I’ve been giving serious thought to getting rid of Facebook of late. After closing it down in 2012 I was required to get it back for work. While I wouldn’t say I’ve regretted it entirely, now that I’m not using it professionally I’m starting to remember all the reasons I left.
I suppose the main thing I dislike about Facebook is people, but that’s far too broad. Here are some more specific examples for your enjoyment. Is my distaste for people limited to these 8 categories? No. There are enough for a series, so we’ll see what happens.
FACEBOOK GAMERS – The worst of the worst. We’re all aware that Facebook ‘redefines’ social interaction by taking the interaction out of the physical, away from such old-fashioned pleasures as verbal communication and eye contact. I get it.
But how socially disconnected do you have to be to play games through Social Media? Not only are you using social media to avoid having to physically interact with someone, you’re avoiding interacting with people virtually EXCEPT TO INVITE THEM TO PLAY A GAME. There’s a good chance the only reason they’re inviting you is because these games work on some kind of system that tells them they can unlock more bonuses or an extra feature if they invite 5 or 10 friends or whatever. I DON’T KNOW – I’VE NEVER PLAYED THEM. If you send me a game invite on Facebook, know that I won’t only NOT accept it, but I’ll say many disparaging things about you to myself.
CHAIN POSTS – We’ve all seen them around. Some sick kid in the bed of a children’s hospital followed by a whole bunch of copy that says something along the lines of “all Christopher wants is to get 10,000 Facebook likes”, or “10,000 likes means Christopher can have his surgery”. Are you really that stupid? More important – are Christopher’s PARENTS really that stupid? Are 10,000 likes going to cure Christopher’s cancer? What if he only gets 9,999? Will he die? What’s the deadline on this thing? Is the Doctor going to sit there on FB and say “sorry mate, you just missed out” before rolling the bed out of the hospital and onto the street? What an asshole!
What’s worse is knowing that whoever posted it feels one of two things –they’re either feeling guilty, which they shouldn’t, or they’re stupid enough to feel altruistic – that their like has brought this kid one step closer to recovering. If likes brought about money or cures to disease, Zuckerberg would have a nobel prize, and I’d be broke. You’d still be a gullible idiot.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTERS – This is one we’re all too familiar with, and I apologise to those who feel that reading that shit every day is genuinely going to make you feel better about yourself.
There are many things that piss me off about this. First and foremost – LEARN HOW TO DESIGN A MEME! It’s amazing to see so many get reposted that are ugly, have horrible font selection and badly spaced words. Call me a pedant but if you’re going to annoy me at least do it right. Second is ATTRIBUTION. So many of these quotes HAVE NONE, and just as many are attributed to people we’ve all either never heard of or who didn’t actually say it in the first place.
What are you trying to say, exactly? That we should all aspire to be as happy as you are? Is a meme on Facebook going to change that? Has anyone ever looked at these and thought ‘holy shit, that’s just changed my whole outlook on life’? No. Let’s both face it – you’re putting it up there for you. If you think you need them, that’s great, but I don’t need to see them. If you think putting up a picture saying something like ‘don’t look back, you’re not going that way’, or anything along those lines, is making a difference to anyone but you, you’re kidding yourself. But to acknowledge and admit that would probably make you sad again – quick, you’d better put up another quote.
SELFIESH – Yes, we all take selfies. Even I’ve done it. The need to show people that we’ve been somewhere or looked a certain way at a point in time is something we didn’t have back when I was a kid. You had to wait a whole week to get photos developed, only to find you had your bloody finger on the lens. In that sense, I don’t object to selfies.
What I object to is the completely unreasonable amount of any more than ONE a day. Actually, make that one a week. People put up whole galleries of themselves at one place, pulling the exact same face, doing things the exact same way, multiple times. How hard is it to look at them beforehand and go ‘hang on, that’s the EXACT SAME photo I just put up.’ If you’re going to do it, at least have some facial diversity! It’s hard for your online stalker to fap to your profile picture gallery if they all look the bloody same… or so I’ve heard.
DUMBELLS – This follows selfie-takers quite closely. If you want to go to the gym, there’s a good chance you’re doing it for you, to improve yourself, get healthy, get in shape, get muscles, whatever. Congratulations.
On that note, I don’t need to know how often you go to the gym. I don’t need to know that you’re heading to the gym today for ‘legs’. I don’t need to hear how unmotivated you think you are but you should probably do it anway. I don’t need to hear from you HALFWAY THROUGH YOUR WORKOUT to mention how much of a struggle it was. I don’t need to hear from you afterwards about how good/sore you feel, or the day after about how you’re going to go and do it all again.
These people seem ask the question ‘if I work out but don’t post about it on FB and hope someone likes it, did it really happen?’ Yes, it did, and it was far less annoying.
AGGRESSIVE EXES – I haven’t gone through a break-up in a long time, but when I did I simply blocked my ex. It really was that easy. Social media makes breakups awkward, and as someone I know excellently put it, the way you act afterwards is ‘a choice between mutual friends and self-respect’. With that in mind, I don’t need to read posts where you refuse to mention someone’s name, but go through such a specific description of said someone or events to remove any doubt as to who you’re talking about. Are they reading it? No. So why bother? It’s pretty clear you didn’t choose ‘self-respect’ when all was said and done.
What are you after, sympathy? How about GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE DICKHEAD. The only person you’re tarnishing is yourself. In some macabre way it’s a little bit fun to watch, but also annoying. Mostly annoying.
AGGRESSIVE PROMOTERS – As awesome as I know my blog is, and as sure as I am that posting a link to it every day would almost instantly lead to fame and fortune, I restrain myself. One share per article, per form of social media, is entirely reasonable.
Facebook is great for making events and pages and promoting yourself. Bands, venues, raves, films, parties, they all have a place on FB, and they all deserve to be promoted and utilized. To argue such would be folly.
Invite me once, no worries.
Invite me SIX TIMES?! Spam my news feed? PISS OFF!
Into this category we should also put SHOCKERS. People who believe in and want to fight for causes are absolutely fine by me, I admire your passion and quite often empathise with your cause, but what are you doing? Did you really think that photo of a bunch of dead kids is going to change someone’s mind about something, on FACBEOOK? Did you really think that posting an image of a lake of dead dolphins is going to change my love of tuna? You argue that it needs to be put out there with all the ‘Facebook shit’, that people need to see, but they don’t – not only that, you’re turning them off your cause and losing the message.
You might think you’re just being ‘too real’ for some people, but it just shows that you don’t know how to engage people on a topic you’re truly passionate about, and that’s the shocking thing. Think up a new strategy that doesn’t involve graphic imagery right next to the other shit.
You might think ‘Dave, if you hate all of these people, why not just block them?’. I have two answers for that. One is because some of these people, despite their ways, are people I truly care about, and in amongst the rubbish there are reasons I value them. The other is that it’s these people who are without a doubt the most prolific posters on the bloody thing. To block them from my newsfeed doesn’t only remove the occasional posts that I’d be interested in seeing, it means I’d barely be getting anything.
The question then becomes ‘well why the hell are you even on Facebook? Why not just go away and leave us all to our attention seeking, socially handicapped ways?”
THAT is much harder to answer.
Disclaimer: At no time in this book was I referring to a limited number of specific people. You’re all just as horrible as each other. If you take something in this personally, it’s probably because you fit the mould. I still love you. Just.