Why the New Facebook IS Worth Complaining About, Kind of.

22 Sep

Yesterday, like everyone else, I logged into Facebook and was a little disconcerted to find everything in disarray. Things simply were not where I expected them to be and suddenly there were status-updates scrolling on the upper right that were also updating on the main part of the page and, well, that seemed a little pointless.

And oh! The blue tags.

Yes, I was annoyed. And so were others. As quickly as I thought to be annoyed memes were sprouting legs:

(I found via Urlesque.)

And this:

(Grabbed off FB, no idea where it originated, let me know if you do, overusing, commas, done.)

But as quickly as people started to complain, other people started to complain about the fact that we were complaining.

Evidence:

(Self-citing image is go!)

Yes, now I feel put in my place.

But then reality set in. People choosing to take the high road used status updates to proclaim that they couldn’t give less of a sh*t about the Facebook change because guess what? Lots of really shitty things are going on in the world.

Another 14 year old boy, who once believed that “It Gets Better” killed himself because the bullying wouldn’t stop.

A man, who many believed to be innocent, was killed by our justice system.

And this headline “Mexican drug lords dump 35 dead bodies on road as they wave guns at passing drivers,” from DailyMail.co.uk, is horrible without even having to hear the rest.

Those things are awful.

They won’t stop being awful.

I will be sad about them today, tomorrow, and for years to come. This news makes me want to jump up and do something with my votes, but also leaves me feeling sad and helpless.

Do we trust our politicians? What exactly are they calling class warfare?

The sad, and sometimes devastating, reality of our world is overwhelming. This is just a part of life.

But for many people, so is Facebook.

And whether you like it or not, Facebook is often how I find my news and I know I’m not the only one. I didn’t know about Troy Davis until one of my friends posted about it. The majority of what I know about the Libyan Revolution has been through linked information on Facebook. When there was the earthquake on the East Coast, I could pinpoint the location based on where my friends who posted about it were updating from. It’s also how many people during the last storm season let family abroad know they were okay.

I could go on but let’s say that Facebook is more than just “social” networking it’s a finely woven web of communication. I rely on it to find out about the well-being of my friends and the world.

And so what if it annoyed me when they changed their interface yesterday? It made it harder for me to find out about everything that really is important. It was annoyance that I could wrap my head around. It was an annoyance you could feel empowered by. You could say:

Facebook is annoying me. Facebook is making my life harder. Facebook is something that I can blame and feel productive.

Because when it comes down to it, it’s a fleeting moment of frustration that we can quickly learn to laugh about.

(Click to embiggen, go here for more.)

Whereas all those other things? They’ll never be funny. They’ll always be sad. They’ll leave us feeling frustrated and helpless and maybe even scared of the world we live in.

So don’t belittle the small battles we fight, no matter how meaningless they sometimes are, they fuel us to keep fighting the big battles. And man, we’ve got plenty of those on our plate.

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One Response to “Why the New Facebook IS Worth Complaining About, Kind of.”

  1. Laura Poff September 23, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    So, I’ve never ever complained about the Facebook changes before. I never really cared because they seemed minor and not at all inconvenient and I could never understand why people got so upset about them. This one, on the other hand, has completely baffled me! I don’t like the Most Important Stories that appear at the top at all and if there were only a way to hide it, I’d be a happy camper. I don’t really care about the ticker on the side, because I don’t even seem to notice it. I also don’t like that now even my Most Recent Stories aren’t posting in order. I’ve also tried to do that thing that people are posting now and the process to do this was hard in that the menu went off the page and I could not point to what I needed to, and it took about 5 tries to get it done. Here is the request:

    “Please do me a favor and move your mouse over my name here, wait for the box to load and then move your mouse over the “Subscribe” link. Then uncheck the “Comments and Likes”.

    I would really rather that my comments on friends and families posts not be made public, thank You! Then re-post this if you don’t want your every single move posted on the right side in the “Ticker Box” for everyone to see!

    I’m posting this not only for myself, but also so that my friends and family will know to ask others to do the same if they would not like their every move on facebook noticed. Thanks! ♥”

    Also: a post that I put up there just showed up on my own Home page as a Top Story! ARGH!!!!!!!!!

    But I actually did not mean for this comment to turn into a rant about all the things I did not like about the new Facebook. I meant to say that I really liked how your blog outlined all of the reactions Facebook users were having to the change. I think it was a great summary and it made me realize that the reactions reminded me a lot of the grieving process. The denial (surely this is so bad, they’ll take it away next week), etc. I know none of us like change, but to also feel like our opinions aren’t being heard seems to also add salt to the wounds. And finally, I especially liked the synopsis on why it’s OK to be upset about Facebook even in the face of the other tragic events.

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