It really is okay to admit that you don’t like change. Not all change is either good for us nor done for the greater good, despite what the self-appointed cereal-packet therapists try to tell you, or what the brainwashed-by-the-Establishment middle-class herd wants to believe in order not to disturb its rose-hued vision of everything being well and taken good care of, Citizen. Not embracing every change then does not make you some kind of fearful Luddite bent on returning us all to a dark and dreary yesteryear. It makes you an individual capable of taking off the rose-hued spectacles and thinking for yourself.
The recent Facebook changes have met with a storm of protest from users, mostly because people feel that these changes have been railroaded through without Facebook apparently giving a flying status update about what its users think. Naturally, not consulting people on changes that will affect them is going to cause consternation. Not caring that it is causing consternation is what jars people to outright anger and resistance. Also, at the present moment it is hard for many of us to see where these changes are ‘improving’ our social networking experience rather than making it simply hard work and a headache, and no acknowledgement from Facebook of the problems faced by its users does not diminish our anger or will-to-resistance. It is easy, on the other hand, to see Facebook as caring less about its users than about achieving a kind of internet domination achieved by gathering as much personal information as possible from users for the purpose of luring in more advertisers and thus greater revenue for the CEOs and shareholders.
Some argue that Facebook is a ‘free’ service and therefore we should all put up and shut up as far as the changes go. This argument turns itself in circles when you realize that Facebook is only a free service insofar as the user doesn’t pay an upfront monetary charge to use it. We pay for our usage in other ways, however, by providing information to advertisers via our likes, status updates, links etc. Without users, advertisers would find no purpose in Facebook because they’d have no audience to target, therefore there would be no staggeringly huge profit to be made and no Facebook. Besides, providing a free service does not entitle the provider to change what it likes, whenever it likes, without consulting its users, not unless the price of using a free service is wearing the yoke of dictatorship? In which case it isn’t a free service… and around and around we go. But we end up at the same point: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a truly free social networking experience.
Protest and complaint are the legitimate ways by which we voice our displeasure at changes affecting us negatively. How else would the entity behind the changes, be it government or social network, know that it has done anything wrong in the eyes of its service users? ‘Putting up and shutting up’ is what a brainwashed and cowed population does. Is that what we have become…the zombie foot-soldiers of Facebook, marching in mindless obedience to the beat of the profit drum?
Or can we still view things clearly enough without our rose-spectacles to see that we are being so used, and to then realize that we really do have the right to rebel, to tell our wannabe Facebook masters that we don’t like it, we don’t want it, and goddammit, we won’t have it?