The six stages of grief for Facebook redesigns

Facebook is doing it again. Brace yourselves for the flood of complaints and whining that will fill your Twitter and Facebook feeds. It’ll be breaking news. And after it happens… nobody will care… again.

Facebook is giving us a new redesign and seems to be taking a leaf out of Apple’s book with a fancy explanatory page to show you all the details. While this is all well and good, Facebook is taking extra care to forewarn its users that changes are happening so they best be prepared.

I’ve been a Facebook user since the moment they opened it up to those who were not in college (anyone else remember the humble beginnings of that version of Facebook?). Needless to say, the old FB has had many facelifts and our reaction to them has always been predictable. In order to get through this trying and confusing time, we must acknowledge the six stages of grief for Facebook redesigns.

1. Denial- “I refuse to believe they’re changing the layout again.” I have honestly heard this statement. Nobody wants to believe that they will have to relearn where the “Like” button is. Many of us begin our journey through our frustration with FB through denial. It’s simply impossible that they could come up with another way to confuse people again. Do they do this for fun or something?!?

2. Anger- Around the time of the impending doom changes, everyone realizes they can’t deny that FB is inconveniencing them again. So they do the most natural thing and get angry, and they refuse to be alone in this anger. In order to drag those of us who really don’t care about the changes, the angry users post endlessly about how much they hate the changes. Which in turn, makes you angry. Misery truly does love company in the nasty cycle of this stage.

3. Bargaining- Remember how you could opt in to the timeline design? Remember how many people refused even though it was a futile battle? Yeah, these people are the bargainers. It’s almost like making a deal with the devil, that’s how passionate and paranoid these people become. Rather than accepting their fate they blind themselves and play hide and seek in broad daylight. Big brother was still watching you, timeline evaders. Now, not everyone walks through this stage, but we will try to understand and sympathize.

4. Depression- This stage lasts about how long it takes to distract a puppy, but it’s a valid stage in the progression to FB design change. Everyone gets a little sad that first time they log onto their page and everything is new. Perhaps it’s our connection to the way things once were that causes us to become sad when Facebook changes its layout…

5. Acceptance- And after five seconds of the depression stage we see a squirrel. New emoticons and the streamlined design become harmless after taking that first step to explore the new design. It becomes and adventure. Kind of like when you get a new electronic device, rather than read the directions, you just discover its features in your own time. You then let FB out of the doghouse and back into your life. (Not that you really kicked it out in the first place.)

6. Memory Loss- “Remember that time when Facebook took away our ability to see our status at the top of our pages at all times?” -said no one ever. Relatively quickly, we forget completely that we were mad at Facebook for changing because we can’t even remember what it was like before. Perhaps that is an uneasy foreshadow of the near future, but I would prefer not to think about it.


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