All of life has been utterly, profoundly changed thanks to Facebook’s new features, and nothing will ever be the same, and all I can do is sit here and weep at the beauty and magic that Mark Zuckerberg has brought to this world

I don’t mean to overhype this, but frankly I don’t think it would be possible to overhype something as huge and profound as what Facebook introduced yesterday, at least from what I gather reading the reports coming out of F8. Timelines. Open Graph. Apps. Music. Video. Bam! It’s all there and it’s all amazing and huge and life-changing and mind-blowing and nothing — nothing — will ever be the same again. It’s like Mark Zuckerberg is some kind of magic wizard from the future who came out onstage and pulled back a curtain and said, Here it is. Here is the future. I made it for you. I hope you enjoy it.

And now suddenly we are living in that future. That future which only yesterday was the future now today is the present. Just like we mark eras using BC and AD, now we will have BF811 and AF811. Where were you on Sept. 22, 2011, when the world changed? I, unfortunately, was holed up in my grubby little office in a small town in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, I will never forget this day. Never. Ever. How could I? This is the day when Timelines was introduced. Timelines! It is, in a word, profound. Deeply, profoundly profound, in fact. “Facebook Just Schooled the Internet. Again” is how MG Siegler put it on TechCrunch. Which is a pretty amazing feat, coming as it does just a year and a half after “Facebook Just Seized Control of the Internet” as MG Siegler wrote in April 2010. It is pretty amazing, after all, to seize control of the Internet. That was bad-ass enough. But to then school the Internet that you’ve seized control of? Who but Facebook could do that? Good Lord I have to sit down and just think for a minute because my mind is reeling …

Okay. Back now. Mashable too has explained the whole thing in its typical understated fashion, explaining the huge sweeping changes in an article called “Facebook Changes Again” and pointing out that all of its predictions, which were made an entire day before the F8 conference, had come true! Goddamn, do these guys have ESP or something? How else did they know enough to write, a whole day in advance, that citizens of the world should “Prepare Yourselves: Facebook to be Profoundly Changed.” Apparently they’d been invited to see the earth-shattering changes a day early, which enabled them to make a prediction, but nevertheless it is eerie how amazingly accurate their predictions were and how perfect their warnings now look in retrospect.

I for one took to heart the warning from Mashable:

On Thursday, developers will be elated, users will be shellshocked and the competition will look ancient. On Thursday, Facebook will be reborn. Prepare yourselves for the evolution of social networking.

I prepared myself. On Wednesday night I ate a light dinner and went to bed early, in order to get extra sleep for Thursday morning. Nevertheless, 24 hours later, my hands are still shaking. I’m unable to focus. No matter where I am, I am thinking about Facebook and the new, deeper connection that I immediately feel to everyone I know. It’s so deep, so rich and personal and dare I say, intimate, that the effect is almost overwhelming. It’s like Stendhal Syndrome, where you get overwhelmed by looking at a work of art. I am shellshocked. No, even that is too small a word. I sit and gaze upon the Facebook home page and my emotions begin to sweep and swirl. One moment I am elated. Then I’m struck by anxiety and panic, and want to hide under my desk. A minute later I’m sobbing, uncontrollably, at the beauty of what they’ve done. Why, Mark Zuckerberg? Why do you do this to me? To the world? You are not a businessman, not a geek, not an engineer — you are an artist, and your canvas is the human race itself, the collective hive-mind of modernity.

And all of the rest of the world seems shabby and dull and boring and ancient – just as Mashable predicted. Google, poor old Google, looks like ass. My brand-new MacBook Air, which only last week gave me joy unlike anything I’d ever felt in my life, now sits on my desk, just a dead, lifeless hunk of brushed aluminum. Everything, in fact, has lost its color. I go outside and stand in the yard and gaze up at the sky and I say, Why? Why, sky? Why do you look like shit? You look just the same as ever, just blue sky and white clouds. Why can’t you change the way Facebook changes? And my house, and my dog, and wife and kids — blah. Nothing. Nothing! They are all just the same, just old and tired and ancient and boring and completely lacking in profound beauty. So back to Facebook I go and just immerse myself in the magic. Ahhhh. So much better.

And I keep trying to think this all through. What are the implications when I can now listen to the same piece of music with someone else on Facebook? What does it mean when I can watch an episode of Breaking Bad that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is also watching? How does the human brain begin to rewire itself to accommodate so much change in such a short period of time? Do national borders matter anymore? Can governments still control their citizens? How will science and medicine adapt to accommodate the new reality in which we live? Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg, you brilliant god-man, and at the same time, Thank you. Thank you for not just seeing the future but bringing it to us. My life, at last, has meaning, and I now find new reason to live.

150 Responses to “All of life has been utterly, profoundly changed thanks to Facebook’s new features, and nothing will ever be the same, and all I can do is sit here and weep at the beauty and magic that Mark Zuckerberg has brought to this world”

  1. Brian

    Now, THIS is how you do sarcasm. And, with valid points too! The best part was that at first I was rolling my eyes because I thought you were serious, link bait serious.

    Brian

    Reply
  2. Steve Silverman

    We are all smitten. Maybe the HP board could join Facebook and instantly know what other board members are thinking, it would be like a huge mind meld, totally in sync. Everyone could listen to the white noise coming from Ray Lane.

    Reply
  3. Tim_L_SF

    A soon as this comment is posted, I will immediately disconnect all my computers and other devices from the internet in order to protect myself and my family from the full crushing intellectual force of the Facebook changes, which I suspect the evil genius Mark Z. has purposely designed as some sort of EMP equivalent for the human brain. Save yourselves!

    Reply
  4. Steve

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for making fun of the Silicon Valley circle jerk of yesterday. Yes, the Facebook changes are actually profound. But, you put it into context.

    Looks like you schooled MG Siegler even more than FB schooled the Internet. And that is so needed. I only wish it would happen every day.

    Reply
  5. faddah

    don’t forget: to properly prepare yourself for Facebook Thursdayâ„¢, besides the light dinner, we recommend ruffage, and lots of it. good strong ruffage. and bran too, lots of bran. and maybe a tall americano cup of strong coffee, fair-trade, of course, with beans roasted by a co-op in the pacific northwest.

    and perhaps a high colonic.

    because in the coming days & weeks? that’s exactly what zuck, F8 & Facebook will be doing. all. over. your. screen.

    Reply
  6. Louis Bianchi

    Now that Zukerberg has transformed life for us all, he can focus all his energy in solving the Palestinian/Israel dilemma. His input and guidance is greatly needed. Only he can solve that situation. And then he can tackle the economy.

    Reply
  7. mel webster

    This is the column/post I wanted to write. I don’t think anyone could hit the nail more square on the head. I only wish you had quoted some of Scoble’s pronouncements. He actually scolded me over at Google+ and told me that these Facebookk changes are important to everyone and that everyone needs to know about them so each of us can be a better person. I am not kidding. If anyone wants to see the actual comment he made, let me know.

    Reply
  8. Ronald Stepp

    Damn you. Now every other article reads like shit. The music from spotify on my iphone is empty and soulless without the golden filters of FB. All colors but blue are meaningless now.

    Reply
  9. Asher

    Awesome comment :) I too thought this was serious and that the author was a dbag at first…had me going for a while. Well played.

    Reply
  10. PEZ

    Wait, it isn’t possible to enjoy things like the sky, family, fresh air and Facebook changes at the same time? I had no idea! Now I must choose. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Reply
  11. Jon

    It’s like I’ve been reborn, and my new identity is as my timeline has shown it to me. Now I know my true purpose, now I see all meaning in life, and today I have seen that above all else my only function is to post more pictures to FB. Then and only then will I find true peace and recognition among my peers for a life well lived.

    Reply
  12. MX

    Thank you so much for being among the only sanity and intelligent life form in our industry. The ignorance and childishness of the majority of the industry, the useless ideas, obsession with money that isn’t really money, status that nobody really cares about and people nobody recognizes outside of this tiny world is like having to wake up next to Lindsay Lohan every day and hear her declare she’s changing the world.

    Reply
  13. D. L. Trimble

    Do you want Baby Brother looking over your Shoulder??

    Steve,Bill, and President Obama want to Know everyThing About You!

    At Least Steve and Bill Just want to Profile You for advertisers..

    School teachers HAVE BEEN Fired for exorcizeing Feerdom of Speach in Florida. IE. ABORTION or GAY Rights/Responsibilities.

    Is This the school that North Ridgewood Elementary, Daytona Beach, FL,32114.. Would Have Produced??

    NO! MSHS ’69, FTU ’73 We Had Tricky Dickey.. President Richard M. Nixon Who ended Vietnam, and Allowed Watergate and KENT STATE.

    Lets see what WWW is like in 10 Years!

    D. L. Trimble, age 60, Krumugian, at Large,

    P.S. Spelling Error are NOT!

    Reply
  14. Rae

    Just because you don’t like it does not mean you don’t have any friends. I have enough and I literally don’t give that much of a shit what you’re doing every second of your life nor what you did 10 years ago. Some people don’t care and some do. I’m not going to do that new things but some people will and will like it. We should not be forced or seen as a lose because we don’t care about Facebook that much. I use it a few times a week to talk to people once in awhile and that’s it. If I’m really friends with you would’nt I talk to you another way just not on Facebook. don’t like being on there all day, makes me feel to dependent on it and it isn’t that entertaining to me. I personally think putting to much information on the Internet is stupid and it seems to take the fun of knowing someone because everything you want to know is right there. All you will have to do is look.

    Reply
  15. Jim O'Brfien

    2011 What a year for the ages! An Arab Spring followed by an Arrogant Autumn. Life as we knew it can never be the same.

    Reply
  16. Kathleen G.

    Awesome, Dan, timelines is one I’ll tell my grandchildren about. And go MG, the Woodward and Bernstein of our time.

    Reply
  17. Walt Stone

    “Okay, we all update our status to ‘excited’ when Dorothy goes through the door and the movie changes from black and white to color.” I’m in awe.

    Reply
  18. Dean

    phew… i thought this was the lamest post until i read the first comment that said it was sarcasm. thank god! ;) you had me going there for a second which means you did an outstanding job.

    Reply
  19. Brandon Mendelson

    Oh thank God. I saw this headline and started to make fun of it, but I’m glad to see you’re a normal human being.

    I’m so tired of the Cyber Hipster bullshit, and this makes me happy to see I’m not alone. Thanks Dan.

    Reply
  20. Vincent

    Thanks for tricking me into thinking that I was wrong and this article was written by an expert!!

    (I see your FaceBook TimeLine pic at the top of this article)

    FaceBook Fanboi!

    I thought to myself, until I realised I had been had!!!

    I was totally sucked in…

    Congratulations, I am now laughing (out loud) and sharing my embarrassment with the world!! Teehee…

    My beef with Facebook: It’s like jail, you sit around and waste time, write on walls, don’t get fed and get poked by people you don’t know… That was stolen from Twitter LOL

    Does anybody use Facebook to tell their life story?

    But far worse is the millions of people (and kids) who don’t visit their privacy settings and update them…
    (Settings which are a complex minefield… IMHO) to allow “friends” only or “only me” to view what anyone would see when they get a link and a picture to click on (in the right hand feed or elsewhere) that allows someone anywhere on the planet to access your wall, photos, subscribe, message you, friend you etc etc..
    .
    Especially if you are young, female and “Hott” as one girl I know whose photo, commented on by a complete stranger, was shocked to discover???

    FaceBook?

    It should be called Stalkerbook…

    (PS Now I am a subscriber!!!)

    Reply
  21. nico

    Now, you see, at first I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not, until I read the part that you hate your dog.

    Reply
  22. Bob Frankston

    Can I stream an fMRI directly to FaceBook? After all, how else can I share my innermost being?

    I applaud you risking dry humor — a real challenge in a medium that doesn’t carry affect.

    Reply
  23. Tom

    I hang on the media’s every word to decide if I like something and when I should immediately quit liking it. Products can be promoted can be dissed with 45 days or less. I await your disappointment op-ed piece declaring the next future of things. This next android phone is MY android phone…

    Reply
  24. Dave

    For real, the way these people are talking you’d think Facebook was poised to be more life-changing and revolutionary than Flipboard. And I won’t insult anyone’s intelligence by reminding you that of course nothing has changed our lives the way Flipboard has.

    Reply
  25. Eric Schatz

    Thanks for encapsulating the shite-geist. This will make it easier to remove and dispose of.

    Reply
  26. Sandeep Bansal

    so do I, in fact I am so dumb founded at the phenomenon that f8 has unleashed upon all of mankind that my head hurts..I cannot fathom the fact that someone as young as zuck can have a God like vision of what we, as mere mortals would like to see, do, listen, share, unless our friends, families, (and randos and pot dealers alike) would like us to

    Yes, I had been dying to put my life in front of gazillions of people out there and other than a fine piece of briliantly coded webpage ( my space – this is why you are wherever you are), nothing could have stopped me…thank you God for sending us “the” Zuck, the rightful claimant of the void Jesus left centuries ago…

    Reply
  27. Marie-Ora

    My life is not complete unless I know that at least 1400 of my friends, who mean the absolute world to me, as I do to them, do not know precisely what I am thinking and doing every minute of every day. Obviously this is a momentous occasion, and you will not ruin it for us. I am now going to put ‘We are the World’ on my playlist, so each one of us can take a moment to contemplate our enormous importance in the Order of Existence, and give thanks to Our Grand Enabler, Lord SugarMountain in a spirit of camaraderie and togetherness dwellers of google+ will never know. The sarcastic fringers are sooo jealous….

    Reply
  28. Kevin Kunreuther

    Fuck! Zuckerborg just made Facebook more like homework. I wanna’ spend hours enjoying Facebook not re-arranging and fine-tuning my digital furniture. This is as bad as when MySpace went Geo-cities. How did I get sucked into FB? I vowed I never would but here I am … Oh, yeah, I was using it initially for online detective work. Then instead of it being another tool I could use the damn thing consumed me like a flesh eating virus. Maybe it’s time to walk away. Opt out, digitally. I’ll just use e-mail. Fuckin’ Facebook is internet heroin.

    Reply
  29. evan

    I’ve decided to log onto facebook, reorganize my friends into ‘close friends’, ‘acquaintances’ and ‘fellow HS alum’, then poke out my eyes with a 4 gig flash drive, so the last thing I will ever see is the beauty of Zuckerberg’s mind-altering new design. That way, I will die happy.

    Reply
  30. DanLyonsGoogleLapDog

    Of course, if Google+ had come up with this all the Google lapdogs like Dan here would be creaming their pants calling Facebook “ancient” and “obsolete”.

    Can’t wait for Google’s clone- er version of Facebook Timeline: Google+ Memory Album (Beta). Google sheeps will eat it up!

    Reply
  31. Jeremy Goldman

    The new Facebook profile affected me so profoundly, I feel like we need to start counting years again anew. So instead of 2012, next year will be 1 A.T.P (After Timeline Profile).

    Reply
  32. Zach Dexter

    “I go outside and stand in the yard and gaze up at the sky and I say, Why? Why, sky? Why do you look like shit?”

    Bwahaha, this post is hilarious. It should be edited slightly and performed as a comedy monologue.

    Reply
  33. Daniel Doherty (@danieldoherty)

    I rushed over to Yahoo news to check out the social experience. None of my “facebook” friends had ever visited so wasn’t very social, back to suckle on the search teat that begins with G…

    Rushed over to Hulu… doesn’t work in UK.

    Added a music app then when tried to download to my htc it doesn’t have enough hard drive so thwarted again.

    Excuse me I have to rush off to curate my timeline, read hide all the stuff I thought I’d brushed under the carpet of time, damn you facebook for making me double handle my data.

    Reply
  34. Texasyankee

    I usually use the Android app to access and this reminded to go tp www to review and reset all my security settings. Facebook has become the hated controlling Big Brother we thought MS was.

    Reply
  35. Mr. EX

    I DON’T USE FACEBOOK!!

    FACEBOOK does nothing for my life, it only annoys me since people are using it like what myspace was for 13 years.

    I have the same email address for over 9 years and people have that, if they want to contact me, they will write me.

    and I’m still waiting for the people that wanted to be my friends on myspace to contact me.

    I’M STILL WAITING….

    Facebook is the new myspace but for people with nothing else to do with their time.

    HAH! you fell for this scam, hook, line and sinker.

    Reply
  36. Raja Mitra

    That’s very well put together & articulated indeed!

    In the ‘Animal Farm’ kind of scenario which is becoming prevalent within walled social media domains like Facebook, I doubt whether this is going to be an eye-opener though.

    I see someone here mentioned guys like Robert Scoble. Well, the Scobles of this world are so busy gathering their ever burgeoning numbers of ‘followers’ on each of the major social media apps like Facebook, Twitter & Google+ & flaunting these numbers proudly as their passport to bigger & better things that they are perforce compelled to peddle their sanctimonious & pretentious drivel separately in each of these places & eventually tie themselves up in whorls of contradiction & get shown up to be pathetic really.

    Which reminds one of course about the no. of people & organizations who need these social media platforms badly and hence, for entirely self-serving reasons, will embellish any & all narcissistic bullshit and hype it to the skies in the hope that some of it rubs off on them eventually & eventually brings forth a short sharp shower of angel dust raining down on them.

    Reply
  37. Kimberly

    Well if you still think that your wife is blah, hit me up! Because I am officially in love. Thank you for the wonderful use of voice.

    Reply
  38. Dave Thackeray

    Dan, this is why I worship you through the medium of audio. Scratch that: Add Lyons and turn audio to awedio.

    In circles and streams I was the only guy who was heard to say SO WHAT? as friends, acquaintances, waifs and strays all self-immolated on the pyre of Facebook fanaticism.

    It’s like some people forgot to live their lives for a day, and that theirs of the future will never be the same.

    To that I say: Read this. Cleversonic!

    Reply
  39. Jeffrey Wiggins

    Really dude? Are you serious with this? Your life must be THAT vanilla. This is taken way out of proportion. Also, go spend time with your kids man. Jesus.

    Reply
  40. Fake commentor

    Bless you, Wiggins. I thought you’d never appear.

    Also, Thackeray, I want me some-uh that sweet sweet shmoof you been shmarfin’

    Dan Lyons, yer mojo’s rising.

    Reply
  41. Jeff W

    Much like something out if WA DC – we are all just learning about the evasive elements baked into the launch that sonehow missed the talking points. Me, I realized it today when I made a post on a friends page, and mysteriously FB associated the words “posted from Anderson Island”.

    Now – I live on Anderson Island, however, on FB I show my residence to be 3 hrs away in Seattle, I have never referred to A. Island before and I made the post from my Seattle office to someone who lives in NYC

    Big Brother has arrived

    Reply
  42. JoKingMe

    They changed Facebook?

    Sorry, didn’t notice. Almost didn’t click on the link to this because it looked like one of those “You won’t believe what Dad caught Daughter doing…”virus things but the comments after were legit.

    So, I guess they changed Facebook?

    Reply
  43. eric2waters

    I NOW must make the effort to sign up for FB now even though there’s little hope any friends that are senior my 92 years are likely infirm, feeble, or worm food by now. This kind of exposure to the revised FB might be what it takes to spring my ancient & flaccid manhood back to life & give it (and me in the collateral process) reason to hang around this life a bit longer.

    Reply
  44. daudi

    Dan, these last few posts (HP Chairman Lane, HP Ann Livermore, and Facebook), are awesome. This is a better stride — that you’re hitting now — than FSJ (which was the high bar). You’ve got your voice back .. the Jon Stewart of the Tech Business world. Common sense Truthiness and Satire mixed with lyrical writing. THANK YOU .. please keep it going, we need your perspective.

    Reply
  45. Adam

    facebook defined: An online picture sharing site which is largely undifferentiated from a slew of other sites with the same functionality.

    Social networking, basically the business of cool, is a fickle business, see IRC, ICQ, MySpace and others. Whenever someone releases a shinier website with some new gadget that everyone must use unless they want to be a backwards shut-in, facebook will go down. It is a fashion driven business, more so than the fashion industry.

    Reply
  46. vivek

    I am debating between ‘Dan just schooled the internet about facebook’ or ‘Dan just schooled the internet on satire’

    Reply
  47. E

    Haha, this cracked me up, I agree with a lot of what you said, I posted the other day about it also, I think it is absolutely the wave of the future.

    For better or for worse I think it is an indication that soon things like scrapbooks and physically tangible memories will now further be obsolete, just as a relationship is nonexistent if it isn’t proven on FB.

    Reply
  48. whatever

    This is HORRIBLE “SARCASM”. It’s just stupid and I hate facebook. Plus I just wasted 3 minutes reading total douchebaggish writing that could have had some better humor. I think you really do like Zuck, but how about not being so retardedly boring.

    Reply
  49. wow

    Really? How did you figure out that it is sarcasm? Amazing — you noticed things that the remaining 138 posters totally missed!

    Reply
  50. Samual Pulford

    Great post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thank you :)

    Reply
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