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Why You Should Stop Complaining About Facebook

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The Internet has been exploding over the last few days as Facebook announced (and already made in some cases) a ton of changes, most notably to profile pages. Most of what I’ve been hearing is complaining. It seems like every time Facebook makes changes, even minor ones, people get bent out of shape about it. Today, I’d like to encourage you to stoppit. Stop complaining about Facebook, because it doesn’t make sense. Here’s why:

Change Isn’t Always Bad

Have you actually tested out the new changes? There are always going to be things I would have done differently when it comes to how any platform operates, but now that I’ve tested it out, I actually understand why the changes were made and I’m not going to lie…they’re pretty awesome changes, for the most part. At least in my opinion. If you don’t like the changes, it’s okay to voice that opinion, but at least test it out before you complain. It’s always a good policy to understand what you’re so mad about, right? You can start by checking out Julie’s post which lists 10 places to learn about the new Facebook timeline, including how to preview your new timeline if you don’t want to wait until September 30. Don’t just complain based on what you’ve read. Use it yourself first.

Facebook is Optional

You don’t like Facebook? Don’t use it. No one is forcing anyone to use Facebook, yet every person I see complaining about Facebook is still a member of Facebook. In fact, most of the complaining I see is on Facebook. If you really don’t like using Facebook…stop using it. Move to Twitter or Google+ or stay connected with your friends the old-fashioned way – pick up the phone. I know lots of people who don’t use Facebook and they haven’t died. The only way we can truly tell Facebook that we disagree is by not using it anymore.

Facebook is Free

Facebook is a free service. You don’t own it, nor do you pay to use it. As users who have helped make it successful, I’m not saying that you have no right to voice your opinion if you don’t like something, because, after all, without us, Facebook wouldn’t make any money. However, Facebook is not your blog. The Facebook overlords are going to make the changes they think makes the most sense, and your best interests may not be in mind. Don’t make Facebook your home base, because you’ll never truly have control over your content there. If you want control, buy your own domain name and actually take ownership of your content rather than just complaining. Facebook is going to do what Facebook is going to do, and you can’t really stop it. On your own blog, you get to control everything.

Complaining is a Waste of Time

Complaining, at least the way most people are going about it, is a waste of time. It’s easy to point out what is wrong with something, but are you actually making suggestions on how to make things better? And, more importantly, are you voicing your opinions in a way that matters? If you just spout off a bunch of profanities as a Facebook status update, what good is it really going to do? Send an email to the Facebook team with your opinion. You can at least try to get your suggestions in front of people who really matter. Not that your roommate’s second grade best friend and former college tutor aren’t great…but like your other Facebook friends, they can’t do anything about your complaints. It’s really easy to be critical, but it’s not so easy to be helpful. If you’re going to be negative, try to be helpful as well.

It’s Just Facebook

At the end of the day…it’s just Facebook. I understand that a lot of people rely on Facebook to keep in touch with loved ones or to promote their blogs, but if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, I assure you, we would all survive. Every moment you spend complaining about Facebook is a moment you could be spending on things that are more important in life, like your family or building your business in ways where you actually control the content. The way I see it, life already throws a lot of crap our way that we have to handle. Why spend even more time on negativity? In other words…there are more important things in life than Facebook. Spend your time on those things.

The bottom line, the moral of the story, the thesis of this entire post, is this: I definitely want to hear people’s opinions on the new Facebook changes; I just want it to be productive. Don’t let useless complaining drown out the real conversation.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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  • Brock

    As a matter of fact, I have heard more people daring to say “Stop complaining!” than I have heard actual complaining.  And to the nitwits with the blind audacity to use, “Facebook is free!” as part of their argument, Mark Zuckerberg– youngest billionaire, blah blah blah, does any of this ring a bell?  If they’re going to get stupid rich feeding our incessant addiction to nose around, the least they could is to make it less painful!!!?!?!?! 
    Yes, I’ve tested out the new FB.  Yes, it is a dramatic step in the wrong direction in my opinion.  The only comment I have thus far read about this sensitive subject that has made any sense at all to me (unfortunately can’t quote the source, don’t remember random stranger that posted it): “I work for the government, I understand the philosophy of ‘If it ain’t broke, f@%* it up anyway!'”

    • Allison Boyer

      See, it’s this kind of thing that, in my opinion, is hurting the conversation. That’s the whole point of this post. It’s blind complaining with no value. You can stoop to name-calling and cursing if you want, but where is the value in your comment? It’s fine to not like Facebook, but you haven’t talked about what you don’t like, why you don’t like it, what you think should be done differently, etc. Go ahead and call me a nitwit until you’re blue in the face, but all that does is make people who don’t agree with you feel defensive and not care about what you have to say. It’s much more interesting to actually debate, rather than just yell, isn’t it?

      • James Dabbagian, M.A

        Honestly, the problem is that each change is so radically different from before that it gets confusing as hell. As time passes, we’ll accept the new feed…conveniently right before FB fires off another layout change, lol. 

        And Brock, I think it’s more like this: “If it isn’t broken, it doesn’t have enough features yet.” 

        • Allison Boyer

          I definitely agree with that. I actually like that there’s doing one big group of changes at once right now, because I think Facebook gets a little confusing when they roll out changes one by one over the course of a long time. It feels like something is always changing in a very elaborate way. When people are confused, they resist change and aren’t afraid to push back.

  • Pinoy Foodies by Tessa

    actually facebook is a waste of time!

    • Allison Boyer

      Maybe for some people, though I think there are actually really great things about Facebook as well. For example, I’ve reconnected with otherwise lost friends via Facebook, so for that reason alone, I definitely don’t think its a waste of time.

      And I guess, in my opinion at least, if people enjoy something, it isn’t a waste of time (to that person). I don’t spend tons of time on Facebook because I personally don’t enjoy it, but for some people, it is a hobby, the same way reading novels or watching movies or painting are hobbies for other people. If you do something that doesn’t have educational value habitually even though you’re “meh” about it, it can be a waste of time. If you honestly enjoy it, I don’t believe it is, even if it is something as mundane as watching TV or getting on Facebook.

  • JudyHelfand

    Alli,
    I am glad you wrote this.  As usual, you are taken a common sense approach. I remember when I saw Social Network the movie, a few scenes stayed with me.  My favorite is this exchange:

    Eduardo Saverin: So when will it be finished?Mark Zuckerberg: It won’t be finished. That’s the point. The way fashion’s never finished.Eduardo Saverin: What?Mark Zuckerberg: Fashion, fashion is never finished.Eduardo Saverin: You’re talking about fashion? Really, you?Mark Zuckerberg: I’m talking about the idea of it. And I’m saying that it’s never finished.Eduardo Saverin: Okay. But they manage to make money selling pants.

    I think what happens to most people is that they reach a comfort point. And then someone reorganizes the kitchen cabinets and they can’t find anything. What I hate is when I am the reorganizer and then have to put up with all the questions that start with: “where is the …?”

    Facebook will evolve, each iteration will bring handy and awkward features…life will go on. And in the scheme of things there is so much real suffering that people are enduring in our nation right now…these changes are of no real consequence.

    Thanks, as always,

    Judy 

    • Allison Boyer

      That scene between Eduardo and Mark was definitely great!

      Yeah, I totally hate the learning curve of finding everything again. That’s why I like when they do one big update rather than small ones over a period of time.

      You’re totally right. “Life will go on.” It’s just Facebook. It might be annoying to figure out how the changes will work, but there are a lot more important things in life to worry about!

  • totti

    i’m never complaining about facebook, in fact, i never use it personally..

    and those complainers (whose still stays on) are simply stupid as they talk too much without thinking first, nor leave..

    anyway, nice article.. love it! thumbs up 🙂

  • Leisa Monique

    The biggest problem that I have  with all of the changes is that users don’t have the option of opting out of most of the changes! I personally don’t like everything I do on Facebook showing up in a “twitter like” feed for the world to see so as I result I don’t post any updates unless they are on one of my business pages. 

    I used to be able to prevent people who were not my “friends” from seeing my wall and now it’s open for anyone who goes to my page to see. Oh, I know about customizing the posts but  it’s an extra step that is unnecessary. I would prefer that my wall be visible to the people that I choose to be able to see it. Period. 

    And as far as it being free those of us with business pages and who run ads from time to time do pay for this service but whether it’s free or not there should be some level of respect for it’s users and the folks at FB seem to have none. 

    • Allison Boyer

      I’m not a Facebook expert by any means, but I’m not sure what you mean when you say that  anyone can see your wall now. If you’re set to “friends only” I don’t think anything has changed in terms of privacy. Or you can customize individual posts. The option to make “friends only” default is still there, though, unless I’m mistaken! I have mine set to friends-only, so if you aren’t my friend, you can’t see my wall at all unless I change an individual post to make it public.

      Also, there seems to be some confusing with the Facebook feed ticker thingy. Stuff you do will ONLY show up on your friends’ tickers if you have your profile set to “friends only.” Even if your friend comments on one of your posts – the fact that they’ve commented will only show up on their friends’ tickers if you have the posts set as public or if you are all mutual friends. Friends of friends can’t just click through to your posts because someone they know commented. So basically, unless I’m mistaken, the ticker isn’t sharing anything that you didn’t share before.

      • Deidra Dunlap Grossi

        “So basically, unless I’m mistaken, the ticker isn’t sharing anything that you didn’t share before.”

        That’s correct, but only in some cases, and only in the most technical sense.  The information in the ticker that a lot of people are most upset about is information that previously only posted on your profile page as a blurb under “Recent Activity.” There was an option to hide this activity, which a lot of people had done, including myself. You can still hide all those blurbs, but now, they automatically broadcast to all of your friends’ tickers, and in some cases, their News Feeds.

        The problem with this is that some people don’t want those activities broadcast. For example, I have a very good friend  (who likes to keep her settings at “friends of friends”) who often posts risque things. And I’m totally comfortable making blue comments, or joking around in a way that perhaps I don’t want my parents, or my young nieces and nephews to see. I have to temper my comments now because I know they will be broadcast.  

        There are a ton of reasons why people had chosen to hide their “Recent Activity.” Religious or political discussions, flirting, participation in certain groups. Heck, I have a gay friend who wants to be able to “like” a photo of a hot man without it being broadcast to everyone on his friends list. He can’t now.

        Of course, I’m never going to post anything anywhere that I absolutely wouldn’t want anyone to know. And yes,  Facebook is correct when they say that this information was already available for viewing by your friends in other places. But the fact is, if you had it hidden on your profile, only the most dedicated of stalkers would have been able to locate any of it. And even then, some of it would be impossible to find.  A privacy control that previously existed and that people relied on has been removed. That’s why they’re upset.

        Another major complaint that I have is that the Subscription settings aren’t working as they should. Even if users take the time to set all their Subscriptions to “all updates,” some things still don’t get posted in their News Feeds. And even if they disable “comments and likes” to get rid of all the Recent Activity postings I discussed earlier, they still sometimes post in their News Feeds.  So now I may have my feed cluttered with “Friend X likes Photo of a Person I Don’t Know and Don’t Care About,” but I’m not seeing the video of my Grand Nephew who lives in Germany. That’s a big deal to us social users.

        If I thought this was just a buggy update, I’d be more patient about that. But I’m reasonably sure it’s working as intended. There used to be a filtering option on your News Feed under “Edit Options.” You could choose to either show posts from “All friends and pages” or “Friends and pages you interact with most.” The latter option was the default and would apply an algorithm to your News Feed to decide which posts you’d like to see.  The option to choose is now gone, and I think they’re just adding this filtering on top of all the new user-defined filters, whether you want them to or not. So your subscription settings that you took an hour to set up really should be called “Subscription Suggestions.”

        I could be wrong about that, though. Maybe it is just really buggy. But I doubt it.  In any case, yes, I have sent lots of feedback and encouraged my friends to do the same.

        • Deidra Dunlap Grossi

          Lol … didn’t mean to ramble so much.  I just wanted to point out that there are at least a couple of legitimate complaints beyond the usual “It’s new so I don’t like it.” I personally don’t like change, but I recognize that and know that the other things I don’t like about the update (Like Top Stories) I’ll either get used to, or, being an educated user, will find a workaround for. I do feel sorry for the less tech-savvy, though. 

          And there are some good things about the latest update that do seem to get lost in all the hubub . Individual subscription settings for friends will be amazing, for example. 

  • nancyadkins

    Love your post! You are so right.  Its time to get over the complaining about Facebook and move on with life. I will be back to read more.   Have a great day @nancyadkins 

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