Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What happened to my facebook?

I’ve recently realised two years had gone by since I joined facebook. At that time (October 2007, a few days before elections) there were few and far between people in Poland who had heard about this social networking website. That was the time it made it big in the States and in United Kingdom, but its popularity hadn’t spilled over the rest of the world yet. The makeover which took place later only dragged the service down – at least to me.

Facebook has lost its character, as it happens to every social networking utility. One of the sociologists said when you join a certain community, you appreciate its exclusivity, then many other people sign up, after several months you get an invitation from your mother at this is the last straw – you switch to another website. As I joined it, it was totally unknown in Poland, at the beginning I had four connections and, what was the most important, facebook was available only in English. Everyone who wanted to use it, had to accept it. Facebook was a tool to learn the foreign language, pick up some slang vocabulary, two years ago it was an international socialising platform for people around the world, who used the lingua franca – English to communicate. The basic rule was the popular saying: “shape up or ship out”. The ones, who didn’t put up with this had to make do with popular Polish websites like grono.net or nasza-klasa. Here’s what I put the blame on.

In 2008 the drive to jack the profits up brought about the initiative to translate facebook into other languages. Polish was one of the first languages of the new facebook, Polish version of the website was launched over a year ago. In the subsequent months I could observe the abrupt inflow of new people to my English website. The annoying applications in English were supplanted by the Polish ones, translated or created by Polish users. The level of those applications is beyond the pale. If you’re getting bored, you can check out if your day will be lucky, how much do you want sex at the moment (below),

take a test in Polish to find out, who’s going to do the blow job today

(that’s unbelievable I’ve heard some people are already addicted to the application), or become a fan of Auschwitz.

Just put these three things together and imagine an ad of concentration camp popping up between the results of the tests described above.

I still remain faithful to the origins of the utility. I’ve never tried out the Polish version, screens I’ve seen were clumsily translated, so I still use facebook in English (UK) and watch my friends from primary school merrily signing up. As one of the Polish newspapers reports, in terms of popularity facebook has outrun nasza-klasa, which is now for nerds. It’s time to get away from there, from all those accursed websites. Grono.net – I pop in out of the habit once in a few days and log out after twenty seconds, as much time as I spend on nasza-klasa. Daily dosage of facebook takes up around five minutes a day. On professional Goldenline which is still the most bearable of all the social networking services I log in once in a week. I’d give them all up with alacrity. Why won’t I do it? Out of curiosity. Tough I don’t upload my own photos, don’t update statuses, don’t take idiotic tests, I can keep up with my friends. But that’s not the way it should be – we should return to the face-to-face world instead of collecting friends…


Michael Dembinski said...




student SGH said...

good point, friends are not collectible stuff.

But my "friends" who have 300 or 400 connections / contacts / friends (although it's a very misplaced word here) seem to be more sociable and happy than me and the likes who have between 50 and 100