The modern age brings with it many benefits. The ability to communicate with anyone in the world at any time (so long as they’re not asleep). The ability to express one’s creativity in a broader range of media than ever before. The ability to acquire pornography to cater to any and all fetishes. And, of course, more ways for people you want to avoid to track you down and “see how you are”.
The downside of all this, though, is that everyone always seems to feel the need to constantly be reinventing themselves. It’s a particular problem when it comes to popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Someone, somewhere decides that it’s really important that sites have particular features in place, and some poor sod of a programmer out there has to implement said features. Then when said poor sod has implemented said features, everyone whinges and moans that it’s “worse than it used to be” and “shit now” and blah blah blah and conveniently forgets that said services are, in fact, free and the owners of them are perfectly within their rights to do what they want with them, however stupid some of those moves might be.
But why does this happen? It’s seen as “necessary” to constantly update and reinvent to “stay competitive”. Why? It usually ends up doing more damage than good, because as we’ve seen on many, many occasions in the past, People Hate Change and will react in somewhat inflammatory, stroppy manners.
This isn’t to say that all change is bad, of course. Not at all. Genuine changes that benefit someone’s experience are to be applauded. New ideas that are experimented with should be treated with a “well, let’s try this” attitude rather than the outright hostility we get right now. But change for change’s sake when something already works just fine? That, right there, is the reason that we get aforementioned hostility. People just want a bit of stability, and when they feel they’ve got it and the rug is pulled out from under them, it’s sort of understandable that they kick off a bit. Not always handled in the best way (in fact, usually handled in the style of a stroppy 8-year old) but at least a little bit understandable.
Combine stroppiness with the anonymity of the Internet and you get some ugly scenes indeed. It’s a fast-paced world we live in these days, and some might argue it really doesn’t need to be quite so fast-paced. It’d be nice to be able to slow down a bit, enjoy the view and only fix things when they break.
But nah, that’s never going to happen. Everyone has to be the Very Best, to strive towards the “perfect” experience, the criteria for which seem to change on an hourly basis. And striving for perfection means having the techie types constantly at work with their hammers and nails and bits of code. A permanent state of construction. The eternal beta.
One day the Internet might be finished. But I don’t see it happening just yet.