Facebook's attempts to be more "human" strike many people as invasive and overly familiar. It seems we accept the site as an advertising-filled social panopticon, but cringe at the idea of an advertising-filled social panopticon that says "good morning" and calls us by name. There's no better example than the reaction to Facebook's cheery announcement of the first day of summer.
In locales where it's been disgustingly warm for months, Facebook ushering in summer seems like condescension and a rubbing in of the intolerable weather conditions. In rainy locales, it still plays as sarcastic. It's summer? Could've fooled us!
But no matter where people live, they're all in agreement on this one point: "Fuck off."
And there are dozens more where these came from (the angry internet). But why did everyone chafe so strongly at this seemingly innocuous calendar announcement?
Facebook's illustrated popups belong to the same realm as the Google Doodle—attempts to artfully mark the day and remind users of something.
But the Doodle is generic and might teach you something you don't know. Maybe you've never heard of X-ray pioneer Dorothy Hodgkin, for example. This information is welcome, even celebrated. And it doesn't try to impose an uninvited familiarity by taking a conversational tone and reminding you that it knows your name—or take the risk of reminding you that the weather in your area is unbearable.