Friday, August 17, 2012

You Now Have Timeline

"You Now Have Timeline." Are there any more dreaded words in the Internet universe? For people who are into social networking, these words can inflict the same horror as "You're being audited." Given a choice, everyone would much rather hear "It looks like triplets."
Today started out fine, until I made the mistake of checking out Facebook. That's when I saw the message. My nice, neat, easy-to-understand profile is being forcibly relocated to the Evil Land of Timeline. It's a barren wasteland where it's impossible to understand who your friends are or what they're doing. You don't know what you like and what you don't. Your pictures are lost in the ether. And you have no choice about any of it.
I knew it was hopeless, but I still went to Facebook's help topics looking for some glimmer of hope that maybe I could prevent the inevitable. I searched in vain using topics like, "Get rid of Timeline," "Timeline sucks," and "Why do you hate me?" But there weren't any topics to help me. If those topics exist, they're locked up in Timeline where it's impossible for anyone to find them.
So my question is "Why?" Why would anyone purposely make something suck this badly? And it's not like FB is unaware that people hate Timeline. I sent them an email and commented that I’m no doubt the one billionth person to complain about it. That's probably an understatement. The idea of taking something that people think is OK and turning it into something incomprehensible that your customers despise doesn't make sense. It's like if McDonald's got rid of its hamburgers and started only selling ground-up cabbage patties. They wouldn't. There would be no point. So why Timeline? Why inflict the social media equivalent of ground cabbage patties on the world of FB users?
If anyone has any answer to that question, please let me know. Because right now I'm forced to conclude that this is an elaborate practical joke designed to find out how much obnoxious crap the public will put up with. You know, along the lines of red-light cameras and info-mercials that offer to give you something "free" as long as you pay a "separate handling" charge.
Signing off in the Evil Land of Timeline,

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