Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nouveau Facebook, aka the new Facebook

For my blog, I rely entirely too much on Facebook. It has become a normal occurrence to see me link a new blog on Facebook, in a desperate plea for page views and attention. But my spamming ways are endangered. Though I have always had a healthy stream of Google hits, my friends reading from Facebook links has always been my viewership backbone. Facebook's new newsfeed setup makes it harder for me to force my prose upon you, dear reader. And it is because of that I take up arms against it.

I really do love this "Deer Reader" picture. I hope the person whose Flicker I stole it from doesn't mind.

Facebook is the ethereal device with which all our social lives become entangled. Unless you're paranoid about your privacy or a stuck-up contrarian, you have a Facebook (most likely, as we speak, it is constantly open in some far-flung browser tab). With our social lives so dictated by the iconoclastic social network, every little cosmetic change sends a giant ripple in a very small social-pond. We all feel it and we all have an opinion on it, however minute that opinion may be.

This is me adding more fuel to a pointless fire.

As I stated once before, Facebook became popular for its simplicity. It was no frills. It was intuitive. It was addicting. We all signed up for Facebook because it was the bare essentials for the social-interactive experience. With each update, Facebook began to lose its soul. For each innovation, a part of the simple experience of liking the status of a girl you met at a party became flashier. All of our overstimulated senses were further battered with more newsfeeds and options. In short, Facebook sold its soul and lost its way.

Mark learned nothing from Tom.

Facebook doesn't see it that way. They see themselves as evolving to fit a more interactive market. What they don't realize is that the vertical integration of social media is self-destructive, like a drunk scorpion stinging itself. People come to Facebook for Facebook. And while they had plenty of room to experiment before, Google+ has changed that. Google+ is the first real competitor that Facebook has had and while the website deflated under its own hype, the new Facebook might just be the boost that Google needs. When your users are the product you are selling, such as with social media, the organization cannot afford to lose anyone to the competition. Especially a competitor as fierce and evil as Google.

On second thought, maybe I shouldn't bemoan the owners of my blogger service.

The truth is, all this whining means nothing. That may seem like a cheap point to make towards the tail end of an opinion piece but bear with me. We make our statuses complaining about the new Facebook, but the irony is we still use Facebook to complain about it. We are so helplessly addicted that we can't even admit we have a problem. Blinded by our own dependence and self-interest, we stick with the beast for fear of never actually being heard. Each update of Facebook has been met with backlashes yet eventually we all get use to it. That's the beauty of humanity, we get use to anything. And if anybody looked at any screenshots of the beginnings of Facebook, it would look as alien as the changes do today.

Facebook circa 2007.

Does this mean I will no longer use Facebook? Not in the slightest. I still appreciate the product. And, as stated earlier, I depend on it for you to read this very blog. And all the chain letters in the world will not mean anything to the people who control the bandwidth. As long as it is free it will be used. Make no mistake. Despite what the chain letters may say (I read all chain letters like they are being read through a blow horn by an eight-year-old girl), it will always be free. Facebook is making too much money off us already. They don't need any more from us.

"Yo, check and see if she has any beach pictures in her photo album."

1 comment:

  1. This is really good commentary on the changes in Facebook and our perceptions and reactions to it. And I love your pictures!