Drew made an interesting (if totally offhand) remark in yesterday’s Oscar Postmortem. Referring to ‘The Social Network‘, he said that the film was about “a technology that changed our lives.” A couple of readers picked up on this and debated in the comments whether Facebook was really that important. Let’s hear what the rest of you have to say.
For me, Facebook is a necessary evil and a significant annoyance. I don’t check it every day. In fact, I’m perfectly happy letting weeks go by without thinking about it.
I use Facebook only because pretty much everyone I know uses it. I only accept friend requests from people I actually know, so don’t feel slighted if you tried to Friend me and I didn’t respond. It’s nothing personal, really. I don’t make my details otherwise public. If people want to know what I’m thinking, they can read what I’ve written in this blog, in my other writings, or interact with me in any of the forums I regularly participate in. Or email me, of course. With all of that, I feel like my life is sufficiently public enough. I have no interest in sharing the details of what I do from minute-to-minute in the course of a day. And I have even less interest in reading about the minutiae of anyone else’s life, even my close friends. Some things don’t need to be shared.
On a technical level, Facebook is one of the worst designed pieces of consumer software I’ve ever used. (Only iTunes frustrates me more.) I feel like I’m a reasonably web-savvy guy, but I find myself struggling to do even simple things, like find people I might know, which is supposedly the whole point and purpose of the thing. There’s nothing intuitive about the design of the program. Features and settings are arranged haphazardly, or buried in submenus with obscure names that you’d never think to look in. And the mobile version is even worse. That one’s been stripped of almost any useful functionality at all. I simply do not understand how the most popular web site in the world could be this badly implemented.
Do I sound like an old fuddy duddy? Maybe, but so be it.
Now you tell me, what are your feelings about Facebook?