When I clicked onto my Facebook account today, a new feature with short explanations greeted me. Yes, another change! The little box informed me that all of the “Top Stories from the Last Day” would lead, being followed by “Recent Stories.” These tops stories, selected by Facebook, have a little blue corner tab to let your deselect them. Once you’ve done that, you’re given the option of seeing the “Four Top Recent Stories.” I suppose these new features offer something faster for the person with a million friends. Another new feature is the ability to “See what your friends are up to right now,” which offers Peeping Tom a view on just how boring everyone’s life can be. The menu bar, also changed, no longer has a place for clicking onto your Profile. You accomplish that by selecting your name and Profile picture in the upper left corner. As I progress through the next few days, I’m certain to stumble upon other features that now work differently.
Of course, all of the “Top Stories from the Last Day” railed against Facebook for once again making changes! You see, our brains get lazy. We love the security of sameness. When rattled by unexpected change, we feel discomfort. The last time Facebook changed, status after status started up for a “Change Facebook Back” bombardment. Of course, nothing happened, and our brains assimilated and accommodated the new until it became comfortable. I know if someone asked me today to describe the previous setup for Facebook (which I loved), I couldn’t. The old is forgotten, the new assimilated. Now that new will become the old.
In the meantime, Facebook users’ distress at the changes will make them rail against the inevitable. For some of us, there’ll be a mental shoulder shrugging, a shake of the head, and an acceptance of the new. Others will continue to resist, feeling disoriented and disgruntled for days before their brains take in and accept the changes. Then there will be the final group. These patrons will find another social network (like Google+). The irony of making a bigger change in protest of change being totally lost to them.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman