I was wondering when this was going to start happening, and it looks like it is starting to happen. People are beginning to hate Facebook. We liked it at first, because it was so much better than Myspace. We also liked Myspace at first, because it was so much better than Friendster. We also liked Friendster at first, because it was so much better than walking down the street and going, “Hey, man! Did you hear about…” We need a social networking tool. We do. We always had one, whether it was a cellphone, a regular phone, a community messaging board, a chick who knew all the town gossip, and we will always need one. The issue, however, is what kind of social networking tools do we need, and what parts of the tool don’t we need. I have a theory about this. The word is utility.
Think about what pushed everyone away from Friendster. It didn’t work half the time. Remember that. It just didn’t work. You would try to log on, and it would not happen. It was like Friendster hated you or something. Then, you went to Myspace because, not only did it work, but it worked amazingly well. You could post pictures, update stuff, all that. It was real fun. It also was bought by Fox and then the whole mess became one big music-selling device that no one wanted any part of. You moved to Facebook because it was simple, right? You did it because it was easy and simple and it wasn’t intrusive. And it served a purpose. I could get up with my friends with this shit. I will use it. That’s all you wanted it for and that’s all it was used for.
And then people started all these damn club pages and fan pages and all these event pages and all this other crap that we did not need. And that was when we became annoyed. Yes, I do understand that some of the privacy issues are real issues. But, let’s be real ourselves here. If I wanted to, I could find out your social security number. I really could. If I wanted to. I don’t want to. You can’t stop someone who wants to steal your identity. There is the illusion of safety, but there isn’t really safety. Perception equals reality. As long as we think we are safe, we are happy. People aren’t getting mad at Facebook because of privacy. People are getting mad at Facebook because Facebook is getting annoying, and we are using the privacy excuse as an, uh, an excuse. People are even going to start leaving soon, in some strange fit of protest.
It is all about utility. It is all about function. Facebook serves a function. The reason why Twitter is still relevant, and why it will always be relevant, is because the people who use Twitter LOVE Twitter. The people who hate Twitter refuse to use Twitter. And since the people who hate Twitter don’t use Twitter, the people who love Twitter aren’t annoyed by the people who hate Twitter because the people who hate Twitter don’t use Twitter. That is what I hope for with Facebook: a completely exodus of people who don’t want to use it.
I hope people leave Facebook in gushers. I hope Facebook loses half of the people on it. Why? Because the people who are annoyed by Facebook are the very people who ABUSE Facebook. The person who complains that Facebook is “losing its cool” are the very people that helped the losing of cool of Facebook. These people tried to use Facebook as a super-powerful life-fixing tool. Some sort of self-promotion, look-at-me, look-at-me machine. That is not what Facebook is for. Facebook was created, so that, when I need to, I can email that old girlfriend I slept with three years ago, just in case I still want to sleep with her. Social Networking tools are built to social network, not social aggravate. They are not built for you to send me a billion links to a billion things I don’t care about. Once you push your need for Facebook on to me, and once I don’t push the need back, it annoys you, thus making you want to leave.
The odd thing about Facebook that I can’t understand is that the people who hate Facebook refuse to leave Facebook. What? You want me to leave with you? To justify your rage, your angst, your hatred for something that I find incredibly useful? Go gnaw on yourself. I will not follow you down that strange road, sir. My advise for people who want to quit Facebook: Quit Facebook. The rest of us will stay, happily absent of your sad desire.