Facebook Demetricator Eliminates Popularity Contest
Trying to win popularity on Facebook can backfire, but a browser add-on can take the pressure off.
CREDIT: Shutterstock: Darengphoto
Are you a victim of Facebook numbers? If you're consumed with your friend count and how many people liked your recent status update, try a browser plug-in called the Demetricator to relieve the pressure.
The free software for the Chrome, Firefox and Safari Web browsers could help alleviate your obsession with numbers and emphasize what's really important — your friends and your interests.
Instead of focusing on quantity — more friends, more likes — programmer Ben Grosser wants Facebook users to act on quality. "As a regular user of Facebook I continually find myself being enticed by its endless use of numbers," Grosser wrote in a blog post. "I focus on these quantifications, watching for the counts of responses rather than the responses themselves, or waiting for numbers of friend requests to appear rather than looking for meaningful connections."
So what happens when you install the Demetricator? Instead of seeing "16 people like this" under your post, you'll see "people like this." But the information isn't gone, it's just hidden. If you must know who liked your post, hover over the link "people" to reveal a pop-up box with a list of friends who gave you a thumbs-up.
Along with de-emphasizing popularity on Facebook, Grosser says his plug-in also helps reduce the false sense of urgency that Facebook timestamps create.
"I really don’t need to know that my colleague ate her banana 23 minutes ago rather than 30 minutes ago," he wrote.
Timestamps fall into one of two categories once they've been run through the Demetricator. Anything within 24 hours becomes "recently," and posts older than a day become "awhile ago."
Grosser said that removing Facebook counts could reduce the number of ads that people click on and articles they read when they see a big "like" tally. He hopes that by using his plug-in people will click on links they're really interested in, not just because they're popular.