Tag: people are whiny
My, it seems I’ve been all about unpopular opinions lately. Let’s add one more onto the heap!
On Twitter and Facebook, I’ve seen this image floating about. I’ll just put it here in case you haven’t seen it yet.
Psst. You can take the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles off now.
I won’t deny that there are some very real social problems that either came about or, more likely exacerbated by our new toys. I won’t deny that there should be some no-tech fallbacks for when stuff fails. Those are practical concerns that should not be handwaved because they ruin our fun.
But the issue I take with this meme and the underlying sentiment behind it is that the naysayers are discounting how much better our lives have been because we made new stuff and improved on existing things. The argument is that all of this makes people “soft.” It doesn’t. It just makes us aware of how horribly inefficient and tedious the old ways were. Do you really want to go back to when, oh, you had to rewind video tapes or face a fine from the video store because their workers were too lazy (or they just wanted another way to make money)? Or using terribly-outdated encyclopedias when you were tasked with doing research on school projects? Or having your favorite TV shows interrupted by breaking news and not being able to watch said show on demand later? Or having to share a phone line with people who give you grief for wanting to have an extended conversation and it’s not practical to drive across town? Hell, it was like pulling teeth for me to go out with friends at all, because my parents (mostly my mother) used their convenient excuses of “but mah work schedule!” or “but this house is a mess!” to keep us locked away at home all the time and away from friends. And, face it, when friends moved away, you can sing the praises of letters all the time, but “out of sight, out of mind” was very much in effect and the friendship was basically over (I was the one who sent all those letters only to have the replies taper off very quickly). I don’t know about you, but I’ve had more success maintaining long-distance friendships with email/txt/Twitter/Facebook/etc. than with writing letters.
But more than that, I feel like this “it was better back then” meme just reeks of trying to shame people for enjoying what we’ve accomplished. “The old days, before we had all these things, were better, and you’re a lesser person for liking these new things!” I guess this is the newest form of “kids these days”-type grousing. Maybe it’s because I’ve had to deal with being shamed for liking things since, well, always, but I’m tired of this “tech is ruining everything” blather. It feeds into my weariness of the pervasive doom and gloom that I have to live with (again, mostly from my mother). I’m also tired of the argument that social media and “selfie culture” makes people narcissistic, because that is a myth and the “narcissism” they speak of is not True Narcissism (aka Narcissistic Personality Disorder), which is far more insidious and dangerous than a somewhat inflated ego by taking pictures of themselves. But that’s something best saved for another post.
So, yeah. I’m an 80’s kid, and I like today’s technology.
I like that I can take pictures of my cat and have them instantly available to post to Twitter (and that I can take pictures of seemingly trivial stuff like my cat’s weird sleeping poses without having to worry about wasting film).
I like that, if I miss the first broadcast of a TV show or movie, it’s more and more likely I’ll be able to stream (or otherwise obtain, ahem) it somewhere after the fact rather than have to wait on a possible re-airing.
I like that if I want to research something, I have a pretty good assurance that the reputable sources are not horrendously out of date.
I like that if I want to play a video game with someone, I don’t have to physically be in the same room if they’re on the other side of the country (or planet). If I want to talk to them and text chat is too slow (or not available, ‘sup Nintendo)? Good thing we have things like Skype and Ventrilo!
I like that if I want to reference a funny scene from something, I can call it up on YouTube rather than stumble over my own words to describe it and probably misremember some things (plus I don’t have to be at the mercy of what Big Media decides I should like, because I have weird tastes).
I like social media. I may not be hugely popular, but at least I don’t feel so alone, as I would otherwise be because my circumstances don’t let me, you know, go out and have local friends anymore.
Yes, change is scary. It’s tempting to want to go back. But we can’t go back, it’s just not practical. And the awesome thing about being human is our love of tweaking, improving and making new things. We should not be ashamed (or shame others) of what we have accomplished. If there are problems resulting from, made worse with or being revisited through our creations, let’s put our energy into fixing them rather than calling for firebombing everything and retreating into the past, where things were most definitely NOT better.
In Patch 6.1, Blizzard is adding the ability to tweet from inside World of Warcraft. While people have been tweeting about their WoW experience well before this, the integration of Twitter into the game will streamline the process considerably, and will be useful to players with low-end machines, for whom alt-tabbing to tweet is not practical.
Needless to say, this upcoming addition is not without controversy. Now, it’s not possible to please everyone, and there will always be some people who are vehemently against any kind of social network intermingling with their MMOs (strange considering that MMOs themselves are a form of social media, but eh). While I agree that Patch 6.1 is otherwise very light on content (which I will address later on), the amount of negativity rooted in willful, petulant ignorance is ASTOUNDING. That YouTube video up there? Don’t read the comments. Even if you agree with the backlash, the amount of over-the-top anger is enough to make your brain hurt. I say this as someone who regularly goes diving into comments on controversial things.
(disclaimer going forward: I am painter, not a game developer, programmer or even a “social media guru.” What I know about this subject is a result of years of observation and a hell of a lot of tech podcasts.)
The most common complaint is that Twitter integration is somehow “taking away” from Actual Content (quests, dungeon and raid development), which does not make sense because anyone who knows Twitter knows that it has an API that is very easy to implement. So easy, in fact, that in all likelihood it took probably less than a couple days to drop the API code in as well as a little more user interface work to pretty it up. This was most likely handled by someone on the Battle.net/User Interface branch rather than someone who handles graphics, class balancing, dungeon/raid development, or quest design. It is not practical to assign someone who deals with graphics to work on class balancing, you would be better served putting a monkey on a keyboard.
The tinfoil hat argument is that Twitter is sponsoring said integration, which is also nonsensical: Twitter does not pay developers to implement their service (that’s what the publicly-available API is for) and is actually more likely to buy out third-party developers to absorb their engineers and code. See: the multitudes of third-party Twitter clients over the years that have been acquired by Twitter itself (e.g. Tweety).
There is the claim that Twitter is being forced on the player. This is also not true. You have to opt in through the game settings and link a Twitter account (just like everything else that allows you to link a Twitter account) in order for it to work. Though, I imagine that the mere presence of an “enable Twitter” setting to some is enough to count as “you’re forcing me to tweet.” This leads into the perception that “nobody asked for Twitter integration.” Maybe not on the forums (WoW or fan-run), but… you know, there are other avenues for collecting feedback, right? Email, Facebook and, yes, the many Twitter accounts operated by Blizzard employees. Maybe the demand was not so much through loud forum posts and more of a subtle “gosh, I wish I could tweet from inside the game, it would be so nice” sentiment gleaned from tweets and other things. Yeah. “Nobody asked for Twitter integration, this was forced on us.” Sure. Whatever you say.
SO much Picard Double Facepalm. See what I mean about “negativity rooted in willful ignorance?”
The best part is when there are some detractors petty enough to actually call for some of these programmers to lose their jobs over Twitter integration. Really? If that describes you, I hope you’re ready to explain to their families that they’re down one– or their only– source of income and may suffer great financial hardship because they implemented a feature you don’t like, and that this makes you realize how terrible this makes you look. You’re possibly, no, definitely worse than those who have openly declared their intent to register Twitter accounts for the express purpose of trolling and harassing Blizzard employees over Twitter integration.
Yes, Patch 6.1 does not have a whole lot to offer in terms of content. That part I will not disagree with people about. That said, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some demand in the past for a major patch that is light on content in exchange for more class balancing, bug fixes, graphics tweaks and QoL (quality of life) updates… all of which describe Patch 6.1 very well, actually. And yet, now that we are given such a patch, it’s being dismissed as possibly the “Worst X.1 Patch EVER.” I guess all this does is reiterate that people really don’t know what they want (even when asked what they would do instead, they respond in very broad generalities, many of which are not really possible to do in the timeframe it takes to put out a major patch) and will complain irrationally about EVERYTHING.
As for me, I most definitely welcome the addition of Twitter. I tweet a lot about things that go in in game, and the ability to attach and crop screencaps is especially nice because it saves me from having to fish up a screencap (it’s annoying in both Windows and OS X) and crop it in an outside program and such.
As for that SELFIE camera toy, maybe I’ll pass on that. I will agree that the whole “duckface” part of it is a bit too much. …well, for Yoshi, anyway. Somehow I can see Phil, Hynderia and Leslie using the camera, though. Man, ESPECIALLY Leslie– silly Bronze Dragon is SILLY.
In closing… dear players opposed to Twitter Integration: it’s okay to not like things. Please don’t be hyperbolic jerks about it. (that video REALLY needs to be required viewing for posting on forums or anything else.)