Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Facebook

by Gaije Kushner

Dear Facebook -

I remember when I first found you.  I thought you were kind of douchey, with that whole sending to friend requests to every one of my email contacts, without asking me if I thought that was a good idea or not.  So, you know, I had a look around, was unimpressed, and went back to myspace.

You know how the rest of this went, don’t you?  More and more people started using you, myspace became sad and empty, and even a little creepy, in a To Catch a Predator kind of a way.  All those nonexistent, allegedly hot girls started sending everyone friend requests, or whatever they called them on myspace, and it was over.

I’m not going to lie.  I was resistant to you at first.  But over time, I got used to your little idiosyncracies, your foibles.  Eventually, they even grew charming.  I’ve had a lot of fun with you.  Every so often you’d make some little change, and I’d adjust in time.

Then along came google+.  It was exciting at first, maybe because things had grown a little stale between you and me.  All those circles, so conveniently accessible from gmail.  But really, that was just a summer fling.  The excitement faded, and like myspace before it, though without the predator hunting, google+ emptied out.  I came back to you, wholeheartedly.

That’s why I just don’t understand why you’ve done this to us, when things were going so well.  Personally, I hate Top Stories.  I’ve never once chosen to look at your Top Stories.  What do you really know about what stories I’d consider Top?  Not much, that’s obvious.  As long as I could avoid Top Stories, choose to see my Recent Stories instead, it wasn’t so important.  But now, now you’ve taken that choice away from me.  I can’t get away from your fucking Top Stories, no matter what I do.  There’s no setting I can change, no box anywhere for me to click, to make them disappear again.

And then, what is this Ticker thing on the right side of my screen?  Why would you think I’d want anything like that?  If I wanted Twitter, I’d use it.  I don’t, but look, there it is on my screen anyway!  Taking up space, making me claustrophobic, and enraged.  That’s not really my best look.  It’s really one I try to avoid as much as possible.

If other people want these screens full of crap, I don’t care.  Give them what they want.  But you’ve taken away my right to choose, Facebook, the prevention of which is a cornerstone of my political beliefs.  I’ll wait around for a little while, I guess.  I do tend to have trouble letting go.  But make no mistake, I hate every single one of these changes.  If you don’t change them the fuck back, I’m going to be making a long term commitment to my summer fling over at Google.