I don't like feeling left out of the loop when it comes to cool, new things. So I was excited yesterday when I saw Google finally blessed me with Google Plus access. After clicking on the "+You" and setting up my profile, I started having second thoughts and stopped short of adding any friends.
After all, it's been so long since I've checked my Facebook that I have no idea what half the people on the planet are bitching about. I've been specifically trying to avoid the family drama playing out on Facebook, and now my family seems to be divided between the "sign this petition demanding Facebook return to the old design" camp and the belligerently indifferent camp.
If I did participate, I'd have to side with the latter camp. I've been on Facebook long enough to see several design tweaks and evolutions. If Facebook never changed, its membership would still be limited to college students and these people would have to find something else to complain about.
It's obvious that some people really dislike change. What gets me are the ones who think they're entitled to immunity from change. I'm all for taking a stand, but pick your battles. It's not climate change. It's not Darfur. It's Facebook. Of all the ways of making life more complicated and disappointing, the surest is expending much more energy resisting the inevitable tide of change than adapting to it.
Do I really need another social network? If I do this Google+ thing, it's going to be what Facebook originally was: a fun, happy place to connect with like-minded friends. Back in those heady days when the power and possibility of the Internet heralded a future of utopian optimism. Those carefree days before I realized it doesn't matter how far away I move away, I can still experience all the instantaneous, unbuffered right-wing dogma, domestic strife and hormonal imbalance my family has to offer.
As I considered all of this, I noticed a little red "1" in the corner of my Google+ home screen. A notification. Already? I've only had a Google+ account for five minutes. I haven't added a single friend. You'd think my life experience up until now would have taught me to be wary of red flags. Evidently not, I clicked it.
Someone added me to their circle. My sister-in-law. Make that ex-sister-in-law, now that the divorce is final. The same person who recently unfriended me on Facebook because she wanted to sever all ties with the family of her ex-husband and make a fresh start.