[What is this Shit, Internet?] Part One in an Ongoing Series

Hey Internet, you want to explain something to me? What’s the deal with making me click precisely on a tiny icon to make your applications work? Was it something I said, or do you just like to push my buttons? What I’m trying to say here, Internet, is that you’ve changed. It used to be that when I wanted to open a group tab, or close an application, there was a generally accepted area within which I could click. And you’d do what I asked, Internet. You’d do it so fast, and so well, it was like your calling. But that’s different now, isn’t it, Internet? Somewhere along the way, we grew apart.

Now when I want to open my Friends tab in Windows Live Messenger, I can’t just click the title bar like I used to. That brilliant highlighted bar hat was as tall as the mouse icon, and stretched so far across you could follow it for days, and never see the end. Instead, I’m asked, no, forced to click on an arrow so small, it’s almost impossible to see. How is the transition from a veritable ocean of clicking area to what is comparatively a puddle helping anyone? What if a grandmother wanted to talk to her grandchild on MSN, but she couldn’t open the tab because she couldn’t see the absurdly small arrow she had to click? What if every time I want to see who’s online I have to click the arrow, but I miss because it is tiny and my touchpad is very inaccurate? You’re tearing me apart, Internet.

You can only click those tiny little arrows.

And Facebook’s image viewer is no better. It used to be that photos opened in a new page, and I could click a link to go back to the album. But no more. Now a window opens within the main window, requiring me to click precisely on the ‘X’ in the corner. “But,” you scoff, “surely that’s no different than closing a window normally on my PC? You sir, are a slackjawed jackanape.” And while I applaud your use of old-timey slang, I regret to inform you that you are at least somewhat mistaken. For you see, failure to click precisely on the ‘X’ results in switching to the next photograph in the series, and while this result isn’t exactly the worst event in all of history, it’s a pretty close second. Factor in the time it takes for you to rage while the picture loads, and re-clicking the ‘X’ and suddenly you’ve wasted whole seconds of your life. In Internet time, that is literally weeks. Entire memes sprang to life and died in those precious seconds of time, and I missed them all, Internet! Every. Last. One.

The affected area, outlined in red. When trying to close this image, I actually clicked over to the next photo.

So, like, seriously, Internet. You, as the collection of four or five nerds I picture in my brain, need to cut this shit out. I mean, really, what the hell is the point of designing a user-interface that is actually more difficult for the user to navigate than the original? Do you… Do you all hate me? Is that it? Because I’m not willing to change. No, I’m far too set in my awful, awful ways to change for you. But your code is not set in stone. And while I’ll admit that trying to drive away customers with broken technology and clumsy GUIs is a ballsy business strategy, if you’re trying to get out of the Internet application game, there are easier ways. Like embezzlement, gambling or a torrid affair with a celebrity. Now, fix these stupid problems Facebook and Microsoft guys, or else I’ll pretend that I might one day consider thinking about possibly entertaining the idea of no longer using either service. And until you decide you want to be at the top of your game, we’re all just going to have to languish in mediocrity together.


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