There was a time, many years ago, when I joined a Facebook that was uncluttered and mature. Some would say that this dignified Facebook is withering away, some would say it’s been gone for a long time. Facebook has just updated their website with a new look. Rounded edges have replaced the old right angle standard and more crap is being shoved on your screen and in your face.
MySpace was the first social network I joined, and at the time I thought it was one of the most amazing things on the web. I could connect with all of my friends, share photos, and listen to some music. Some time later I caught wind of the Facebook bandwagon and hopped on. What I found on Facebook was MySpace without the clutter and 8th grade drama. Facebook became my true stomping grounds and I eventually deleted my MySpace account because I didn’t need it anymore; Facebook satisfied all of my needs.
Years have passed and Facebook has updated numerous times, becoming less appealing with each new transition. I’ve become a passive Facebook user these days. My profile is rarely ever updated and I have an enormous stockpile of other requests (game, quiz, movie, and hundreds of other annoying applications) that just sit on my page, waiting for me to accept or deny them.
Over time, my main page has morphed into the MySpace mess that I thought I had escaped. My attention has become scattered between the newsfeed, pokes, sidebar updates, and all the other crap. My profile itself is fairly clean, but whenever I stop by a friend’s page I get so damn confused as to what the hell is going on with all the apps they have everywhere and all the different updates scrolling through their scattered wall. It reminds me of the MySpace pages I hated to visit because they were so muddled with unorganized messages, quizzes, links, videos, and graphics that the page would never load and I’d have to struggle through all the hideousness just to leave a damn comment.
That’s not to say that all of Facebook is bad. Facebook has some redeeming qualities that haven’t been lost…yet. I’m happy that I can at least keep my profile fairly clean and not have a million different things forced onto it. I like the way groups work too, they’re a very popular way for political activists or the average Joe to have their voice heard and gain a following. Facebook also gives you the opportunity to edit your settings and rid yourself of some of the clutter, but there is still plenty of it that squeaks by no matter how vigilant you are.
Facebook’s high point for me was during my younger college years, and now I’m a year out of school. Maybe that means I’m turning into an old fogy who just can’t comprehend the modern styling of Facebook anymore. I used to love having some sort of connection to my old friends (I guess I still do since I still have my Facebook account), but I feel like the need for that connection is fading away. Perhaps my age is catching up with me and I’m getting my first inklings that I just cant keep up with the young guns anymore.
Maybe it’s not because I’m an old fogy, but because the Internet is evolving. Twitter is the new hot thing at the moment and it brings back a lot of what Facebook originally offered me. Twitter is a quick and easy way to keep in touch with friends without all of the mess that most other social networks have. Twitter is literally Facebook stripped down to it’s bare bones, as simple as it gets. You can read about how much I enjoyed registering a Twitter account and discovering what it was all about in my previous post. Simplicity is what I desire in a social network, but it seems that they all grow more complex with age, eventually scaring me off with the threat of too many options and applications to choose from.
Am I asking too much? I hope not. I enjoy my time online and using the Internet to communicate with friends. I just don’t want all the extra.
Is Facebook too little, too much, or just right? We’ve all seen the Yahoo vs. Google comparisons- is Facebook going the way of Yahoo?