Even Millennials Hate Facebook Changes
It’s been seven years since I joined Facebook, and I need a break. Nowadays, it seems like they’re constantly introducing new updates, and not all are welcome. (Yet, after years of petitioning, they’ve still failed to come up with a dislike button. Why is that?) True, I’m not a fan of change in general, but this recent assault is just too much. I’ll admit that the chat function grew on me after a while, and the built-in camera feature is pretty handy. I endured the “like” button and the pesky submitting of comments with just a push of the enter key. I almost quit with the archiving of chat messages, disturbed that every word I typed to a friend after a few glasses of wine at night would now be saved in my inbox for me to re-read and cringe the next day. But more than one newsfeed? Really?
The newsfeed is what I like least about Facebook, and the new presence of multiple newsfeeds is pushing me toward the edge of once and for all clicking “deactivate your account.”
I don’t have a blog or a Twitter account, and I rarely update my status on Facebook. My reasoning? I’m protecting the world from the mundane events of my life. “Larissa Hageman made a bagel for breakfast … nom nom cream cheese.” I don’t feel the need to announce that I’m going out that night, or that I can’t wait for the weekend. My current newsfeed contains whining about getting up early, someone drinking the yummiest coffee ever (I highly doubt that), and Backstreet Boys lyrics. How much of my brain is filled with the useless ramblings of people I went to high school with or met only once?
My newsfeed is the bane of my online existence, and Facebook adding a second way to receive news—in the chat bar, of all places—drives me crazy. Why all these changes? It appears Facebook is a little worried about its new rival, Google+. Google has come up with many wonderful inventions in the past (Google Docs might just be the greatest thing to ever happen to my life), but there have been a few flops. Google Buzz is laughed off in the tech world as a sad joke, but I think Google+ has some potential.
The New York Times declared that “Google+ could also attract Facebook holdouts who have been uncomfortable sharing too publicly,” as users will have the option to only display certain information to specific “circles” of friends. Facebook has adopted a similar strategy with the new interface, attempting to allow users to select who can view their content. I predict the battle between the two sites will rage on, and I’m not sure I want to be subject to this online war.
My best friend is still free of Facebook’s claws, and she says that won’t change anytime soon. She also swears she isn’t going to join Google+, and I envy her the freedom of being social network-free. That also means she won’t have to deal with politicians using Facebook to try to rope in voters for the upcoming presidential election. (Michael Hendrix, a consultant working on candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign, has found a way to use Facebook’s interactive FarmVille game to target voters.)
According to BusinessWeek, “Their online characters will be able to go door to door to other players’ imaginary farms, campaigning for real-life candidates and placing yard signs on their lawns.” Apparently, demographics show that most FarmVille players are stay-at-home moms over 38, and Hendrix hopes they’ll vote in Bachmann’s favor.
The only difference between the imaginary campaigners and their real-life counterparts is that the digital version is slightly less annoying (although only slightly).
I beg FarmVille users to think twice before sticking signs into their virtual yards. Please. Isn’t this a little ridiculous?
My Google+ invite has been sitting in my inbox for months. Maybe it’s time I actually signed up. I’m sure that in a few weeks the “new” Facebook will become the norm, but I think it’s time for this gal to move on.