I have never been a huge fan of Friend lists. I believe virtual lists becomes unmanageable after a certain period of time and neither they match the purity of offline ones. You keep adding random acquaintances on Facebook and it is practically impossible to create subsets within a bunch of 600+ friends.
Unfortunately, Facebook imposed automated friend lists (read smart lists) a couple of months back, which scans the profile information and mutual connections of all your friends and automatically divides them into different sets. Facebook even names those lists for you, so you never have to waste a single minute managing your friend lists, which is beyond your control anyway (you can’t delete these smart lists from your Facebook account).
Now here is a typical problem some Facebook users have to face with automated smart friend lists.
When you share a status update, photo or a link with a specific smart list, Facebook remembers your choice of the most recently used smart list. The next time you post something on your Facebook profile, the smart list option is retained from the previous update and not changed to Public.
Result: you end up sharing with the same people you shared your last status update with. It is not public or openby default.
Confusing? Let us take an example
This is an update for a small list I created on my Facebook profile:
Now this list has less than 10 members and I shared something with these 10 people only. The next time I post another update, Facebook keeps it visible only to this list, which is ridiculous!
Imagine a scenario when you shared something with only one friend and then completely forget about it. Until you change those translucent sharing settings, you will keep sharing with only that person.The worst part – there is no way to figure this out at one glance. Geeks and Tech savvy people know how this works but novice people often inherit a feeling of rejection, being neglectedor not getting enough attentionfrom their near and dear ones.
The other day, one of my not so tech savvyfriends called me up, saying You know, no one comments on my Facebook status these days. Earlier there were a dozen likes but recently, I feel everyone has blocked my Facebook profile from their news feed. My fiancÃ©e goes liking updates of my friends but not mine?? There must be something wrong down there.
You guessed it. She was sharing with Only Mefor the last 1 week.
On another note, it would be a real nightmare if you accidentally keep sharing with the wrong group, as the chosen lists won’t refresh after every update. This is unlike Google Plus, where you have to type the name of the list or the person with whom you want to share a specific update. If you don’t type anything, it will be shared with everyone, which is undoubtedly the most used sharing setting on any social networking site.
Facebook was never that bold with “lists” until Google Plus ambushed their audience. It is still a baby but Facebook was quick to copy several features from Google Plus and throw it on the face of their audience. Video calling, Messenger app, friend lists, you name it.
Probably, the engineers rushed on with the finer details, which leaves “sharing settings” in a “confused” state; far beyond the acceptance of an average internet user.