Phone Home? Facebook Home another intolerable waste of time

Phone Home? Facebook Home another intolerable waste of time

Summary: As a Facebook hater, you might find it unsurprising that I also hate 'Home' but it goes deeper than a hate for Facebook alone. It goes all the way back to AOL of the mid-90s.

TOPICS: Apps, Android, iPhone

I didn't listen to Zuckerberg's big announcement today, because if it's Facebook related, I just don't care to hear it. Unless, of course, it's the utter dismantling of Facebook, that is. Now, that, I'd listen to. Heck, I might even make some old school popcorn* and cozy up with a brewsky for that announcement. But alas, it's not to be. Not yet, at least. Instead, it was an announcement about yet another useless thingamabob from Facebook that millions will flock to — to annoy, to irritate (comment), to update, to post and to Like till their little hearts are content. Things like "Home" remind me of the original AOL. Easy. Cheesy. Annoying.

In the same way that I hated AOL, I also hated Prodigy and, to an extent, CompuServe. They were easy Internet onramps for Ma and Pa Kettle** and I just didn't think that the common man (or woman) deserved to be online with their idle chatter and pointless commentary. The Internet, including BBSs***, were for technical professionals who needed to exchange information, to explore ideas, to seek out new life, new civilizations ... OK, got carried away there, but I think you get the point.

The Internet was an intellectual tool.

These days, it's simply a garbage heap where any idiot with a piece of virtual chalk can scrawl his graffiti onto someone else's work.**** It's the new equivalent of the old drawing horns and mustaches on posters and pictures. Not everything you do needs to be Facebooked, liked, tweeted or checked in. Have a life that doesn't include all this social media nonsense.

Facebook Home is just another unnecessary distraction from what you should be doing: Working, conversing, exchanging ideas, exploring something new or growing a legal garden. Seriously, do something rather than nothing. Updating your status is just silly. Stop it. No one cares. Well, maybe other people doing the same thing might care, and then they'll comment.

Rachel King, who saw a preview of this "new" thing today, summed it up best in her post, First impressions: Hands on with Facebook Home for Android, when she wrote, "There isn't much of a business use case here, except that it might influence other social networks (ie Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, etc.) to start thinking (or speed up) their own Home-like integrations."

She's trying to say, without saying it, that Facebook Home is a totally pointless effort. I hope Zuck didn't spend a lot of money or time on this thing. It just goes to show that not every swing produces a "Home" run. Yes, I just thought that up.

Rachel goes on to say, "And while it looks nifty, it's not enticing enough (at least not yet) to buy a smartphone solely because Home is pre-loaded.

"I'm also skeptical how much Home is going to do for its major OEM partner, HTC. The $99.99 contract price on the HTC First is a better sales pitch, considering the device looked like a steal for that price tag."

I'm skeptical if there's a point to this app at all. I think Facebook is beginning to sink and just needed something to stay in the news and stay relevant. I guess it worked, sort of. Facebook is getting a lot of virtual ink out of the deal, but, in the long run, Home is just silly.

It's hard to believe that a pointless and valueless thing like Facebook can be: a) worth so much money, b) anything but something to laugh at, and c) something that people spend a lot of time on.

It's obvious that we, as people, no longer have to hunt or gather to find food. If we did, we might find it more difficult to spend time on something like Facebook.

It makes me wonder if we've really evolved at all. Perhaps scientists have it all wrong. Maybe we're evolving into plants. Plants with nothing to do but text and update our Facebook statuses about what we had for breakfast or where we're having breakfast.

Status update: Hey, I just made some oxygen. Just made some more. Oh, I just consumed some carbon dioxide. I'm a photosynthesizing fool today. So glad the sun is out. Think I'll go for a ... OK, I guess I'll stay right here and keep updating my status.

Facebook and Facebook Home almost make me long for the good AOL days.

What do you think? Are you a Facebooky? Are you going to try Home? Talk back and let me know.

*You know, popcorn, made in a lid-covered pot, with butter over the stove. If you don't remember, Google it and watch a YouTube video on it, then try it for yourself.

**Google it.


****See any of my Talkbacks or for some real entertainment, check out the commentary on Jason Perlow's posts.

Topics: Apps, Android, iPhone


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • Wait a minute...

    So you're the guy who thinks nothing is better than the iPhone, that people can't actually switch to Android just because of something like keyboard choices, and that these smartphones are basically phones in the end? And then you say people haven't evolved? Yes, they haven't evolved, you also seem a good example of it that thinks iOS is the be all, end all, but I don't see that as a new finding, most are content with living their lives and then posting stuff on Facebook without exchanging intelligent ideas, etc, that's how human beings shall always be for the most part. Which is who these social network companies focus on. The ones doing something worthwhile will always be fewer.

    But I agree, they could just have launched a launcher (pun intended) and be done with it, instead of having a phone with it pre-loaded, though I guess that wouldn't have carried much weight.
    • I guess a Facebook Home App

      Just doesn't cut it for The Zuck.
  • But it's cloud-based. Isn't cloud good?

    I had no idea Suckerburg, Zuckerthief, or whatever his name is, had an announcement about some new way to creatively take royalty-free copies of what people publish so he can consume, profit of it, then sell everyone's info to vulture-like marketers to cash in on as well.
  • I'll take the FB Phone if it is free

    I was already embarrassed by how backward I am after reading your article "10 tech gadgets, apps, and services you just don't need"

    Because indeed, I don't use any of these gadget. Now this article confirms the sentiment even more as I wonder what that FB Home would bring any value to me personally.

    However, I am going to surprise you. If the FB Phone is given for free, I am very willing to sign up to get one (or even ten if FB is OK, let's say because I love their ads). All I ask for in exchange is that the phone has the Android essentials underneath.
    • Free?

      Yep, put me onboard for anything free. Freedom? Freedom? You spoke the holy word.
  • thoughts

    "I might even make some old school popcorn*"

    I prefer without the butter, thanks. My father makes it with just a bit of salt. Great stuff :).

    "These days, it's simply a garbage heap where any idiot with a piece of virtual chalk can scrawl his graffiti onto someone else's work.****"

    Well, ZDNet apparently thinks the Talkbacks have some value. Otherwise, they wouldn't have it.

    It's kinda too bad that the bloggers themselves don't know how to use it.

    The biggest problem I think is that the bloggers can't even seem to engage in a decent conversation with some of the better behaved talkbackers.

    Sure, there are nutcases (and even I will admit I've probably been nutty at one time or another), but that doesn't mean that everybody should be ignored. Kinda throwing out the baby with the bathwater IMO.

    Another issue with Talkbacks is poor moderation. The only thing resembling moderation is an automated censor that can't tell the difference between t.i.t and t.i.t.l.e. Even self-moderation is a lost cause, as the "Vote" and "Flag" buttons do nothing except incrementing pretty numbers. Other comment systems will do stuff like highlight upvoted posts and hide downvoted posts.

    So the talkbacks are largely just a sideshow with no involvement from the bloggers, and with little to no tools for any kind of moderation. I'm not really surprised they're a freak show and a joke by now.

    As far as Facebook goes? Well, I do get more out of it than the Talkbacks. Helpful to keep in touch with friends and family all over the globe, which I imagine is the *REAL* reason people use it, rather than the "social media thing that connects the world" that most bloggers seem to imagine when they think "Facebook."
    • Little bit different

      I don't post my BM habits on talkback; not that i would post it on FB either but some do. Social media has its place in a collaborative environment, FB on the other hand is just millions of vanity laced monologues with vacuous approvals tacked on for decoration.
  • Wow...

    You mean there are people who actually know the world doesn't want to hear about every other moment of their mundane lives? Cool. And here I thought there was little hope left for humanity. Maybe people really will rediscover life outside of a text box, some day!

    It just surprises me that so many people "believe" in facebook to begin with. As a social tool, it's sad to think people seriously care to hear a play by play of their entire lives, and that this is what is meant by "socializing." (It's not.) People often give home-schooling families grief because of the misconception that it means their kids will not "get socialized" ... but their own 13 year olds would collapse into hysteria or insanity if their facebook account was not accessible to them for a period longer than 24 hours. Then they literally sit across the table from friends in public, while both text on their phones. I would call that a LOSS of social skills... and certainly nothing that I'd be eager to insist other folks encourage in their own kids!

    But however sad it is that even tweens think someone cares how big the piece of cereal they found in their bowl today was, it's even more pathetic that companies seriously think facebook somehow helps them. As if people feverishly wait on their facebook pages for a commercial post... and then make a mad dash to their car or computer to buy! Do company owners seriously think that works? How mindless would people be, to literally add their dish soap company to their friends list (or whatever), and then actually visit their page just to read their commercials, and then literally go out and buy something because of it?

    Every time I see a product begging "like us on facebook!" I just think, "Some poor businessman is really, really gullible. He actually thought this would help..."

    I have only one facebook page bookmarked, and that is because it belongs to an incredibly witty aristocrat, who manages to be entertaining, enlightening, or both (usually both), nearly every time he writes or says anything. Unfortunately, most people are not amusing, intellectual geniuses like he is. Which is why facebook remains, for the most part, the astounding waste of time it is.
  • Another reason

    why Google has lost control of Android. Besides its more sh**t on sh**t so makes no difference.
    • Not surprising..

      This is expected of any open source project (yes, even Google's not so open project), the only other option is the walled gardens of iOS and Windows Phone, which not everybody wants. Google hasn't exactly lost control, they just aren't in as much control as is possible with locked down closed source projects like Apple's or Microsoft.

      I don't say that those walled gardens are bad, but any such open source project like Android is bound to have these "forks" as they call them, which is no doubt what Google wanted: an open source project that companies could mould as they see fit.
  • No business case?? This is FB's bid to replace SMS and email

    You think FB doesn't salivate at the prospect of all messaging flowing through them? This provides immediate ties into FB's messaging system, both text and email. You can bet that eventually they'll fold video into it as well (some Skype integration of some sort).

    Saying there's no business case is myopic.
  • I may install the app

    because one shouldn't ***** about something one hasn't at least tried. I suspect I'll forget about it by the time it comes out though.
  • Facebook will not go down in any circumstances

    The rise of FB was defined (and funded) by CIA (via In-Q-Tel people on the second stage of its advancement). So no matter what we do in spreading the word about wasting time on FB it will survive because it is of great importance for CIA.
    Recently I have heard on TV the CIA official stated in plain English that FB is an important resource for CIA which saves the agency million dollars.