Thursday, September 22, 2011

Questioning Fixing My Facebook Status


There it is - that sweet sound of frustrated people pounding their keyboards expressing their displeasure with Facebook … it surrounds us.

Once again, Facebook has changed its formatting, thus making their subscribers cranky. Status lines are filled with displeasure, petitions are being formed, other social networks are being explored by people who are not happy, people accustomed to going right to the things that interest them most and bypassing the items that don’t, people who are resistant to change.


One Facebook status line caught my eye … “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?"


Sorry. Couldn’t help it. I had to laugh.


If it ain’t broke, why fix it could be the slogan for most of the items in our daily lives!

I like to use Tide laundry detergent to wash my clothes. My mom used it and I learned from her about the good job it did. That’s not to say I didn’t try others. I went to college … I’ve been broke … I’ve tried others over the years. But I always seem to come back to Tide. I like the way it cleans my clothes and the way it smells. FYI … I’m referring to the ORIGINAL Tide. Not the one that’s “mountain fresh”, not the one with softener added, not the one with Febreeze scent added. I don’t need the “improved” versions. The original wasn’t broke, so why did it have to be fixed?

To make it more marketable?

Because if all you offered was an item that did a really good job, people wouldn’t buy it?

Does anyone else see the weirdness of that statement?

Remember when you could get a pack of 10 sticks of Wrigley’s gum for a quarter? Remember Bazooka Joe and the bubble gum you could get for a penny and snap irritatingly large bubbles, the powdery sweet taste staying longer on your tongue than the ability to blow the bubble?

I don’t chew a lot of gum lately but if I did decide to buy a pack, I’m not going for one the fancy, schmancy brands that come in plastic tubs, or boxes, or bundles. Why do I need to buy a piece of gum that has flavor that lasts forever and costs as much, or more than a candy bar, when all I want is a bit of sugar and flavor and chewing action? My name is not Violet Beauregarde and I’m not looking for a stick of gum to chew so long that I have to stick it behind my ear while I eat my dinner.

Gum wasn’t broken, but it had to be fixed … improved … because “new and improved”, even if it is more expensive, gets purchased more than good taste and low cost?

Don’t even get me started on the cola products. Or their “new and improved” water. *snorts*

What about those coffee makers that require an engineering degree in order to operate, not to mention the powders and liquids and flavors and whips that are added to “improve” that caffeine jolt of java? Do we REALLY need get up earlier in the morning so that we have time to stop and get a drink of something that costs more than an entire breakfast platter at IHOP? Couldn’t those extra moments be spent having a nice breakfast at home, with family or … in my case … pupper? *insert smiley face*

The act of brewing a cup of coffee (or steeping a cup of tea) hasn’t changed. It wasn’t broke. You just need hot water and a pot. No. The act of brewing just got fixed.

Our athletic shoes have gone from a basic pair of white keds or converse high tops to pumped up, balanced, cushioned, air soled wonders that trim our thighs, work our calves and round our tushies.

Our phones have gone from switchboard party calls, to trimline phone with a cord, to a cordless phone, to cell phones, to iPhones and Androids.

Our home entertainment has moved from a single radio to a giant, wall gripping flat screen high def television complete with blue-ray player and surround sound stereo.

We’ve moved from the anticipation of a letter from a relative arriving in a couple of months, to the instant texting, emailing, and Skyping.

And a bottle of cola can now, instead of being regular or diet, be original, sugar-free, caffeine-free, cherry flavored, vanilla flavored, raspberry flavored, zero-calorie wonders. (I told you not to get me started!)

The thing is … those original items weren’t really broken.

I’m really not saying that change is a bad thing, or that variety isn’t fun to try. Let’s face it … I always enjoyed the variety flavored box of instant oatmeal. But do we have to have the lower sodium oatmeal, the heart healthy oatmeal, the higher fiber oatmeal, etc. etc.? Isn’t oatmeal already supposed to be all of those? Maybe we just like to have the shelves of the grocery store decorated with pretty boxes?

I realize this sounds rather simplistic and I suppose, in a way, it is. Technology continues to pave the way. Our children know more about computers at the age of three than most fifty year olds did at the age of twenty-five. However, “new and improved” seems to be more and more a way of saying “we’ve taken something that worked for you and changed it, thereby making it more expensive to make and/or use”.

Again, I’m not saying that change is a bad thing … I’m just asking why did we have to go to such extremes?

Do consumers REALLY need to have a multitude of laundry detergents to choose from?

Does a single piece of gum truly need to last FOREVER?

Is what you have to say to me so important that I have to take my laptop to the restaurant so we can Skype while I eat?

Do Facebook users REALLY need to be told how to know which status updates are recent and which are new and which are considered “top stories”?

It wasn’t broken. Why did it have to be fixed?