Monday, September 11, 2006

Waxing Facebook

Facebook, the fascinating social phenomenon sweeping the country, has apparently 'gone too far.' Of course, it has 'gone too far' before: High School Facebook, allowing contact between 'normal' Facebook and High School Facebook, the addition of photo albums, global groups, etc, etc.
But I'm most upset by the removal of user's creation dates. I want my October 10, 2004 (the day Iowa joined Facebook) status shown to the world, proving I am not a Facebook-follower or a sell-out. I'm legit, bitches.

The addition of both the mini-feed and news-feed have prompted a uproar from the Facebook base, very similar to the conservative Republican base reacting to the immigration debate. Indeed, I was initially appalled, joining anti-new Facebook (global) groups. The amazingly huge backlash even found itself into Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal.

But my feelings have begun to turn the other way. Slightly after noon on Thursday, while perusing Facebook in the DI newsroom, I noticed that both my news and mini-feeds were no longer updating. I quickly felt a void inside: I had been disconnected from the larger world, not unlike third world countries shut out of the global trading system by developed countries. But I still have qualms with the principle of the new additions: They are rather unseemly, after all.

But my new opinion has been cemented largely because of the forementioned backlash. Indeed, my bizarrely-inherent-universal-contrarian nature has swayed my beliefs. Since public opinion is so vastly against the new Facebook changes, I find myself drawn to them. Facebook previously so-perfectly exemplified the information age our generation lives in. But apparently once the obvious is made more obvious, people take to the barricades.

If you really, really are pissy about mini and news-feeds, edit your freaking privacy settings. But get used to them - because as Mark Zuckerberg himself says, they're here to stay.

Andrew Swift
DI columnist and editorial writer

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