When I first joined Facebook I had an explicit rule that in order to be my ‘friend’ you must live in the country, interstate or overseas. I honestly saw no point in befriending people who lived in the same city as me when I could easily see them face-to-face.
That all changed with just one birthday everyone forgot. Instead of getting depressed at the fact only my partner and mother remembered I decided to ‘accept’ all those friendship requests. My logic was at least FB would remind everyone next year, something I wouldn’t have to shamelessly do.
Now I had hundreds of ‘friends’ yet it took me months to work out what to do with them. It was not until I used the events function and organized a picnic with real friends that I realised how handy FB could actually be.
Then I set my Tweetdeck up and now I Tweet and FB at the same time. I am not discerning about what I share on either forums yet I have found I am the only one in my social circle who places political items and current affairs on FB. However I have not lost any friends over it. (And I have even managed the odd ‘like’.)
Last week when I logged on to FB I found changes to my interface. Boxes of dialogue appeared and were really distracting. I did not ask for this and wrote on my status “Hey Zuckerberg – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Admittedly it took me a while to work out what was going on. However now that the makeover has blended in to the background the ‘ticker’ of what all my friends are liking, tagging, watching and doing has made me very uncomfortable.
Sure FB is an open source of information on our lives but now they are dictating what we should be sharing rather than having any choice over it. The rolling ticker was not only a change forced upon us, but for me a distracting one too. I feel like now I am absorbing even more useless information than before.
This of course does not stop here. Zuckerberg recently announced at an F8 conference another change to be rolled out in coming months. The ‘timeline of my life’ a chronological history of my live with FB, with the added feature of including the moments we have forgotten to ‘share’.
While I can see FB devotees jumping on board, for me it is a change to the interface I’m not sure I really want to engage in. But in true FB style, I will have no choice as my life is segmented into easily digested chunks of data an advertiser can disseminate within minutes.
So what now? I can bitch all I want but the reality is I still have an account and closing it is actually a dilemma. FB does have its’ good points; organizing events, seamlessly sharing my tweets and keeping up with people I don’t often see. But most of all it allows me to share my work as a journalist with my friends who don’t follow me on Twitter.
And saddest of all, my analytics on this blog shows I get more hits from FB than any other media. So despite my moaning, FB is working to my advantage.
Damn you Zuckerberg! You’re still not my friend.