is bombarding us with pointless notifications at a critical juncture in our digital life. To our disadvantage, we are already hooked to our phones. This issue is so severe that IT firms are finally acknowledging the need for us to find methods to disconnect from our phones. At this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed a new feature that allows you to set time restrictions on applications (“you have 5 minutes remaining for Instagram today”). Teens are abandoning social media because they realize it makes them unhappy. Zuckerberg has begun to speak about the importance of focusing on “time well spent” on Facebook rather than just spending more time there.
Something fundamentally wrong with the way our brains process all of these alerts. Notifying us when we've linked to someone on Messenger may lead to insanity.
Facebook recently sent out alerts informing users that it is “reducing clutter in your notifications.” (“We want to make sure you don't receive too many notifications,” the notice said.) However, when BuzzFeed News questioned why it still sends out this very irritating notice about connecting on Messenger, the business did not immediately respond. Was there any user data indicating that people really like it, despite complaints on social media to the contrary? Do they simply do that because seeing the notice drives you to open Messenger, and then hoping that once you're there, you'll utilize it and maybe see some advertising? Is it to remind people that “Hey, Messenger is, like, a Thing,” as if you thought Facebook was just for watching your high school buddies post false news from Macedonia rather than talking with people.
On Thursday afternoon, Facebook said that it intends to reduce the frequency of these alerts and only send them to those who have already opened them.
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