Leaving Facebook

(I promised Josh Elman I would say something nice about Facebook, so here it is: thank you Facebook for obviously never giving a toss about how your site looks in IE6. Every webdev in the world thanks you, Mark Zuckerberg, for delivering us from the former market leader’s crappy CSS model. Those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about need to check your Analog stats for the Facebook version of your app versus the standalone version.)

OK, with that out of the way… I’ve recently realized that not only do I think Facebook itself is trivial and stupid — but it’s starting to make me think my friends who are on Facebook are also trivial and stupid. Every time I read that someone became a fan of something, or posted a link with a one-word recommendation (“Neat!”, “OK”), I loathe that person a little more.

I miss blogs. The really alarming thing is that many of my Facebook friends are perfectly capable of writing genuine, fascinating blog posts… they just can’t on Facebook, because the stupid textareas are the size of a postage stamp. It’s a perfect example of how UI affects overall usage. As the actress said to the bishop, “Small textarea, small text”.

The other day I was on Caltrain when the entire car filled up with drunk (or even worse, pseudo-drunk) Stanford undergrads going to some kind of stupid costume party. The thing that astonished me was how INCREDIBLY LOUD they were, and how INCREDIBLY LITTLE they had to say — nothing came out of their mouths but pre-chewed catchphrases. They also mentioned Facebook in like every other sentence. Then I realized that they WERE Facebook. When I got home, I started working on disengaging from my “Facebook friends”.

It’s nothing personal, and I’m sure you’re actually just as profound as you think you are in those 140 characters. I just want to read, like, essays rather than tweets. See ya on the real interweb! Or not.