I can’t remember the last time I heard such an uproar among so many people. Not when the earthquake hit in Japan. Not when the US narrowly escaped default on its debts in August. Not even when hurricane Irene traveled up the eastern coast of the United States. For yesterday, the really BIG news hit:
They changed Facebook.
Now I am not talking a little tweak here or there. I am talking a major overhaul. Not only is the overall appearance different, but the entire way that things are set up has been reorganized and shifted around which has left many people confused and yes, angry.
I have no intention of reviewing these changes here, as that isn’t the point that I want to make. I am a regular user of Facebook myself, as it helps me stay in touch on a daily basis with family, colleagues and friends from all over the world with minimal effort. I think it is convenient and allows me to interact and get to know people that I otherwise would not. By just bringing up my page on the screen, I am in an instant able to see what my kids are up to, pictures of my friends’ new grandchild, and the new woodworking project that another friend just finished. I may even answer a question on woodworking or painting and help someone out that way. Or be able to attend a trade show through someones slide show. Overall I think it is a good thing.
Oh – and it is free.
Social networking has become a part of life for many. If you are reading this on your computer, chances are that you too are somehow involved in social networking. Our site here at Lumberjocks is another example of a social network, although it is somewhat specialized in its interest. For us woodworkers, it is a source flowing with ideas and advice and yes, friendships. It is also free for us to use at will.
Yes, I know that some will argue and say that because of the ads here that this isn’t really a ‘free’ site. The same occurs with Facebook. But let’s face it – if we want to use the services and don’t want to shell out a dime, we don’t have to and are not penalized in the least. That’s a pretty sweet deal for us, I think.
Remember when the coffee lounge was closed here on Lumberjocks for a while? There was quite an uproar then. People had come to depend on this site, not only for woodworking advice, but to enjoy the friendships that they created here. Fortunately things were eventually resolved, but I think that sometimes loosing something that we may take a bit for granted isn’t always a bad thing. It reminds us of the value of what we had in the first place.
I don’t always understand how people can be so outraged and indignant when the developers of these types of services decide to make a change. After all, as far as the masses are concerned, they themselves have nothing invested in the company other than the time they spent to set up their own accounts. And shouldn’t they at least do that for themselves and take the time to educate themselves on the free software that is being offered to them? You would think that people would be grateful for the opportunity.
It isn’t as if the instructions aren’t offered. At all the decent sites that I frequent, it seems to me that the clients are spoon fed instructions on how to set up and operate their own little piece of real estate. They all have troubleshooting areas and there are usually others in the respective forums who are more than willing to help them through any troubles they are having. All they have to do is ask.
In society today, it appears that many people want just about everything done for them. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does seem that it is the tone for a majority. They want their pages customized to their exact criteria (i.e. I want to see THIS but not THAT) and naturally everyone’s criteria is different. From a programmers point of view, the only way to make people happy is to allow them customize their own pages by giving them their own tools to make settings that they desire. But I have noticed that the more settings that are handed to others, the more they complain. They just don’t want to take the time to do it themselves.
I wonder as I read all these complaints how do they expect the providers to accomplish what they are asking? How is one central body suppose to customize thousands, if not millions of pages to people’s personal specifications?
We all know the answer. They simply can’t. (And- may I add – they shouldn’t have to!)
People don’t like change. I do understand that for many it is difficult to become familiar with how something like a networking site works. It takes a while to become used to how things are set up and in that familiarity, people find comfort and security. Changes tend to rock the boat and upset the balance in people’s already chaotic lives.
But changes are necessary in life. If you look around you, it is difficult to find something that never changes. I think one of the things we can count on most in our lives is that everything around us will always be changing in some form or another. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.
I look at change as a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors. Each moment of beauty only last so long and then we move on. Not all are equally beautiful, but each one is different and exciting and fills us with anticipation for what is to come and appreciation for what has been.
Whether we fight changes in our lives or embrace them, they are going to keep happening. As with many things, our perspective and attitude is going to weigh heavily on how we view these changes and our ultimate happiness and well being. We have much more control over our own happiness than we sometimes realize, and we do indeed follow where we choose to focus our thoughts.
Without changes, nothing will improve. Nothing will heal. Nothing will grow. Comfort is good, but not if it makes us stagnant. I, for one, choose to embrace the changes that life sends my way and learn from them and use them to enrich my life. I can’t imagine anything better.
I wish you all a productive and enlightening day.
Loyalty to a petrified idea never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. – Mark Twain
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"