Facebook is starting to lose some of its luster.

Earlier this year, there were reports that the social networking behemoth was experiencing membership decline for the first time. Now a new study ranks Facebook dead last in customer satisfaction.

The study, conducted by ForeSee results, analyzed how users feel about news sites, search engines and social networks. (Wikipedia topped the list, followed by YouTube. MySpace didn’t even register, which means people are using it so infrequently that you can almost hear the site moan a croaky death rattle whenever you visit.)

I’ve used Facebook for several years now. At first, it was a great way to reconnect with old friends and keep up to date on my siblings and their families’ lives. Then I began using it to get information on events and promote our content on pressherald.com. (I also tweet, which I still can’t say with a straight face and an urge to shout, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!”)

Personally, I don’t have a problem with Facebook itself. I am, however, becoming increasingly annoyed by the actions of some people who USE Facebook. They typically fall into the following categories:

• The Attention Cravers — These people feel everyone needs to know what they’re doing every minute of every hour of every day. You’re having a latte at Starbucks? Good for you. But I don’t need to know that. In fact, I also don’t need to know that you’re walking your dog, that your kid rejected his oatmeal this morning, or that you went off your diet — again.

• The Taggers — Those who enjoy pulling out embarrassing photos of you from the past and posting them online for millions of people to see. Thanks for that.

• The Gamers — No, I won’t help you buy a tractor for your farm, aid you in your mafia war or eat your virtual cookies. I will, however, give you links to thousands of free games online and smart phone apps so you can play without bothering me.

• The Survey Takers — Someone on my Friends list takes an online survey where they answer questions about their fellow Facebook users. Then I get a message saying, “So-and-so answered a question about Rod! Sign up here to find out what they said!” If I cared, I would ask them myself.

• The “I Need as Many Friends as Possible” Person — It doesn’t matter to these people if you barely know them and haven’t seen them in 30 years, they still want you to befriend them on Facebook. And once you do, you’ll never hear from them again — except when they pop up on your wall to talk about that great latte they’re having.

Social networking is a great way to reconnect with old friends and make new ones — as long as you don’t abuse it. You may even develop lifelong friendships — the real kind, where you actually get up from the computer and talk to someone once in a while.

And you won’t have to limit your conversation to 140 characters or less.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]