Facebook, it was good while it lasted

September 22, 2011

Facebook can be a time suck, there’s no doubt about it. But the good news is that all the recent changes that force users to manage their experience down to the last detail are making it less interesting. Soon, many of us will have significantly reduced our FB time.

Let’s take the new Friend Categories and how they relate to Updates. In the past, we’d see all our “friends’ updates” regardless of filter. But now, the default is not ALL updates, it’s “MOST” updates. Facebook decides which.

Now, what if FB’s criteria aren’t mine? Because they usually aren’t.

To change this, you have to do one of two things. Click on each Friend’s Profile. If you make them a “CLOSE FRIEND”, you see all the updates. But, what of the reporters whose incisive stories I like to follow? They aren’t close friends, but I want to see all their updates.

To do that, I have to find yet another column, that specifies how many updates I want to see. I can pick ALL UPDATES.

The problem is that I have to do this with every one of my hundreds of friends. Now, THAT is a REAL time suck.

Now FB is assessing what my MOST IMPORTANT NEWS is and putting it up top. How do they know what I think is important?

Not to mention the inexplicable list of friends on the right hand side of my screen, that either are online or aren’t, depending on the green dot. If they aren’t, why are they on that specific list? And then, how come only some of the green dotted friends show and others don’t? Why are some friends online listed under “more online friends”?

How about the way they junked up the top right hand side of the screen with a running Ticker that may or may not duplicate “recent stories” on the main page? What is the relationship between that and “recent stories” and why do I need it?

Here’s the deal: I think Facebook got so popular because it was simple. Easy to understand. Easy to use.

But in another “it ain’t broke but we’ll fix it anyway” effort, the geniuses at Facebook have made the user experience more complicated and has forced us to interact more with its functionality.

Some may see this as a good thing: maybe those who like to live their lives and relationships on Facebook. (Spare me those personal messages more appropriately sent by email, but posted for public view, like a cat peeing on a new piece of furniture. You know the ones.)

But for people like me, largely voyeurs who like to see what people are up to at a glance (and ALL people on our list, not just those FB picks for us), and who do not want to categorize our FB friends, well, Facebook just became a lot less appealing.

TMW. Too Much Work.

Hmm. What will I do with all the time I used to spend on FB?

The options are limitless and even include seeing people in the flesh! Can’t wait; will start booking stuff right now.

It was a good time while it lasted. See ya ’round, Facebook.

One comment on “Facebook, it was good while it lasted
  1. I agree Carol. They really messed up a good thing.

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