I’ve been a month without Facebook… well.. I say I’m a month without it – but truth be told a few days ago I reactivated my account for the day to see if there’s anything I miss.
I have a few gripes here. The first thing is the new interface on the Facebook App. My first thoughts were this: “Have Facebook fired their UX team?!”. There is a new user interface which, after I looked at it for a few minutes I came to the very quick conclusion that I intensely disliked it. It’s ugly, cluttered and for someone who was wondering if he wanted to come back to Facebook, it turned me off immediately.
There is a theory which applies to web design which I guess should also apply to app design – you have 5 seconds to grab the users attention. If you don’t, they will leave. Facebook for Android certainly didn’t grab mine. Not in any sort of positive light.
I’ve been told that I’m not alone here. Earlier on I received a text message from one of my friends which said that she had “Joined the ‘Delete your Facebook’ bandwagon”. Up until that point, I was unaware that any such bandwagon existed. After I looked into it a little more, I found that there has been an outcry of concerns regarding the new “Identify TV and Music” feature. This feature listens to background noise as you are making a post from your app to give the option to add this detected information to your post. People are concerned about their privacy and that’s something that I do understand. It is a bit creepy.
When I decided that I needed a break from Facebook, it wasn’t out of any moral standpoint. It was because I needed to get things done. I needed to spend some time learning and improving my web design and front end skills. I’ve managed to do this and am happy with what I have achieved so far. Then I realised that for many people, Facebook is more than just a community, more than just a social network. For many people, Facebook is an extension on themselves. Facebook is not just used as a communicative tool, it’s like another part of you. Not just part of your life, but part of you as a person.
This isn’t what I want to use the internet for. As a tool for communication – absolutely, the internet is amazing. As a learning resource, the internet is amazing. I want to use the internet to improve myself, to improve my skills and learn new ones. I want to make connections with people who I don’t know who have the same interests, passions, motivation and drive as I do. To collaborate towards something that can ultimately make a difference. To learn from each other, teach and to help. Shouldn’t this be the case? With so many people, this just isn’t the case any more. There is one website they visit. One website they have any sort of interest in. Isn’t it just a little sad?