Social Media Matters

About this Blog: Kristin Burnham chronicles what matters (and what doesn't) in the world of social networking, Web 2.0 and consumer applications.

Social Media Matters

The Five Stages of Facebook Grief

Facebook has changed a lot in the last few weeks, and many people aren't happy. How will users react when "Timeline" -- Facebook's most drastic change yet -- is rolled out? CIO.com's Kristin Burnham says it'll start with denial then move to anger, bargaining, depression, then, ultimately, acceptance.

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Facebook users have been through a lot lately: privacy changes, new Friend lists and new a pile of new settings to sort through. And the general reaction has been a strong one—people hate it.

And the changes aren't over yet. Facebook yesterday started rolling out "Timeline", an updated version of the social network's profile page, and the modifications are significant. Your profile will have an entirely new design that's more graphic, and you'll be able to easily search for posts from the past—even from the first day you joined Facebook.

As Facebook activates the new Timeline, another revolt will undoubtedly take place. But like every other change Facebook has made, many people will grieve the old profiles, then eventually move on.

Here's a quick breakdown the five stages of Facebook grief.

 

Step 1: Denial

"Facebook's changing my profile again? Nah, I don't think they'll do that. They've changed so much already, and everyone is still upset. They've surely learned by now that we don't like change. There's no way they'd do that again. At least, I don't think they'd do that to me...right?

Step 2: Anger

"WHY WOULD FACEBOOK DO THIS TO ME?!? There was nothing wrong with my old profile! NOW Facebook thinks I'm going to spend even MORE time than I already have figuring out how things work? WHAT ABOUT MY PRIVACY?! I don't want people reading my old posts! WHY, FACEBOOK, WHY?!?!"

Step 3: Bargaining

 

"Alright, Zuck, listen. I really, really don't need this change right now. I've got a lot going on. You know that meme circulating last week about you charging us for a Facebook account? I'd almost be willing to pony up a few bucks a month if you promise you'll keep my profile the way it is. I'll consider it, at least, if you consider keeping things the way they are. Whadayasay? Deal?"

Step 4: Depression

"Facebook, I can't believe you actually did this to me. I really just miss the way things were. I miss knowing exactly where my 'Likes' were. I miss guessing what songs my friends were listening to. I miss the old you. All I ever wanted was for things to stay the same. But you've disappointed me, Facebook.

Step 5: Acceptance

"Wait, Facebook changed something?"

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