Facebook seems more frenzied since its latest changes. The new features include a ticker à la Tweetdeck that keeps you abreast of your friends’ latest pronouncements. A “Close Friends” feed where you can add and follow those who you interact with often. In addition, you can subscribe to members who have public profiles without befriending them; you can make your updates public, friends only, or for friends of friends.
Many of these new add-ons I found annoying. I disliked the ticker from the moment it appeared. Thankfully, I found a plug-in for Google Chrome that allowed me to shut it off. I also discovered another plug-in, FB Purity, that has several options to turn off unwanted advertisements, lists, games, tags and a number of nuisance items.
But even after turning off much of the crap, Facebook feels like it has turned into a stalker on steroids mixed with uppers. Are my friends posting more than usual or is it more noticeable because I have a number of people in my “Close Friends” feed? One writer friend, who is both on Facebook and Google+ commented about the frenetic pace of Facebook versus the sedate nature of Google+ and I agree. After cleaning out 8,000+ emails from my iPhone, I noticed that most of them were generated from Facebook and that it was time, yet again, to change the email settings.
I’ve mentioned that Facebook is a virtual water cooler and an enabler of procrastination. As the Empress of Procrastination, it has become my prime destination to socialize, vent, get my news, watch videos, putz around, share my politics, and so on. And although I’ve bemoaned that I waste so much time on it, there are a few positives: I’ve reconnected with friends from college, made new friends, and found freelance work. But there’s still something about Facebook that nags at me and makes me want to step away: it’s started to have this malevolent feel more like Jonestown and, instead of drinking the water, we’re mainlining the Kool-Aid.