Monday, September 26, 2011

It's just Facebook!

Seriously.  Ok, I will admit that I'm not a big fan of the changes that they made to Facebook last week, either, but it's been less than a week and I'm already almost completely used to all of them.  Yes, the scrolling ticker in the top right margin is still incredibly annoying and I just completely ignore it like a banner ad or something, but other than that, it's not so bad. 

No, the changes didn't need to be made.  Yes, Facebook was fine the way it was.  Yes, this is going to make it even harder for Grandma to figure out the difference between sending you a message and posting an embarrassing personal question on your wall for the world to see.  However, if you are switching over to Google+ because of some minor cosmetic changes then you're kind of a dummy, no offense.

You know what's more annoying than the changes to Facebook?  The constant whining by people who are pissed off at the changes to Facebook.  It's just Facebook!  Listening to people bitch about having to spend an extra 5-10 minutes trying to figure out how to do what they used to do on autopilot a week before is just slightly less humorous and silly than listening to people bitch about how the girl at Starbucks doesn't understand what "Fill it to 1/4 inch below the rim and use half cold milk and half slightly-warmed milk" means.  Living in the first world is great, isn't it?  The biggest problem in your life right now is that you have to re-learn some new privacy settings on the free social networking service that you voluntarily signed up to use.

Like I said, I bitched about the new Facebook changes when they first happened, because I don't like them either, truth be told.  However, after about a day of complaining, I figured out how to use all the new features, realized that they made some fairly cool changes that makes it easier to control who sees what when you post and moved on with my life.  Seeing people still throwing tantrums a week later is just funny at this point, it's like watching someone push and push on a door that says "pull".

Then, just a couple days ago, I found something even more annoying than people complaining about the Facebook changes... people freaking out over yet another rumor that Facebook is going to start charging people to use it.

Every time Facebook makes any cosmetic changes at all, someone inevitably starts a status chain mail about how Facebook is going to start charging people to use it.  This time, however, it's gone to the point of absurdity.  Perhaps driven by the recent Netflix debacle, perhaps simply driven by being dumb and having a surplus of free time, status mails have begun to circulate that are so detailed as to include pricing tiers.  $9.99 for "platinum", $5.99 for "gold", $3.99 for "silver"...  Oh, and it was even on the news!!!

Look, I'm no, but I did pass elementary math, so let me see if I can clear this up for you guys...

Facebook is worth billions and billions of dollars.  It generates billions of dollars annually from advertising.  It is now a publicly-traded company, so it generates billions of dollars from investors.  It recently inked a deal with Goldmann Sachs worth billions and billions of dollars.  Facebook needs $9.99 from you about as much as Mark Zuckerberg himself needs $9.99 from you.  Farmville might care about your 10 bucks, but Facebook could give a damn.

On the plus side, though, seeing all my friends with half a brain in their heads posting and re-posting statuses that mock all the chicken littles freaking out over the same "they're gonna start charging us!" rumors that have literally been going around every few months since Facebook first became more than a college hookup site has been pretty entertaining.  I've always been annoyed by those "repost if you love [Jesus/puppies/America/whatever]" statuses anyway.  It's not that I don't care about people with cancer, people living in pain, children with special needs, our soldiers, kids being able to pray in school if they want or whatever, it's just that I'm not going to copy and paste some dumb ass status about it.  Besides, most of the time they're complete crap and it's almost an insult to my intelligence to read it.

Case in point, lately I've seen this "This 5th grader got an A+ for writing this report about prayer in schools!" status and it's such complete crap.  I mean, besides the fact that it obviously was just written by some regular person and not any 5th grader from imaginary middle school in Anytown, USA, it's just full of factual inaccuracies.  Nobody is forcing God out of schools... have you been to a school lately?  I could give you a list of people I know personally who have complained about their kid's teachers promoting their personal, religious ideology on the class, so don't tell me God isn't "allowed" in school anymore.  As long as Christians are allowed to teach, God will be in school, believe that.  So please, stop posting about that dumb ass alleged 5th grader who got an A+ for a story that is complete BS about an imaginary scenario that only exists in the world of Fox News and their fabricated "War on Christmas" alternate universe.

Also, while we're on the subject, please stop clicking on links to apps that show you who's viewing your profile.  Stop clicking on links to find out which one of your friends has dropped you.  Stop clicking on links to the "shocking" video that caused a girl to kill herself when her dad saw it.  Stop clicking on links with half-naked girls in them.  Basically, if you can't identify a scam link from a legitimate one, do us all a favor and just don't click on any of them.

Ok, now I'm breaking my own rule.  I'm getting way too emotional about Facebook and it's just Facebook.

But listen, it's the most powerful and important social networking tool since the invention of the telephone.  It's an amazing utility for interacting with friends and family, sharing information and both starting and maintaining friendships that might otherwise not exist without it.  I know I have reconnected with old friends who I now hang out with regularly after not speaking to them for over a decade due to distance and personal responsibilities, thanks to Zuck-dawg's little invention here.  Facebook is awesome and I love everything about it, even if it is like an insecure woman who's constantly getting makeovers she doesn't need and trying to reinvent herself to keep feeling pretty and desirable when everyone already loved her the way she was and she didn't need to change anything.  Yes, Facebook is now Heidi Montag, except, unlike Heidi, people used to like Facebook and most people still do like Facebook.  Also, I wouldn't push Facebook down a flight of stairs after I roughly sodomized it just so I could hear it cry in pain and shame for a brief moment before it's neck snapped and blessed silence filled my ears.  So, really, except for the bad self-esteem and the constant need to alter what wasn't really messed up in the first place, there really isn't anything Facebook has in common with Heidi Montag.

I guess my point is, the Internet is a fast-moving place.  It's always evolving and changing and adapting with the needs of it's users.  Technology is not an industry for people who like familiarity and the same ol' same ol'.  If you're not prepared to ride the wave, don't go in the water, so to speak.  If anything is a certainty with the Internet, it's that nothing is certain.  That is absolutely true when it comes to Facebook.  It's going to change and adapt in an effort to stay fresh and current and to continue setting the trends in social networking rather than following them.  If they don't take these risks and try new stuff, then they become MySpace... oh, excuse me, I mean "My[___]".  Yeah, that was a great idea... no wonder Tom is on Facebook now...

No comments:

Post a Comment