Monday, March 11, 2013

I Hope Facebook's New Design Includes Flying Buttresses

Photo credit: stoneysteiner
The second Facebook announced that they're launching a redesigned Newsfeed, people started complaining about the change. Considering how much everyone hated the last redesign, you'd think they'd be looking forward to a new version, but no.

Me? My first thought was to hope that the new design would keep Facebook from being crushed by the weight of all the sanctimony I keep finding in my newsfeed. I have several hundred Facebook friends, including many "game neighbors" (people I've friended because we both play games that require players to send each other virtual building materials, or whatever, to play). I actually keep my neighbors' updates displayed in my newsfeed until they post something I really can't stand since they may post something game-related, and it's nice to meet people, especially when I don't have to leave my house to do it.

Come to think of it, most of the annoying stuff in my FB newsfeed comes from people I know i real life. Because I'm less inclined to just unfriend them or hide them. (And I did unfriend a game neighbor (a woman, even) for repeating the Rush Limbaugh bullshit about Sandra Fluke and how you can get birth control at Walmart for $10, so we should all STFU about how much it costs.) I engaged in some conversation with that dolt, but ultimately, there are more game neighbors where she came from.

Anyhoodle, so here's what I tend to find in my newsfeed:

  • Thanks and praise to Jesus. This is usually from people I went to Catholic school with. Where I decided that a parochial school education means that I've already gotten in a lifetime's worth of religion, so I can be done, their results varied.
  • Reposting of some stupid hoax. I, or someone else will post a link to snopes in the comments.
  • Status updates wondering why people don't just fucking check snopes *before* sharing something they read on their wall.
  • Smug declarations by vegetarians or vegans stating that theirs is the *only* justifiable diet. So far I've been able to refrain from sharing long, boring explanations of how my whole migraine situation makes either one of those diets impossible for me, even though for some people they cure migraines. Everyone's body is different, so...
  • Photographs of bacon, and other meat-heavy dishes. This once prompted my meat-loving brother to post a status update reminding everyone of how bad factory farms treat that bacon while it's still a pig, so enough with the bacon in everything trend, OK? When someone who lives in Texas says enough with all the meat already, you know things have gone too far.
  • Statements by radical feminists. Quite a bit of it is too complicated to understand at first reading before I've had my morning caffeine, but later in the day, I'm all over it.
  • Guys I know in real life referring to staying home with their kids while their wife is out as "babysitting." Sometimes, I point out as politely as possible that dude, it's not babysitting if its your own kids. Other times, I get sanctimonious myself. Other times I say nothing because I just don't have the time to get into a whole thing. Most people have a loooooong way to go to catch up with the radical feminists. It's like the rad fems are leading the herd and I'm trying to nudge a few more people in their general direction like a sheepdog. A feminist sheepdog.
  • Statements that support a political stance, but don't quite get it right. This includes "Real women have curves", because thin women are real too, and the body acceptance movement is about freedom of being judged based on our fuckability, not changing the definition of who's fuckable. This also includes an anti-abortion rights message (posted by a woman) displaying what has got to be a six- or seven-month old fetus complete with fingers and toes, and saying that it's a three-month old embryo.
  • Posts from fans about how someone or something is about to ruin, yes ruin their favorite franchise. Love the passion, hate how I can't watch anything anymore without thinking about how one of my friends would hate it. You'd really think that fifty years of Doctor Who and James Bond would've turned all my fan friends into zen masters by now - if you don't like something about it now, just wait a few years and it'll change. But no. Equanimity and fandom do not go together.
  • Pictures of abused animals shared by people who are against animal abuse.
  • Photos of corpses. This has included faked pix of Bin Laden's dead body, official photos of Ghandi laid out for his funeral, pictures of a hanging in Iran (posted by a group opposing capital punishment in Iran) and snaps from an open casket funeral, shared to illustrate how gun violence is killing our children. Because showing me dead bodies while I'm eating breakfast is totally the way to get on my good side.
Seriously, between all that and the dopey jokes, cat videos and people freaking out over local weather, I barely get to see what people are actually up to. I know that Facebook has been trying to sort through all the info for us so that we're not overwhelmed, but I fear that the result has been that we're left viewing a lot of sanctimonious nonsense simply because it gets shared and commented on a lot.

What do you see in your Facebook newsfeed that you could live without?


  1. I always have Dr. Oz all in my face promising I'll lose 28 pounds in a week

  2. Honestly alot of the politics. I know my politics don't jive with my friends and I try to refrain from posting my views as to not offend others. I do rarely post stuff but usually I try to make it a reasoned argument. Others not so much. That is what I could do without. That said if you put a reasonable argument. I will listen to it. I just hate the ranting for the sake of ranting.


All the cool kids are commenting. Give it a try, it's fun!