In it's current form, this is a rough draft about why Facebook and other social sites annoy me. The first bit is my "status" from Facebook, the one that prompted a friend to send me a friendly message laughing at it. The second is wholly taken from an e-mail sent to the friend. I keep it here for archive sake, but also plan on editing this and fleshing out my statments.
On to the Facebook bit. The reason I complained last night was because I got something along the lines of "X has sent a message to Y". I know that Facebook had already reported some poll stances "John likes anal sex more, what about you?" and even has reported responses to advertisements "Looks like July is taking a vacation in June to Juno, thanks to the Bahama Lines Advertisement". At the rate they are going, in six months or so they are going to start exposing private messages between people. Sure, I'm being partly facetious, but then just about everything else in that lines would
have been considered an extraordinary breach of privacy to begin with.
Equally infuriating can be what it does not tell you. You respond to a friend's notes and never get a follow-up, only later to find out that they did respond to you. Instead, you are told that Susie said that Sally's Youtube posting of fifteen Panda cubs was "Awww, cute ^.^!!!!" and you did find out that Kerry's note on the impact of global warming on the third world cobbler industry received nine replies. And something about superfriends and a superwall and a dancing penguin zombie virus. But not, thank the lord Satan below us, that the one damned note you needed you to know about was replied to.
I think that Facebook is at a point where it seriously needs to split into two. The one Facebook, we'll call it Friendbook, can focus on updating you on ever single aspect of your friends out there and allows applications and whatnot. If you don't have friends, it can pull random words from a phrase stockbook and make you feel like you have friends: "Peanuts are a legume warred with Agincourt except the tangent of the thus spoke the Lord."
The other Facebook can be more like the older model, with no add-ons and the updates about friends are things they changed about their public profile in a fairly easy to read manner. Oh, and they had best come up with a logical difference between Notes and Posted Items. Oh, and they had generally come up with a way to handle Notes, Updates, Posted Items as a whole rather than force you to dig through your own stuff just to handle it.
As it is, the "Friendbook" model that has taken over becomes a painful mush of a sorting nightmare. In my statement of purpose letter (by the way, if you want, I put a copy up on my website) to UA I mentioned that one of the biggest ordeals facing us right now is the overwhelming amount of information that makes it hard to actually do anything with it. We are being trained to ignore information, now, in order to have any hope at all, rather than being trained to restrain ourselves to only divulging the parts useful at the time. I am just as guilty, to a degree: I post regularly to a blog. But I try and make each post honestly count in the long run. And I read my friends' blogs regularly, and I notice, in more traditional blog formats, that they aim for the same: strong, whole blocks of information and sharing rather than microblocks.
Look at Facebook and notice how it has went from expanding what you know about your friends to forcing you to mulch hundreds of data points of all your friends into one collective whole just to have time to see what everyone is saying, leading to a disjointed contact. Friends become people of a type, with many internal responses having to take them as a whole rather than as a series of individuals. It is precious little snowflake syndrome gone awry because have mercy it's a snowstorm.
It is like being privy to 150 Twitter accounts and having to put together microbites of minutiae into a semblance of reasonable information. With any luck, the world or the Internet will come to an end before something that out Twitters Twitter comes out. I suppose something that only allows you to post 5 words at a time? Or maybe something intelligent enough it comes up with posts for you? Hell, why not both?
Doug is in class, bored.
*update* Doug yawned.
*update* Doug scratched his left arm.
*update* Doug dropped his pencil.
*update* Doug thought a dirty thought.
*update* Doug is in class, bored.
Alright, alright. Rant end. I promise.