It started with OkCupid asking me if I'd had a new haircut or something, because the robot face of the company had decided to tell me: "You're Hot". My guard had already been lowered by Tumblr's "cool" exclamations with my new follower/blog comment notifications - "Whee!", "Swoon" and the stoner-dude favourite "Sweet". Even Twitter has got in on the act with "Oops!" on its error page. Now Facebook has made a break for this odd chatty-machine-lingo with its frankly cringe-worthy "How are you doing, Josie?". I don't know Facebook, I was doing OK before you came along and tried to speak Human to me. Now I kind of want to hit something.
Let's get something straight, machines were never meant to be like us. If we've learned anything from I, Robot it's that it can only end in disaster. And possibly the main robot, like, trying to take over the world and shit. For me, it's only a hop, skip and a jump between websites trying to be my friend and my TV trying to take down anyone who doesn't succumb to his despotic regime.
Most importantly, what kind of "human" talk is this? Who is it that tries to be relentlessly informal when you're really not up for it? One answer: uncool people. It's your teacher calling you "mate" or David Cameron saying he's into Dizzee Rascal (LOL don't worry he's not, just Lana Del Ray and The Killers vom). It's just trying too hard. I don't want to get informal with you, Facebook, I want you to provide a valuable service of connecting me to loads of people I met at a party once and not try to chat me up while I'm stalking them.
Much as it's grating when OKCupid and Tumblr "talk" to you like a "human being", at least they're still on their way up, with time to add individuality into their brand: there, I might not like it, but I can take a pinch of sass with my blog comment notification, a dollop of enthusiasm with my profile view. Facebook is a different kettle of fish. It's becoming the wallpaper of the internet: 1 in 5 of all page views in 2012 were Facebook pages and nearly 30% of Europe's population is signed up, 50% of North America. Facebook is the neutral gear, the background of our experience, so why is it trying to take centre stage by being a cool guy too? If they're going to take over the world, it needs to appeal to everyone, and unfortunately, Zuck, that means toning down your kooky ways and talking a like a grownup. Look at your big brother Google - he's been saying what he means for years now. Yes, I know he asks people if they're feeling lucky, but that's been his catchphrase since forever which means it's OK. You can't jump on the bandwagon now - you're too big, too old, and too uncool. If you weren't a kooky startup ,you can't be a kooky multinational corporation, soz bbz.