Two weak analogies, and hating bad things

So after half-a-year being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the cross-country move and by life with the two small excellent tyrants we brought with us, I’m trying to be more civilized again, which means, y’know, communicating with humans. As I mentioned a bit ago, I’m pro-Twitter; Facebook, on the other hand, I well and truly hate in the special lathered way that nerds can loathe technology that offends us by failing at the things we care about most. [I’m convinced that this strain of nerd-hate for badly designed things is the source of most or all great inventions, but I’ll talk about that some other time.]

For whatever reason, two analogies that occur to me regularly are:

Facebook : Extroverts :: Twitter : Introverts


Facebook : Windows :: Twitter : Unix

The former analogy is driven by the one-way nature of Twitter following and the simplicity of their model, which put so much less burden on the target of one’s interest than the seventeen infuriating ways that Facebook flaps its annoyances in your face when somebody decides to enter your sphere.

The latter analogy is less complete, and driven mainly by my complete inability to grasp what the hell Facebook is actually supposed to be offering me at any time; it seems directly patterned after the typical Windows model of endless gray dialog boxes, each offering slightly different permutations of a subset of whatever you think you’re trying to do, and now with an extra layer of whooshy visual noise slathered all over it. FB doesn’t get within a time zone of “do one thing, and do it well”; it’s a weird walled-garden mockery of the real Internet, a joyless replica of AOL and Prodigy and all the other obsoleted competitors.

I can’t completely defend my irrational and entire loathing for the FB. God knows I haven’t ultimately spent that much time trying to navigate its baffling cryptic shit-pile of an interface (though, god also knows, it’s been more than enough), and I’ll grant that maybe I’m just doing it wrong. But I’m sticking to my guns in re: hating it, despite having re-activated my account today (killed in a fit of biliousness a few months back) because people I like joined up. The awful creepy targeted ads; the dozens of insultingly moronic ‘applications’ constantly fapped in my face (how many god-damned quizzes can you people do in a given day?); the grotesquely disingenous combination of blocking useful information before ‘friending’ but burying you in infinite inane detail post-‘friend’ing… how the christ did these half-wits end up winning the social network sweepstakes and a license to print money, when so many other crap sites have failed tracelessly?

So: why not join twitter? The barrier is very low; it just doesn’t demand a lot of you before you can start flinging quickie aphorisms at me (by web browser, or various small client programs, or from SMS or iPhone apps). Think of it as a micro-blog, or as a group instant messaging session that’s asynchronous and particularly easy to involve others in. You can just say stuff; I’ll be listening at @aboyko.

Nevermind the hypocrisy/absurdity of writing 500 words on this stupid topic, never you mind it a bit.

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