Facebook and good enough

I recently updated the Google+ app on my iPhone, and it’s as stunning as it is useful. It makes the Facebook app look like the broken down amalgamation it is. The problem? You can’t be social without other people.

It frustrates me. Facebook is good enough, and that’s good enough for most people. But I care about my social media experience and I’m sick of dealing with Facebook: the games, the sticky social readers, the interface (mobile and desktop). I yearn for something clean, uncluttered. Facebook, essentially, doesn’t make me want to use Facebook. What Facebook needs is a 2.0 version that isn’t a kludgy cobbling together of everything that developers have added to the site over time. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Competition abounds: Twitter, Google+, Path. Even Diaspora. All of these elegant services have a user experience that doesn’t get in the users’ way. So, with the exception of Twitter, why do they fail to pull in users? I wish I knew. I bet their developers wish they knew, too.

Friends of mine on Facebook likely notice that I almost always post there from Twitter. Twitter doesn’t constantly tell me who played what word in the latest social crossword game. Yes, I block these things. New ones come on line all the time.

Facebook going public will only accelerate the monetization of interactions. That means more games, more ads, more of everything that I think gets in the way of social interaction.

The only solution? Diversify. Google+ isn’t the Facebook alternative. It is one alternative. Try Path (which is mobile-only), Pair (for something really intimate), Diaspora (if you want an invite, ask me, but it’s about to open to everyone), or Twitter.

I know the inertia of staying. But I also know Facebook’s interface bugs me more and more. So, who’s with me?

True digital native

I shudder to think what the future holds for girlie in terms of technology. How we rely on and interact with technology has changed fast in my lifetime, and the pace of tech evolution seems to accelerate by the year.

Girlie’s skill with tech started earlier than I expected: She’s been able to operate the slide lock on my iPhone since about 15 months. Since then, she’s grown into quite the adept. She zips through screens on our iPhones and iPad finding “her” apps. PBS Kids is a favorite, where she can find Dr. Seuss and Noah Comprende shorts. She also likes Youtube (and has a knack for finding Annoying Orange videos) and Penguins, which is a live cam of the California Academy of Sciences penguinarium. And Koi Pond.

She’s never known a world where she can’t video chat with her uncle and his cat on a mobile phone. Yesterday, she told me she wanted to see grandma on my iPhone. I forget just how she asked in her two-and-a-half year-old’s vocabulary, but she wanted to video chat with grandma. It’s as natural to her as ketchup on chicken nuggets.

Things change fast. I won’t recognize her world in 20 years. But, then again, I thought we’d have flying cars by now.