Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Suckbook;

Dear Facebook;
I know you think you're being helpful to us by rearranging your layout. But like the waitress that refills your coffee or tea after 2 sips and wrecks all the perfect proportions of sweetener or lemon or milk that the customer has gone to great lengths to achieve, so you do with your new, “helpful” layout. We were just beginning to get used to Facebook's quirks and links. Now all the things we liked, well, let's not say “liked,” let's say “gotten used to,” have moved or been hidden or disappeared altogether.

Though I never played Mafia Wars or Farmville, I can see how some people might get into them. Unfortunately, Facebook, the main reason I signed up was so that I could quickly keep up with my friends' and acquaintances' lives at a glance. I could see their status updates, click their link of some interesting website, and breeze through their photos and smile with them and at them. Nowadays, the vast majority of my Facebook feed is taken up with updates of things that don't even exist. “So-and-so found a mysterious egg on their farm in Farmville,” or “Such-and-such paid off the cops in Mafia Wars.” I've been hit by virtual pillows in fictional fights, I've received countless binary drinks without so much as a hangover to show for it, and I know exactly what angel, New Moon character, New Orleans bar, neighborhood, Renaissance artist, dragon, color and vampire my friends and I are. Now I have learned that though these updates continue to flood my Facebook stream, the actual games involved have become far more difficult to locate should I ever, in a fit of bored delirium, actually want to play them.

To make things even more wonderfully efficient and handy, I also carry your mobile application on my iPhone. I remember when your first update came out from the old version. We iPhoners waited with 'bated breath for the blessed event. The old original application could do three things: status updates, photos and mail. Then the update came out and we were all perplexed at the dozens of choices we had (what exactly is the difference between “news feed” and “live feed”? I still don't know). Back in the day, status updates, new photos and web links were all in the same place and provided a fun mishmash of variety. Now you can see exactly one form of update at a time. Wanna see Mary Jo's comments on the happenings at the barbecue? You'd best not be looking at “links.” When Grandma asks to see the pictures of her grandkids before she dies, how do you explain to her that she should be looking at “photos” not “pages”? Oh, and while I'm talking about Facebook's iPhone app, why, why, WHY when I click on a link to a Facebook thingy in Facebook's iPhone app does it take me to Facebook's login screen? Then if I actually go to the trouble of logging in to Facebook (while already logged into Facebook [yeah, WTF?]) I can't even see or use the thingy I was clicking for in the first place? Now when I think back to the old, original Facebook iPhone application (and the old original Facebook, come to think of it) when all I could do was see and post status updates, photos and do Facebook email, I realize that's exactly what I wanted to do anyway!

Facebook, thanks for trying, really. I know there's a lot of effort going into trying to please all the people all the time. But I really don't care that a non-existent lonely chicken wandered onto Myrtle's non-existent farm in Farmville. I have no idea what I should do when I get super-poked or why anyone would want to do such a thing. The proper response to Monty becoming a fan of “If I get 10,000 fans I will eat a bug” eludes me. I used to know exactly what to do when a friend posted about their new house or their new baby or the death of someone or when they were having a terrific/terrible day. Such tangible connections to friendships are rare on Facebook these days and your most recent layout change has made it even more difficult to keep in touch. Ironically, wasn't keeping in touch with friends the main reason of creating Facebook in the first place?

Not to seem rude, Facebook, but if you keep it up, you'll be seeing my Assbook it out the door.


goldfine said...

Agreed. I am used to clicking quickly at certain places - I don't like adjusting!

However I recently learned that you can hide notices from people and apps. No more Farmville!

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