Facebook has got to be the most unsociable location on the planet, a resting place for drivel and a host for vile anger.
Facebook is that guy at the party you get stuck with who enthusiastically tells you about the price of vegetables. He keeps looking at you with wide eyes and stating things about his holidays that you really don’t want to know. Facebook then steps in front of you as you try to pull away and pushes his family photos in your face before letting you know how drunk he is and why his friends are the best except the ones that don’t talk to him anymore. He says they’re spying on him. He tells you his theory that they’re stealing his ideas and putting them on some website somewhere. Apparently they know all about his family and holidays and it would be alright if they told them all about themselves but they don’t so that means they’re evil people that should be shouted at… although he won’t explicitly mention their names as that would be impolite, unethical and might get him in trouble with his boss.
On Facebook I’ve seen some very personal details by people who only have a friend in common with me and whom I’ve never met. I’ve seen photos of stay-over parties for these friend’s kids even though I don’t know the kids. I’ve read about holidays and births and deaths and relationships, been told stories about how badly treated people were in school or how horrible they’re being treated by their bosses. It’s all incredibly fascinating and also very, very creepy. These are conversations I wouldn’t listen to in pubs and insights into lives that I never asked for. How can people believe this is good?
Obvious answer is that the world’s egos are growing in proportion to the hole in the ozone layer. People love to think they’re famous. They thrive on being there on the screen in text or photo form and showing off that they can swear or shout over the internet whilst boasting they’ve just been to the shops. Do they understand what’s going on? I don’t think so. No offence but when you state on a public place that you’re utterly heartbroken about being dumped, do you honestly believe that this isn’t boasting that your life is more dramatic than a movie star? You want to be seen. If you want 243 ‘friends’ to comment on your anxiety then you’re not actually upset. There are better places to put your problems. And what if they ‘like’ your statement of woe? So you’ve poured out your heart to the world – due to you being struck with angst, obviously – and this torrent of unhappiness has illicited 53 ‘like’ buttons being clicked. Hmm. Does that sound sociable or does the term voyeurism come to mind?
So what about the viewers of your trials and tribulations? Try putting something vaguely controversial on there and see how many want to control what you say. Worse still – what if someone you sit beside wants to be joined at the facebook shrine with you? Can you possibly say no? What if you say yes to an invite from her on the left of you but not him on the right? What does that say about you? So then you have to befriend everyone and hold your tongue as the group that see your comments becomes a jury of colleagues, willing to chastise you in front of the boss. Did you befriend the boss too? LOL.
How long did you read this piece before you started to justify online companies like Facebook? “Oh, but some people have been helped by the kind things others have said. What about the many charities that use Facebook to gain donations? There’s so much good in the world and this is a place to find it. Stop being so mean!”
Yeah, right. There could never be anywhere else to find charities or people to talk to, yeah? There has never been such a useful hub for meaningful wastes of time, huh? Get real. Go without Facebook for a month. What have you missed out on? Do you NOT get invited to parties? Do you sit in a dark room waiting for the phone to ring? Are the tiny little conversations any different when you get back into the ‘community’? Come on, people, be realistic. Facebook was set up to make money through the industry of message boarding and it became a challenge to everyone to try to put up the best comments and the best photos and have the most friends. It’s not needed and if you’ve had difficulty going without it for a while, when you have a phone, email, texts – possibly all on one device – then you have a problem. That problem is Facebook.
I have an account there. I use it to piss people off. Facebook is good for that. I don’t have many friends.