Yesterday, Facebook made some changes.
Of course I didn't have to tell you that. you've complained about them already.
In fact, let's have a random poll and have a look at selection of comments on the official 'Facebook' Facebook page today, just to make sure:
Rachel: "Awful. Just awful."
Adrian: "WHERE IS THE "DISLIKE" BUTTON ???????"
Chrissy: "I WANT TO SEE MY WHOLE FEED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. I HATE THIS FEATURED POSTS CRAP. HATE."
Jason: "And other USLESS stories SHOVE IT SUCKERburg!!!! FACEBOOK DOES NOT KNOW WHAT I THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT."
Kathy: "I really feel vomitous every time I get into the new FB! I just don't like it at all. Make it go AWWAYYYY!"
Twitter has been outraged. It has made the news beyond the techsphere and on to the news agenda of people who don't use the thing. Even people who we know and like, like our friends on Facebook, are becoming troll-like breathing dragons, but unlike a troll, we know who they are.
So what has caused all of this moral outrage, this public resentment, the belief by some that that this form of technology is immediately heading in the direction of the dinosaurs or, god forbid, MySpace? At the time of writing this article the new Facebook profile hadn't even been introduced yet to the wider public, so... the introduction of a ticker at the top right hand corner comments, changes to the newsfeed to make the news more apparently relevant, and a subscribe feature. That's it. Not much else.
And yet we scream, we scream and scream, we act like we're paying customers at a restaurant and we're so outraged at the actions of the waiter that we're about to set alight to the carpet and barf over the Crème brûlée.
What is wrong with us?
Don't get me wrong, these changes are weird. They're always going to be weird at first as we try to adjust to them, but I've never known another piece of technology that has caused so much moral outrage, so much hate, as the changes that Facebook introduce every three months, no matter how subtle.
Take the television as a comparison. It used to be a little black box in the corner with three dodgy channels and a man occasionally on the screen looking like a rabbit in headlights, it then developed into satellite and multitude of channels all in gleaming and glorious HD. No changes there to could push us to complain collectively right? Well, not really. There's now billions of pointless channels that we don't need nor want, high subscription rates, the fact that everything grinds to a halt on a certain channel for no apparent reason, trashy low-brow repetitive reality, budget cuts all over the shape for something that we're apparently to blame AND Bill O'Reilly. We complain a bit it here and complain about it there, but in comparison and all together it is in fact nothing, NOTHING compared to the horrific introduction of a tiny 'live feed' on the top right hand corner of our Facebook page when we log in.
It's a bit weird, isn't it?
We don't get the same response when PS3 change their logo or their menu settings from the PS2, we don't get the same response when Windows releases the new model of their computer or Apple change the colour of a menu background when they release a new model. Gmail changes, Hotmail or Windows Live alters its look. Little response. And yet this makes front page news, everywhere.
There isn't a simple explanation to all of this hate, in fact, I don't think there is an explanation at all. If I started an argument right now along the lines of "well it is a business, it is at its peak of its popularity so it has to change and evolve to stay relevant", I would be heckled by those saying that Facebook has introduced all of the wrong changes so I should be shot out of a cannon. If I go along the line of "how Facebook should stay the same way as it is because it seems to be popular the way that it is", I would get yelled at how Facebook has to make changes because you know, here comes Google+, and of course it has made changes before right now. And it isn't like we've had a long time to grow and detest it like some relative who openly hates you, spites you, or smells of wee- 24 hours, maybe 48 hours tops>
So I've thought about it and this is what I have to say. My final informed decision of advice to give to you, the public, if you have complained, if you are frustrated or annoyed or the changes that are yet to come. It kinda makes me cringe saying it...
Get a life. It isn't your friend, it doesn't make a difference, it isn't yours, it isn't a paid for service, it isn't a democracy... it is a business, a business that makes decisions, has ideas, makes changes and adapts and evolves. If you don't like it, you leave. You check out. You leave. This isn't bloody Hotel California.
Oh... just to let you know that I'm stocking up on food for when riots break out when Facebook changes our profile page. I've already learnt how to start how to start fires at the end of a stick just like how they do it on television and in films. Its pretty cool.
Follow Scott Bryan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/scottygb