(CBS) - Yesterday, when Facebook introduced the world to a, many were not happy. But what else is new? It seems every single time the social network makes a tweak, members freak out.
Joseph Cilona, a Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist, relationship expert and social media guru, reminds us of the basic appeal and utility of Facebook: to save time and offer convenience. So why are some of us so resistant to change? Hey, I hate change too as much as the next girl, but having to update my habits (over time) in an effort to eventually make my life easier is totally cool with me.
Remember the old Facebook?
A couple of years ago (in my former digital-media-working life), I was on a team implementing a tremendous redesign and a re-launch of a site. I learned then that no matter how you change things up on a website - even if it's so super-awesome on so many levels, the best of tweaks governed by immense research and heavy analysis - there will be negatrons (that's what I call people revolted by change). They moan, flee and threaten never to come back. But for the most part, they stick around (although begrudgingly). And eventually, they accept the changes and forget all about their distaste for them in the first place.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg and friends took the stage at the f8 conference in San Francisco, Calif. to address developers and businesses that build products around the social network to fill 'em in on what's to come.
On the menu of upcoming Facebook tweaks:
- Integration of music services, such as Spotify and Turntable.fm, which would turn Facebook into "a primary entertainment hub"
- A profile redesign
- Implementation of "Timeline," which would allow you to go back in time (before Facebook was born) and add photos and events to your page
Sounds promising - honestly.
I mean, think about it - it's not like Facebook is going to lead you the wrong path and make your cyber social life more annoying than before. That'd be silly because then you'll leave. (Of course this point excludes privacy fears and what-not. That's a whole other can of worms that we'll address some other time.)
Don't jump down my throat just yet - I realize your woes regarding Facebook's constant overhauls are understandable. "When it comes to Facebook's site changes, general dissatisfaction can be less related to the actual changes and more related to the perception of being forced to change, not having a voice, and feeling powerless and without control," says Cilona. "If Facebook gave the simple option to choose your own options and personalize function, or not, there would likely be considerably less negative reaction."
Hmmm - options... Yes, we like options. And yes, we also like having a say. Was there a survey we missed? (But then again, you refuse to take those.)
Cilona explains, "When something is an integral part of everyday life like Facebook is for so many people, the likelihood for change being received well has a direct relationship with the perception that the change will be relevant and positive."
No wonder we came across these #f8 tweets today:
"The future of music looks a lot like Last.fm circa 2008. #f8," tweets @jherskowitz.
"This keynote is making me want to listen to a radio. Alone. #f8," tweets @LoriPA.
"The more that FB wants me to be social, the more anti-social I want to become. #f8," tweets @shawkeith.
"New Facebook Timeline: This sounds oddly like writing my own obituary as an infographic... #timeline #f8," tweets @DannyDover.
At the moment, one can make the argument that members simply don't realize how the recent Facebook changes and updates to come are going to benefit them. You'll only know when you begin to use said changes, get used to them and figure out how they can make your life better. And if they don't, then you can flee into the night and get your social network fix elsewhere. (Cough, Google+.) Mark Zuckerberg should understand.