Dear Facebook II

Imagine you are sitting in a bar with your life partner.  She/he happens to be particularly anally retentive, and has an insatiable appetite for information.  As you are slowly drip feeding her/him every morsel of information regarding your unspectacular life you notice someone at the bar.  This person is alone.  Lots of people glance nervously at this person, many even recognise this person, but no one dares approach them.  On first inspection you suspect that this person is nothing special.  Maybe not even average.  But the longer your partner tries to suck information from your soul the more attractive that other person looks.  And that person is Googlina Pluss.

Thank you Facebook for informing me my timeline goes live from April 6th.  From all the things I pray for, having a timeline is up their with… genital warts, or even an anal cavity search.  There is a time or place for timelines and that is history lessons in Primary School.  From all the good you did as a weapon in the Arab Spring, I think it’s fantastic that you are such great advocates for freedom and free will in particular.  I especially appreciate the fact that you didn’t give me a choice.

That’s not to say that I blame you entirely.  The passive nature of the average human being makes taking such liberties so incredibly easy.  I am from a country whose last Prime Minister wasn’t elected, living on a continent with a President nobody voted for, where each country signed up to a constitution which a number of countries voted against.  We live in an age where it’s  illegal to smoke in public premises even if you happen to own them, where we can be detained in prison without charge for up to 28 days and where cucumbers are only allowed a bend of 10mm per 10cm in length, so believe me I understand why you feel able to disregard free will so readily.

Imagine a magician beside a dining table before an attentive audience.  On the dining table there are 257 table cloths.  On top of the table cloths is a full dining set.  The magican pulls away one cloth and the glasses and plates remain in place.  He is a magnificent magician, possibly the greatest in the history of the world.  He does it again and again and again.  He repeats the trick 257 times.  Despite the fact he is an extraordinary man he has to stop.  There is nothing more he can take from the table.  As the magician finishes his performance, he turns and swoops into a bow and realises that the audience has left.  That’s the trouble with repetition.  The more times people experience the same trick, the less chance there is that they will stick around.

For those of you that never read the original post here it is
 
And yes you can now find me on google+

Dear Facebook

As people age they change.  As do social networks.  Sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst.  The key difference between a human being and a social network is that the human being doesn’t have much impact on how they change, whilst a social network has a creative group of people who decide what changes should be made in the future.

I have tried to be fair.  I wanted to make sure that my reaction to the new Facebook was not just a knee jerk reaction, like when your wife comes home with a new haircut.  I wanted to be sure that you are the same you.  I wanted to ensure that my criticism is fully justifiable.  And well wouldn’t you know, I feel it is.

First off the bat I would like to point something out which perhaps someone in your HQ may not have considered.  I applaud your efforts in increasing the privacy of your users.  However if what people what is more privacy, then why use fucking social networks in the first place.  It is a simple choice, which doesn’t require any damn groups to make it easier.

I have no idea why you think lists are a great idea.  In a world where we are often criticised for being judgemental, you are in effect forcing us to pigeon-hole every single person I have met.  It is completely unneccessary.  If someone who isn’t a friend/school friend/lives in your area tries to add you, you can use a little black magic.  What you have to do is rip a chicken’s head of its living body, smother your naked body in its blood, put its entrails on your head and dance along aisle three of your local supermarket.  And when you get home select ignore.

I appreciate respect for innovation.  I suspect that you have grossly overrated your competition.  The similarities between your lists and Google+ circles are quite obvious.  However again it appears that you failed to notice one thing.  Nobody uses Google+.  There is only one thing worse than imitating someone else and that is imitating something which is significantly worse than you.

My point is Facebook that I loved you the way you are.  Part of your success was due to your simplicity.  In the era of cross platforming, simplicity is even more vital now than ever.  Maybe it’s because I am old.  Or too dumb or too slow to appreciate it.  One thing I would appreciate is one simple button in the settings marked Old Version.  That way you could give people the choice and find out exactly how the masses feel about your changes.