Much Ado

There was a huge kerfuffle about the “new Facebook” last week while I was away, and I purposely refrained from joining in because (1) I was traveling and using Facebook only on my iPad which didn’t appear to be affected; and (2) I thought the whole uproar was simply much ado about nothing.

Today I logged on for the first time since the big makeover and must admit the complaints are valid. But in the overall scheme of “life in general,” changes to the Facebook format are hardly worthy of the hue and cry they warranted last week, so I will restrain myself from further hyperbole on the subject.

Things seem to become blown out of proportion so often in the world today.  It’s human nature to complain, and because of things like Facebook we’re all able to vent our frustrations more readily. After all, when the Pony Express riders changed their route, or the corner newstand raised prices on the Daily Gazette, any complaints about the matter were likely to remain between families on the homestead or folks meeting up in the general store.  Nowadays, when our social network gets reorganized we have the perfect vehicle with which to voice our displeasure to the entire world  –  that very same social network itself.

However, it’s part of the risk we take in placing our personal lives within the framework of a huge conglomerate like Facebook. They have the prerogative to change things up however they please. If you’ve spent any time on the internet at all in the past 10 years, you must realize it’s anything but static.

Change is the lifeblood of the digital age, and regular transfusions are mandatory.

At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, perhaps we should marshal our indignation for things that really matter, rather than making a fuss about new Facebook formats.

There is much going on in this world that’s worthy of ado. Maybe we should all be about making it.

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13 thoughts on “Much Ado

  1. You are right about there being so many more things in our lives and world that need and deserve our attention. The Facebook changes are momentarily inconvenient, but, no real problem in the bigger picture. As a matter of fact, even though I did do the timeline change, I found myself kinda bored with scanning through all the posts and figured I didn’t really need to waste my time doing that.
    I think going forward I am likely going to make some changes so that I can limit who and what I want to see on Facebook. Will be more time efficient and give me an opportunity to exchange thoughts, comments pics, etc with folks I know and care about as opposed to way too many distant “friends”.

    • Lou, I think you have a sound approach to the whole Facebook thing. I’ve never really “friended” anyone that I didn’t know personally or care about, so I feel as if my friend list is pretty secure. There are things about Facebook that I really enjoy – being able to connect with people I haven’t seen in many years, being able to carry on “conversations” with several people from several different areas of my life, and just being able to stay in touch easily with my friends and family. I like to keep my circle of friends rather intimate 😉

  2. Well, as you know, I’m not on Facebook. However, I’m interested in the phenomenon and keep up with the news about it a bit, and I found these latest changes particularly interesting.

    It’s a commonplace to say that facebook users aren’t the customers, they’re the product that Facebook sells, and that conclusion gets support with the latest changes. There’s an excellent short overview of the changes and the consequences for users here. (PrivaSecTech is a Canadian group concerned with internet issues of privacy, security and technology.)

    The bottom line is that over 100 organizations are being added as open graph apps, which means that any information FB has about you, those organizations will have about you as well, if you use their apps.

    As the PrivaSecTech folks note, “The advantage of having the amount of users [Facebook has] is that users are complacent; they might complain, a few may leave, but [Facebook’s] revenue stream will likely increase significantly, thanks to all of the personal information you provide them.”

    • “facebook users aren’t the customers, they’re the product that Facebook sells, and that conclusion gets support with the latest changes”…this is really interesting, Linda, and I appreciate you sharing the results of your research. I dislike that aspect of Facebook, and wish it wasn’t such a convenient way for business to take advantage of consumers.

  3. Observing folks get all worked up about Facebook shows how largely we’ve come to depend on it. We use it to stay connected (or feel connected) and forget it’s a free service driven by someone else’s bottom line. I keep telling myself if Facebook shutdown, I still have my blog, I have email addresses and phone numbers. But the borderline addiction I feel sometimes is somewhat unsettling.

    • I hear you on that borderline addiction thing. The big brouhaha last week was a good reminder for me to step back and say, “Wait a minute here! This is just the internet! Simmer down, folks!”

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