Facebook Fervor

I joined Facebook three years ago because I’m internet obsessed hip to all web trends, and in that time, Facebook’s added a lot of cool features. You can list your course schedule and search for users by class. You can search by high school, by major, by dorm or by interest. Facebook also allows you to add friend details, so instead of a pool of a hundred people tagged as friends, you can explain who’s a roommate, a classmate, or and old boyfriend.

Yes, that’s the most important use of Facebook. “Facebook-stalking”, although not yet approved by William Safire, has slipped into our lexicon. I’ve been guilty of checking an ex-boyfriend’s profile more than absolutely neccessary and I’m far from being the only one!

There’s more the Facebook that seeing if the hot guy from history class is single. (Note to all girls currently studying in Rome: He isn’t) Users can upload photos, and then comment on or tag these pictures in a big, interactive photo album. You can send private messages, group messages and public messages to others. Facebook users can also start and join interest groups, from Marry me, Mr. Darcy! to Procrastinaters Unite….. Tomorrow. I am not saying that I’m a member of either group. Just giving you some examples.

But in the last few days, the Facebook folks have made some less-than-popular changes. They’ve down so well making Facebook into a combination of Flickr, MySpace and Xanga, they decided to throw in an RSS reader, too. Only this feed is all about the last ten things you’ve done on Facebook.

And the verdict from Facebook users seems to be pretty universal. This sucks.

The privacy issue seems to have a lot of usuers up in arms. It doesn’t really bother me, because there’s nothing secret on my profile. My problem is simply that the new feed is boring. My Facebook profile is now a mind-numbing list of “Meg said hello to her friend. Meg posted 5 photos. Meg said hello to another friend. Meg commented on her friend’s photo”.

I don’t want to ditch my Facebook account. I like checking in with my friends, and unlike MySpace, Friendster and Consummating, the focus seems to be more on keeping up with classmates and less on finding online love. I love the photosharing, I even like the new status updates. I like how there are so few ads, and the ones I do see are flyers for college events. And I really like how many of my friends and old classmates — even the technologically impaired ones — are on the Facebook.

There’s only one thing to do. I’m joining the Dear Mark Zuckerberg, please change it back Facebook group.

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